Street artists pick up spare change doing the tango in El Centro
It certainly won’t be the last tango in Cuenca, but passersby on the south side of the cathedral were treated last week to lively display of the Argentinian standard.
Three performers from Buenos Aires were dancing for money opposite Don Colón’s Restaurant and the flower market. Professionally trained, Brenda Rimbert and Ottis Salas, accompanied by violinst Ayelén Garcia, drew large crowds with spirited performances and a colorful wardrobe. Their work was rewarded as the audience filled a violin case, set out of the sidewalk, with money.
“They are professional level dancers,” said Gustavo Sanchez, who teaches tango courses at his Cuenca dance studio. “These people are good enough to be on stage in Buenos Aires. It’s amazing to see this talent on the street.”
Rimbert, Salas and Garcia, who met 10 years ago at a community theater in Buenos Aires, have performed on streets all over Latin America. “This is an adventure of us,” says Salas. “It allows us to travel and challenges our talents, since we are literally dancing for our dinner.”
The group spent three months in Peru, mostly in Lima, before arriving in Cuenca. They plan to visit Puyo next before returning to Cuenca. “We love Cuenca,” said Salas. “It’s a beautiful city with great people. It’s also a city with an appreciation for the arts, which means we eat well here.”
Salas says his group has to wait its turn on the Calle Sucre sidewalk, since it does not want to compete with the music of other street performers. Last Saturday, they alternated between a blind crooner and a group playing Andean music, inexplicably decked out as Navajo indians.
“We’re happy to share,” he says.