Changes are always happening with the Los Angeles Tango scene. New Milongas open, others close or go on hiatus. Some relocate, others are taken over by new tango teacher and hosts. Here’s a LA Tango roundup of some of the changes I know about.
The latest to say goodbye is Grand Casino Milonga, which was most recently hosted by Jerry Perez Gallego and Christine Lopez Urgell. The couple announced in September on Facebook the milonga, originally founded by Naomi Hotta, with help from Lily Panayotti and Toni Crocetti Kellam, was closing indefinitely. No reason was given.
The milonga took place in a cute small bakery and restaurant of the same name. While the floor was small and in a triangular shape, making dancing a bit odd, it had a charm to it, and was popular amongst Westside dancers. The food is fantastic at the restaurant as well. It’s sad to see it closed, but as Jerry noted on Facebook: Onward, and Upwards!
Milonga Luna, which relocated a while ago, now takes place at the Republiq Dance Studio in Eagle Rock. The milonga is hosted by Yuliana Basmajyan, every second Friday of the month. Milonga Querida, also hosted by Yuliana, takes place every first Friday at the same location. I have not been to either milonga at the new location, so I can’t really say anything about them from a personal perspective. But from the photos I’ve seen, they look like first class events that Yuliana always puts on. I’ll have to get out there one of these days….
Since the Hacienda Hotel near LAX has closed for renovations, Ilona Glinarsky moved her weekly Wednesday Tango Experience practica/milonga to the El Segundo Women’s Club. And Milonga LAX is still going strong every first Sunday in Playa Del Rey. The upcoming Nov. 1 milonga is also a fundraiser, Tango for Tatas, benefitting breast cancer research.
The Caltech Milonga is still going on every third Friday of the month. I attended the September event where one of my favorite dance and teaching couples, Laila and Leandro Oliver, performed that evening (see video below). It’s one of the prettiest milonga spaces, with a nice big floor. My favorite DJ Vincent Wong helmed the music offering that evening.
Other milongas that are still going strong: Tango Mio on Tuesday nights on La Brea Avenue, hosted by Linda Valentino. And El Encuentro, where I am going as soon as I finish this blog post. Hopefully those ACs are running full blast as it’s a hot October night!
If I missed anything, please send me a message, or submit your own blog post by requesting to become an author.