Shall we dance? Argentine Tango at the Palais Garnier in Paris

Argentine Tango dancers on the terrace of the Palais Garnier.

One of the things that I'm enjoying the most about living in Paris is that I'll hear whispers about something - an organization that gives free massages, a fantastic restaurant that serves authentic Northern Indian food, or couples dancing on the banks of the Seine - and try to track it down. It's a bit like a treasure hunt, where one clue occasionally leads to another one that finally helps me to solve the puzzle.

But what's even better is when the riddle unexpectedly answers itself, like it did when the Argentine Tango dancers magically appeared on the terrace of the Opera Garnier last week. In one of those Parisian moments that I love, Stephane and I turned the corner and saw them, high heeled women with their arms seductively wrapped around their partners.

To a non-dancer like myself, it appeared as if all of the couples moved with an enviable grace, although one in particular captured my attention. At first they seemed to be a mismatched odd couple, for she was taller and younger, while he was shorter, older and not as attractive.  But the synergy of the two was sheer magic.

If you would like to have your own special Parisian moment, walk past the Opera Garnier on a Sunday afternoon around 5:00 pm. and perhaps the Argentine Tango dancers will be there, locked in a passionate embrace.

Shall We Dance, an award winning Japanese film that was remade into a movie with Jennifer Lopez and Richard Gere, is a fun movie to watch on a hot summer day (or on a rainy evening if you're currently in Paris!).

Update: After writing this blog post, I was contacted by Sacha, the man who organized this magical event. His website, Milonga Ophelia, is a wonderful resource for Argentine Tango Enthusiasts. Click here if you would like to see a video of the Argentine Tango at the Palais Garnier.


  1. This reminds me of my last trip to Paris: we had just emerged from the Metro headed toward the Ile St Louis, all the bells of Notre Dame were peeling--magnificent sound, and a crowd was moving quickly toward the Cathedral. We hastened our step and just as we arrived in front of Notre Dame a procession of white-robed priests (?) came out of one door of the church, paraded around the front, and re-entered another door. It was fascinating, with the sounds and I think chanting prayers and the dramatic white cloaks. Just magic.

    We went to dinner at my favorite local spot, the Brasserie de L'ile St Louis.

  2. Your experience sounds like another one of those magical Parisian moments. I've been reading about the Gregorian chant service at Notre Dame on Sundays and hope to get to one soon. I'm not Catholic but there's still something about the chanting that touches my soul.

    Why has it taken you so long to tell me about your favorite dining spot! ;-)

    And following up on your post on the Rothschilds, I did a walking tour near the Parc Monceau on Sunday and the guide mentioned that they lived in the area. Now I just have to find the exact address.

  3. This is wonderful! Would have love to be there! Adore Tango!

  4. lorenabr, Yes, the dancers were wonderful. It was a pleasure to watch them.

    I took a look at your fashion website - your designs look great! I also like the additions to your silk flowers, like the little pearl beads etc. I went to Legeron Flower and Feather Boutique in Paris and was amazed by the process of making flowers. Very complex.

  5. There is something about tango ... I've heard there is Tango dancing along the Seine as well. Have you tracked this down?

  6. Yes, someone told me that it's at the Quai Saint-Bernard near the Institute du Monde Arabe. They have an area for salsa and one for tango. Judging from the photos that I saw, it seems to be a lot of fun. I'm planning to go there when the sun makes an appearance that lasts longer than 5 minutes!

  7. I'm on the picture. Great memories!

  8. Anonymous, Which picture are you in? If you want to send me your email address at, I would be happy to send you the original photo and any others that I may have taken of you. I took quite a few pictures that day. It's a great memory for me, too - one of my favorites since I've been in Paris!

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