It happens you are waiting so much for an event than you count the days. It was my case this time, and it was also the case of several friends. Two weeks before the event, we were counting the days at each milonga we met. This kind of waiting time can be really bad when the event is finally didn’t reach your expectations. Las Perseidas organizers just offered the best marathon I participated in Poland until now.
The marathon took places in the Central Library of Agricultural University in the old town of Warsaw. The ballroom with wooden floor is huge and dedicated only to the dance. No comments about the quality of floor, it was perfect to dance. Tables were placed on 3 sides of the room with space to let people wander around without entering on the dancefloor. A good point in this room are the big windows which let daylight enter and change naturally the atmosphere of the room. The venue was decorated with flowers, a little touch to give a little of life to the majestic decoration.
Drink and food were organized in the hall just before the ballroom and an additional little cantina with the bar in another room. Food was provided all along the marathon on a big buffet. It was just impossible to starve: vegetables, fruits and cake all along the event, sandwich, soups and croissant at special moments. Variety of water was another touch of the organisation, simple water, water with lemon or mint… Brunchs (with crepes) on the terrace were good moment to meet dancers. The terrace was also a good place to cool-down on long chair on the sun during the day and with blanket during the night. The weather was nice to enjoy this terrace all along the event.
The number of participants was not so high, a little more than 200, but I felt like I was in a bigger event. This kind of event at one moment you loose the people you would like to dance with and that let you a little frustrated as you will not spend as much time as you want with the friends you see once per year. At the end, I have this impression (which is not the reality) I didn’t dance with half of the women I know and that I danced with almost nobody unknown. This effect is just the result of the size of the event as now I really prefer small events for the intimate aspect .
I didn’t have problems to invite during the event. As I already know a lot of people there, it was quite easy to cabeceu. It was not the case of some friends who were in Poland for their first or second times. Some got this newcomers difficulty to catch miradas on Friday and even on Saturday. On Sunday, this difficulty usually disappear with the last hours motivation and as men also get more solid miradas from women. The dynamic created by the men standing at the doors also didn’t help in this situation. You see it when men want fast and easy invitations on Friday and decide to create a spot at some doors where all the women will look during the rest of the week end. As it happens often when this attraction point is created, just half of the room was used by the dancers for invitations. Really few were the dancers who wanted to sit far from these doors.
The selection of the participants was one of the great success of the event with a real variety of countries. In general, in Poland, you get at least half of polish dancers, one quarter of dancers from Ukraine and Belorussian, and you fill the rest with other countries. This time, and you could see it quite easily, the public was really more diverse. Polish dancers were not so many (from my perception 1/5 when they were 2/5) and representing the whole country (Warsaw, Lodz, Krakow, Wroclaw and some other cities, don’t ask me the names !!!). I don’t want to imagine how many hearts the organizers broke in Warsaw with this selection. (It is hard to be an organizer…). Each other country had a little delegation of dancers. Russia, Ukraine, Bielorussia were well represented of course, but also Norway and Finland (it is surprising so many Nordics dancers pass the baltics countries and so far from the sea). An important number of dancers came from the west Europe with Germany, France, Germany, UK, Belgium, Germany and even Portugal – a lot of Germans in fact. If you add Turkey, Israel, Greece, you get also a good south part.
The other great point of the event was the circulation. Rules were indicated in different places, in particular in the toilet (please don’t write again in the toilet you are watching us :p) and most of the dancers were social. You could see that with the fact the people decided to create a second line only when the first was completely full. As it happens everywhere, Friday was well crowded and a little messy but it was less messy than more of the event. Dancing was easy even with traffic. The problem came just from the entrances which were not yet well identified by the dancers, everybody entering just by one little side of the dance-floor. From Saturday, the craft-floor was very good as people were entering on 2 sides creating more flow. Organizers also created a little more spaces between some tables to show the different entrances to the dancers.
The atmosphere was a little too serious in the ballroom. The back of the room near the DJ was often empty as people preferred to stay in the first part near the door. On one side, it gave some tranquility to the dancers when they were in this part of the room, but on the other side, it was a little sad people just use half of the room. It was more relaxed outside comparing to the calm of the sacred dance room. The balcony with the calming sound of the water fountain was certainly the best place of the event to relax, to meet new people, to chat, to take sun, look at the city,… The difference of atmosphere let you choose which one you prefer but let you a little outside of the place to dance if you prefer casual atmosphere.
And to finish, my feelings about the DJ. As usual, if you are too sensitive to read comments about your favorites DJ, just pass the following section.
The selection of DJ was great but in the case of this marathon, the planning was also great. It gave each DJ the right moment to express their music (except maybe for John who got the off-peak hours). The links between the DJ is often not so clear. I know the secret behind the schedule but I will keep it for me.
Przemek Mielcarek (Thursday pre party) – I was not there. I have no idea how was the pre party. 🙂
Francesco Cieschi (Friday evening) – I didn’t know this Italian DJ before and it was a good choice to open the marathon. Catchy music but not too pushy for the beginning. It was a good set to meet people and dance the first tandas of the marathon.
Semeon Kukormin (Friday night) – I didn’t stay for the set (I prefered to sleep in the metro going back gome…). People seemed satisfied with the night. I heard it was a classic Semeon’s night. I still keep in mind he was really good for evening time last time I heard him and would like to hear him more outside of the night moment.
Jakub Ciczkowski (Saturday afternoon) – Jakub’s set was the one who gave me the less the will to dance. The music was good but maybe too quiet for me. It was missing a little spicy / dynamic things. I spent half of the time speaking with friends while just hearing the music. I am used to dance a lot more during the afternoons, so it was surprising for me. In the end, it was a good afternoon mixing dances and chats.
John Yingren Tan (Saturday evening) – John got the worse time schedule of the event as most of the dancers left the event for dinner and rest. No big cinema opening as he is used to do and a calm music to keep the few couples still present. In fact, it was a good moment to dance with various new dancers. Most of the dancers came back late, at this moment John increased the energy of the music and put some surprises during the last tandas of the set. But he had not enough time to finish the crescendo of tangos. It gave a good opening to Mik.
Mik Avramienko (Saturday night) – I stayed only for the first hour of the set of Mik. The music was dynamic and I dance almost all the tandas. I could have stayed more just to hear a little more of the set but I left completely exhausted after the full day of dance. From what I saw, Mik seems to be very attentive to the dancers, standing beside his computer watching the dancers. You could eventually read in his mind “are they all enjoying the music ?”
Karolina Tkaczuk (Sunday afternoon) – Karolina played well during the afternoon and she also played well with the dancers. She has a lot of surprises in her tandas. Various nice song with women singing (Nina Miranda was cut…) and nice Biagi’s one. The energy can change quite a lot from one tanda to another and appeal the tastes of different dancers.
Larisa Geravker (Sunday evening) – I stayed only half of the set but the music was joyful to finish the marathon. Who can not like a DJ who prepare tandas of milongas with 4 songs. I finished with a tanda of milonga. It was perfect to end the marathon. Thanks to the DJ and my partner for this best one.
marathon pass – 65 €
Free water, coffee, tea
A bar to sell alcohol, various polish beers.
Snacks, vegetables fruits during all the week end.
Two brunchs and two warm meal during evening/night. Additional food during the night.
Various recommendations near the venue : http://lasperseidas.pl/language/en/accomodation/
Thank you to Elzbieta Petryka for the pictures. You can find the full album here: https://www.facebook.com/elzbieta.petryka/media_set?set=a.10155392206419988.1073742106.524324987&type=3