The Tango Travellers Dance Around the World 2006

Hank And Mary Beth Johnston

First stop: Montreal renown for its French flair, century-old architecture, heavenly food,advantageous exchange rates ($1 Can.= .93 cents U.S.) and some of the best dancing outside of Buenos Aires.

Studio Tango
A milonga in Montreal run by world class professional dancers. Bobby Thompson and Carol Horowitz have been performing throughout North America for the last ten years. Carol is arguably the best North American female tango dancer on the continent. Carol and Bobby host Argentinian tango master-teacher, Tomas Howlin from Buenos Aires, one of the top dancers and teachers in the world. How lucky they are to have someone of his caliber teaching there! Floor is a gorgeous, rectangular 2,500 Sq.' of pale hardwood. Styles vary from close embrace to open frame. The atmosphere is friendly, reminding us of the Triangulo in New York City, and the only milonga where the host came over to greet us. Music is a classical mix, like Gricel in Buenos Aires. If you come to Montreal, this is the only place we'd recommend for private lessons. As you can guess, their regular classes are without parallel in the city. A safe place to learn and dance tango. All levels of dancers. Their regular milonga is Wednesday at 8:30 to 1:00. Phone first. Music is traditional with a few electronic brushes. There's 60 to 80 dancers an evening. Now in Old Montreal at 643 Notre Dame West, Corner McGill, 2nd Floor. Metro Square Victoria. 844-2786. Wednesday's entry is $8.00. If you're looking for the meal of a lifetime, try Old Montreal's Toque, Cube, Da Emma or Les Ramparts.


The place is run by dance professional Mylene Pelletier. The second story milonga has a gorgeous floor made of bamboo. Huge windows look over a pretty park. Small tables are wrapped around stunning columns. The only place to be on Friday night, from 9:30-3:00. All levels. 80 people and up. At 4324 Saint-Laurent blvd, 2nd floor Tel: 277-5575. Metro Laurier plus a cab.

The place is run by Paul Montpetit et Laura Steinmander. Their practicas are excellent. Watch for their Sunday evenings at La Tangueria at 6522 St. Laurent starting at 7:00. Entry fee is $8.00. The regular crowd of 30-40 dancers are beginners and intermediates. Music is tradtional. Metro Cremazie Tel: 495-8645.

Academie Club.
A totally renovated hall, with three bars. Add to this sofas for chatting and tables to hold a drink. This tango lounged is the place to see. Santiago has done a wonderful. A real pleasure to dance. Their milonga is Sunday. Crowd is comprised of all ages and mixed levels. It's the place to dance on a Sunday night. Dreary music. The evening begins at 8:30 and goes to 1:00 AM. D.J. Michel Auzat. Uptown at 4445 St. Laurent, corner Mount Royal. Metro Mount Royal. 840-9246. $8.00 entry. For a quick meal try Rumi down the block

Tango Libre
Set on a residential street in the East side Plateau region of Montreal. Tango Libre's crowd is generally younger than most, 20s-30s, but there are also those in the 40s. The place is run by a Chilean, Geraldo Sanchez. The new venue is air-conditioned with 3,000 sq' of blond hardwood. Red curtains adorn the windows at street level. Painting of Alejandro Vichnevski are on the walls. Their Saturday is a lyrical mix of traditional, modern, international and film tango scores from around the world. Expect 30-50 people. Mixed levels of dancers with a preponderance of intermediates. At 2485, Mont-Royal Ave. East. Metro Mount Royal and a bus-ride East to Iberville. Take a cab. 527-5197. Entry $8.00. For a good meal before the milonga try Le Misto 929 Mount-Royal East or the La Pistou at 1453 Mount-Royal East; both go in the direction of the milonga.

Fleur d'asphalte
Thursday at 6847 rue Saint-Hubert Tango 9:00-midnight. Entry fee $5.00. Metro Jean Talon

Bulent Karabagli's Tuesday night Milonga is at 5359 Park Avenue, from 8:30-2:00. The music is a mix of electro-club, world-beat and traditional tangos.The crowd is in their 20s-40s slip-sliding through their Nuevo Tango steps. Floor is 1,500 feet of hardwood. From 9:00-2:00. Metro Place des Arts or Metro Laurier plus a cab. Entry fee: $8.00.

Al Sur
A neighborhood milonga newly renovated, a 2nd floor walk up in the city's bustling Little Italy-Little Saigon. Space is 2,000 sq. ' of highly varnished floating tiles with large windows on two sides overlooking the street. Bring a brush for your shoes! Dancers are beginners in the main. Thirty-forty people on average. Has a Monday milonga from 8:30-1:00, a Friday nights from 9:00-3:00 as well as the 2nd and 4th Saturday night of every month from 9:00 - 2:00. Lyne Renaud, a trained modern dancer, runs the place. Great little Vietnamese and Thai snack bars at the corner.For the best Italian restaurant in the city, go around the corner to Lucca's at 12 Dante, corner St. Laurent. At 370 Jean Talon East. Metro Jean Talon. 274-9003. Entry $8.00.

Tango Nuestro
A tiny, intimate milonga, in a homey kitchen studio, with a 300 sq' of vinyl linoleum floor. Run by Lili Palmer who with Antonio Perea, began tango in Montreal. Her milonga runs on Thursday. There are a handful of tables slewn around the room with a tiny bar serving drinks. Expect from 10-25 people. At 24 Mount Royal West, 2nd floor. Open from 9:00 to midnight. Metro Mount Royal plus a cab. 284-6392. Thursday's entry fee is $8.00.

Cafe de Lima
An upstairs venue at 6409 St-Hubert, 9:00 to 1 A.M. Entry fee 7$. Metro Jean Talon or Metro Beaubien.BR>

Royal Tango.
At 936 Ave Mont-Royal East, 2nd Floor 21h-2h . A mixed crowd 45 and up. Beginners to intermediates with a sprinkling dancers. Milongas on the 1st, 2nd & 3rd Saturdays of the month. D.J. Michel Auzat.

Tango in the Park
It lovely to dance outside. But be aware that Tango in the park is above all a commercial technique for recruiting rank beginners who take up most of the space on the cement floors. A few good dancers do go, but most refrain due to the wear and tear on their knees.

See you next year.

Lodging in Montreal
There is an abundance of Bed and Breakfasts and upscale hotels in Montreal, but our friends suggest the following three standard hotels close to tango and the Latin Quarter. Doubletree Plaza Hotel Montreal at 505 Sherbrooke East. (1-800-561-4644) or (1-514-842-8581)and The Holiday Inn, Midtown, 420 Sherbrooke St. West(1-515-842-6111). Hyatt Regency Montreal, 1255 Jeanne Mance St. 514-285-1450 Remember: $1 Can. = 81 cents US.


All in all, well worth the visit to be among so many fine dancers and such enjoyable music. We thank our Montreal friends for their updates.

Go Tango Worldwide: