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Where to Experience Folklore Dance in Buenos Aires

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In the Argentine countryside and in small pockets of Buenos Aires, tango steps aside and loses its dominance in favor of folklore. Folklórica, as the locals call it, is heavily linked with both regional and national identity. There’s the Cuarteto from Cordoba, the Chámame from Corrientes, and the Chacarera from Santiago del Estero. While most rely on guitar, violin, and drums, some styles also use a bandoneón or indigenous Andean instruments such as the quena, or wooden flute, and the charango, or small banjo.

Argentine folk music and dance developed well before the arrival of tango. It mixes the song and dance of indigenous people, colonial settlers from Spain, and African slaves who settled into the newly-formed country during the 17th century.

Unlike tango’s seriousness and nocturnal sensuality, Argentina’s folklore often runs more upbeat, with listeners often cheerfully joining in with clapping or singing. Here are some of the top peñas in Buenos Aires to experience folklore at its best.

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La Casa de los Chillado Biaus

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This casual and intimate Palermo venue is run by two lovely musician brothers who often play a bit themselves before the night really gets started. Behind the closed, unmarked door is a rowdy vibe filled with locals genuinely appreciating the music. Guests will usually find themselves trying to sing or at least clap along, because crowd participation is actively encouraged here.

Rodriguez Pena

Pal Que Guste

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This is the first bar in Buenos Aires to be completely dedicated to Criollo culture, and it’s quickly gained some serious street cred among lovers of traditional folkloric guitar music. Even the celebrated gaucho Dario Gallardo shows up here when he’s in town. Well off the tourist track (for now, at least), it’s a cozy, hacienda-style space with wooden ceiling beams and whitewashed walls. The stage is small, but that only adds to the intimate ambience. Wash down empanadas with a bottle of Malbec and uninhibitedly sing, dance, and get emotional with the passionate locals. Folkloric dance classes are offered on Mondays between 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Courtesy of Pal Que Guste

La Trastienda Club

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Occupying the ruins of a mansion in San Telmo that dates back to 1895, this famous nightclub offers a Cabaret style peña as well as tango and rock shows. The venue holds 400 people seated and another 1,000 standing. It’s the place to go when you’d choose an exhilarating night of dancing over a quiet evening listening to acoustic guitar.

Galpón B

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More underground and indie than the other listings here, Galpón B is a cooperative-run space open to a wide variety of music and dance styles, including tango, rock, and folklore. It is a large dance hall space with a generous stage at one end and it attracts a younger, artistic crowd that appreciates the relatively inexpensive bar and unpretentious food offerings.

Courtesy of Galpón B

Hasta Trilce

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Located in the classic, not-so-touristy neighbourhood of Almagro, Hasta Trilce services a sophisticated, up-market crowd that appreciates the tapas-style food, pizzas, and decent cocktail list as much as they do the dinner theatre. More for dining than for dancing, serious acts can still be seen here, as this venue has the support of the National Theater Institute.

Courtesy of Hasta Trilce

Los Cumpas

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This huge, modern space with an elevated stage can take credit for getting a younger crowd to embrace traditional folklore, because it feels more like a rocking nightclub than anything else. Located in Villa Crespo, the atmosphere here is the closest in the city that tourists will come to the peña music of Jujuy.

Courtesy Los Cumpas

Los Cardones

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Los Cardones is a typical folklore venue, also known as a peña. At Los Cardones, musicians and dancers come together to bring a little bit of Salta, a province in the northwest region of Argentina, to Buenos Aires. With its wine, empanadas, and other homestyle foods from Salta, Los Cardones attracts folklore fans as well as groups of young people out on the town in Palermo Soho looking for a warm environment with familiar dances to close out the night.

Courtesy of Los Cardones

Feria de Mataderos

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This market was founded in 1986 to create a permanent space for the diffusion and appreciation of Argentina’s cultural roots. It’s the place to pick up musical instruments and get to know the folklore culture on a more street level. In Mataderos, an incredibly historic neighborhood, there are booths upon booths filled with handcrafts for sale, as well as music, dance exhibitions, and gaucho horse-riding skills showcased regularly. There are often impressive live music line-ups especially on various national holidays like Argentina’s Independence Day or Dia de la Tradicion.

Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires
This advertising content was produced in collaboration between Vox Creative and our sponsor, without involvement from Vox Media editorial staff.

La Casa de los Chillado Biaus

Rodriguez Pena

This casual and intimate Palermo venue is run by two lovely musician brothers who often play a bit themselves before the night really gets started. Behind the closed, unmarked door is a rowdy vibe filled with locals genuinely appreciating the music. Guests will usually find themselves trying to sing or at least clap along, because crowd participation is actively encouraged here.

Rodriguez Pena

Pal Que Guste

Courtesy of Pal Que Guste

This is the first bar in Buenos Aires to be completely dedicated to Criollo culture, and it’s quickly gained some serious street cred among lovers of traditional folkloric guitar music. Even the celebrated gaucho Dario Gallardo shows up here when he’s in town. Well off the tourist track (for now, at least), it’s a cozy, hacienda-style space with wooden ceiling beams and whitewashed walls. The stage is small, but that only adds to the intimate ambience. Wash down empanadas with a bottle of Malbec and uninhibitedly sing, dance, and get emotional with the passionate locals. Folkloric dance classes are offered on Mondays between 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Courtesy of Pal Que Guste

La Trastienda Club

Occupying the ruins of a mansion in San Telmo that dates back to 1895, this famous nightclub offers a Cabaret style peña as well as tango and rock shows. The venue holds 400 people seated and another 1,000 standing. It’s the place to go when you’d choose an exhilarating night of dancing over a quiet evening listening to acoustic guitar.

Galpón B

Courtesy of Galpón B

More underground and indie than the other listings here, Galpón B is a cooperative-run space open to a wide variety of music and dance styles, including tango, rock, and folklore. It is a large dance hall space with a generous stage at one end and it attracts a younger, artistic crowd that appreciates the relatively inexpensive bar and unpretentious food offerings.

Courtesy of Galpón B

Hasta Trilce

Courtesy of Hasta Trilce

Located in the classic, not-so-touristy neighbourhood of Almagro, Hasta Trilce services a sophisticated, up-market crowd that appreciates the tapas-style food, pizzas, and decent cocktail list as much as they do the dinner theatre. More for dining than for dancing, serious acts can still be seen here, as this venue has the support of the National Theater Institute.

Courtesy of Hasta Trilce

Los Cumpas

Courtesy Los Cumpas

This huge, modern space with an elevated stage can take credit for getting a younger crowd to embrace traditional folklore, because it feels more like a rocking nightclub than anything else. Located in Villa Crespo, the atmosphere here is the closest in the city that tourists will come to the peña music of Jujuy.

Courtesy Los Cumpas

Los Cardones

Courtesy of Los Cardones

Los Cardones is a typical folklore venue, also known as a peña. At Los Cardones, musicians and dancers come together to bring a little bit of Salta, a province in the northwest region of Argentina, to Buenos Aires. With its wine, empanadas, and other homestyle foods from Salta, Los Cardones attracts folklore fans as well as groups of young people out on the town in Palermo Soho looking for a warm environment with familiar dances to close out the night.

Courtesy of Los Cardones

Feria de Mataderos

Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires

This market was founded in 1986 to create a permanent space for the diffusion and appreciation of Argentina’s cultural roots. It’s the place to pick up musical instruments and get to know the folklore culture on a more street level. In Mataderos, an incredibly historic neighborhood, there are booths upon booths filled with handcrafts for sale, as well as music, dance exhibitions, and gaucho horse-riding skills showcased regularly. There are often impressive live music line-ups especially on various national holidays like Argentina’s Independence Day or Dia de la Tradicion.

Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires

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