EARLY WORD: Last Tango In Philly


[Artwork by JUAREZ MACHADO]

This coming Thursday,  a crowd of people will dance the tango around Swann Memorial Fountain at Race and 18th Streets. Authorities will not stop it.  This bacchanalia is no flash mob. Rather, it will commemorate the day when water will once again flow through Logan Square’s fountain.  Anyone will be able to join the instructors, performers, musicians and party-goers with impunity to recreate an historic, massive “municipal dance” that was held to mark the opening of the fountain back in 1924. At the time, local police were stationed to assure that dance moves would not get out of hand, blowing the whistle on undoubtedly PG-rated, sepia-toned vignettes involving enormous hats. Philadelphians may be able raise the bar on history in some ways, but it will be truly impressive if this event can command the same popular support as its Pre-Depression era cousins, when anywhere from 3,000 to 25,000 people attended. The dance contest comprising the finale of the celebration will award $250 for the grand prize, slightly more than the $10 the winners won back in the 1924.   — BRANDON LAFVING

An Evening of Tango at the Swann Memorial Fountain takes place on April 5th, from 5:30-7:30 pm. Arrive at 5:30 for instruction, or by 6:45 for the tango contest. Entrants may register at info@urban-tango.com.

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