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Tuesday is no longer the most boring day of the week at Amadeus Bar, in the Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove (3300 SW 27th Ave, Coconut Grove; 305-644-4680). Starting at 9:00 p.m. Monica Llobet gives dance lessons ($10 for an hour), then hosts a milonga (tango party) till the wee hours.
The bar's anachronistic atmosphere makes it the perfect setting to re-create the revelry of this Forties Buenos Aires ritual. Wooden and cozy, Amadeus looks more like a study in an old mansion than a hotel bar. Everything from the bookcases to the chandeliers seeps old-school elegance, and when the lights are dimmed and the fireplace is lit, a feeling of dreamy romance permeates the air.
One recent Tuesday night, Llobet stressed that it's not fancy footwork that makes a good tango dancer, but passionate execution of the basic steps. Her students would later prove that advice true. As they danced cheek to cheek, the emotional connection between the couples was more important than technical prowess. Women slid their feet across the floor while sensuously weaving around their poised partners. With heavy eyelids and serene expressions, the men seemed almost entranced by the lusty power of tango. The dancers were mostly age 40 and older, half of them beginners, the other half old pros.
Even though it was a Tuesday patrons continued to file in to dance to crackling tracks by the likes of Carlos Di Sarli and Osvaldo Pugliese. "The idea was to help this small tango community grow," said Llobet. Every night is different. You never know what youre going to get."