Strongly influenced by European culture, Buenos Aires is sometimes referred to as the "Paris of South America". The city has the busiest live theater industry in Latin America, with scores of theaters and productions.
Buenos Aires is the site of the Teatro Colón, an internationally rated opera house. There are several symphony orchestras and choral societies. The city has numerous museums related to history, fine arts, modern arts, decorative arts, popular arts, sacred art, arts and crafts, theatre and popular music, as well as the preserved homes of noted art collectors, writers, composers and artists. The city is home to hundreds of bookstores, public libraries and cultural associations (it is sometimes called "the city of books"), as well as the largest concentration of active theatres in Latin America. It has a world-famous zoo and botanical garden, a large number of landscaped parks and squares, as well as churches and places of worship of many denominations, many of which are architecturally noteworthy.
Every April in the city, the Buenos Aires International Book Fair is celebrated; it is one of the top five book fairs in the world, oriented to the general public as well as to the literary community . "La Noche de los Museos" (Night of Museums) also takes place every November. On this day, most of the museums of the city are open all night long. Buenos Aires is also very active in street art, with major murals everywhere in the city.
Known as Rioplatense Spanish, Buenos Aires' Spanish (as that of other cities like Rosario and Montevideo, Uruguay) is characterised by voseo, yeísmo and aspiration of s in various contexts. It is heavily influenced by the dialects of Spanish spoken in Andalusia and Murcia. A phonetic study conducted by the Laboratory for Sensory Investigations of CONICET and the University of Toronto showed that the prosody of porteño is closer to the Neapolitan language of Italy than to any other spoken language.
In the early 20th century, Argentina absorbed millions of immigrants, many of them Italians, who spoke mostly in their local dialects (mainly Neapolitan, Sicilian and Genoan). Their adoption of Spanish was gradual, creating a pidgin of Italian dialects and Spanish that was called cocoliche. Its usage declined around the 1950s.
Many Spanish immigrants were from Galicia, and Spaniards are still generically referred to in Argentina as gallegos (Galicians). Galician language, cuisine and culture had a major presence in the city for most of the 20th century. In recent years, descendants of Galician immigrants have led a mini-boom in Celtic music (which also highlighted the Welsh traditions of Patagonia).
Yiddish was commonly heard in Buenos Aires, especially in the Balvanera garment district and in Villa Crespo until the 1960s. Most of the newer immigrants learn Spanish quickly and assimilate into city life.
The Lunfardo argot originated within the prison population, and in time spread to all porteños. Lunfardo uses words from Italian dialects, from Brazilian Portuguese, from African and Caribbean languages and even from English. Lunfardo employs humorous tricks such as inverting the syllables within a word (vesre). Today, Lunfardo is mostly heard in tango lyrics; the slang of the younger generations has been evolving away from it.
Tango music's birthplace is in Argentina. Its sensual dance moves were not seen as respectable until adopted by the Parisian high society in the 1920s, and then all over the world. In Buenos Aires, tango-dancing schools (known as academias) were usually men-only establishments.
On 30 September 2009, UNESCO's Intergovernmental Committee of Intangible Heritage declared tango part of the world's cultural heritage, making Argentina eligible to receive financial assistance in safeguarding this cultural treasure for future generations.
The Buenos Aires Philharmonic is an Argentine orchestra based in Buenos Aires. Founded in 1946, it is based in the renowned Colón Theatre, and is considered one of the more prestigious orchestras in its nation and Latin America, and has received several honours in 60 years of history. Its local counterpart in the national aegis is the Argentine National Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra current Music Director is Mexican Enrique Diemecke.
The Buenos Aires Philharmonic has had three successful tours of special relevance: in 1992, 1994 and 1996. These tours have included stops in Germany, England, Spain, France, Greece, the Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium and Austria, and has performed in such prestigious venues as the Berliner Philharmonie, the Barbican Centre in London (one of the most famous cultural centers in Europe, also home to the London Symphony Orchestra), and the Concertgebouw of Amsterdam (home to the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam). The orchestra frequently tours nationally and in the surrounding countries of Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay.
Philharmonic associations had, by then, a long tradition in Argentina, and could be traced in Buenos Aires to the 1822 formation of the Academy of Music and of the Philharmonic Association, the following year. These orchestras struggled under the instability prevailing during the years of the Argentine Confederation, however, and their performances were only sporadic. The German Argentine community helped advance the medium with the founding a number of choral societies between 1852 and 1863, notably Concordia, Germania and the Deutsche Sing-Akademie, and these were complementted by the Buenos Aires Orchestral Society (1876) and the Musical Mutual Society (1894). The latter ultimately formed the first orchestral guild in Argentina, the Orchestra Professionals' Association (APO), in 1919.
The cinema first appeared in Buenos Aires in 1896. The city has been the centre of the Argentine cinema industry in Argentina for over 100 years since French camera operator Eugene Py directed the pioneering film La Bandera Argentina in 1897. Since then, over 2000 films have been directed and produced within the city, many of them referring to the city in their titles, such as I Was Born in Buenos Aires (1959), Buenas noches, Buenos Aires (1964), and Buenos Aires a la vista (1950). The culture of tango music has been incorporated into many films produced in the city, especially since the 1930s. Many films have starred tango performers such as Hugo del Carril, Tita Merello, Carlos Gardel and Edmundo Rivero.
Several important international rock singers and groups have participated of the festival Quilmes Rock, along with some of the most notable Argentine rock stars. Former participanting bands included Die Toten Hosen, The Wailers, The Offspring, Gustavo Cerati, Los Ratones Paranoicos, Divididos, Memphis, Bersuit Vergarabat, Café Tacuba, Babasónicos, Attaque 77, Los Pericos, Luis Alberto Spinetta, Mancha de Rolando, Intoxicados, El Otro Yo and several others.
Creamfields BA was the first Creamfields festival to be organised outside of Cream's hometown of Liverpool, but the move to Buenos Aires was seen as a risky one as it coincided with Argentina falling into the worst economic crisis in its history. Thus, it was uncertain how an event of such magnitude would be profitable in a country with severe economic problems.
Creamfields Buenos Aires is organised annually.
Jazz festivals had been organized intermittently in Buenos Aires and a number of other Argentine cities, such as Rosario, La Plata and Avellaneda, during the 1990s. Defying conventional wisdom during the depths of a severe economic crisis, the city of Buenos Aires announced a new, upocoming Buenos Aires Jazz Festival in July 2002. This first event was held on 6–20 August and was free to the public. Featuring mostly local artists, notably Pablo Ziegler and Dino Saluzzi, it was held in three locations: Thelonious, Notorious, and The Casual Bar.
Buenos Aires has a long tradition in visual arts, and it hosts many the most important art galleries, such as APPETITE, Braga Menendez and Ruth Benzacar. Museums, like MALBA and Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (Buenos Aires). Cultural centers like Centro Cultural Recoleta.
Many events keep the art scene very busy and attract visitors every month. They include hundreds of exhibition openings, gallery nights, art fairs like ArteBA and Expotrastiendas, and La Noche Del Museos.
Museums in Buenos Aires are:
Buenos Aires hosts many fashion events. The most important is BAFWEEK that is held twice a year. It's been held since 2001 and is often a good chance for national designers to display their collections. BAAM Argentina Fashion Week, which considers itself the "most prestigious fashion week of the country", is another prominent event which has been named one of the most important fashion weeks worldwide by the World Fashion Organization and World Fashion Week.
In 2005, Buenos Aires was appointed as the first UNESCO City of Design. The city received this title once again in 2007.
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