Meet Luciano Brizzi
We caught up with Luciano (TOTR) recently to get the low down on preparations for the festival. We asked them some pretty straight up questions!
SO! WITH PREPARATIONS FOR THE FESTIVAL IN FULL SWING, YOU GUYS MUST BE HECTIC!
We are in the middle of everything! The judges – travel tickets, accommodation in London… Coming from the States – Fabian Salas and Lola Diaz and Fernando Carrasco and Jimena Hoeffner. We are arranging workshops, prior to the festival, to help all the people who are competing prepare for the competition. Then there is the lighting system which is a whole project on its own. We are also talking with potential sponsors, since the festival cannot be sustained only through ticket sales. We are also arranging accommodation for some dancers coming from Europe and attending to lots of enquiries from our community. So yes, everything is full steam ahead!
THE VENUES LOOK GOOD. SOME WE KNOW AND LOVE – CONWAY HALL (CARABLANCA), CECIL SHARP HOUSE (TANGO ETNIA)..
Yes, we are really happy to get together with the London community and host the festival in some of the places we know and love. The main organisers are from Tango Light, but we are working with many people in the community. This is a team effort! The only way the festival will succeed is if everyone participates. This is just the beginning, but really this festival belongs to everyone in our community in London. We would love to have the support of all our professionals in London and see us come together for this one special occasion. Otherwise, we anticipate that it will fail in the long term. Above: Conway Hall, Holborn, London
THE JUDGES ARE CONFIRMED AND WE HAVE ONE DJ. QUITE EXCITING!
We need to complete the DJ’s line up for Friday and Sunday. Marcela Rojas is confirmed for the Saturday and we are yet to announce who will be the Master of Ceremonies.
WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS FESTIVAL?
We want to promote tango and take it to the streets of London. This is part of the TOTR’s objective. TOTR stands for Tango On The Road. An amazing city like London needs an international festival and through the championship, we not only get closer to Buenos Aires but its one more way to inspire people to dance, taking regular classes and generally improving.
DO YOU THINK THE COMPETITION IS TRUE TO OUR TANGO CULTURE?
We don’t want to force the culture of the competition or nurture a movement of competitivity on the London scene with the idea of us all trying to beat each other. On the contrary, we want to encourage people to refine their dancing and to support each other. For those watching, this is a chance to be inspired! For those competing this is a great opportunity to experience what it is like to dance amongst the best in Europe! We want to try and raise the standard of tango in London. The most important thing about the championships is the preparation of the couples, NOT the competition. We want people to see what they could achieve and to participate in the whole learning programme. The end reward for the winner is simply to dance with the best in the world in Buenos Aires.
WHY DID YOU SET THE DATE 6-8 JUNE? ..BECAUSE..IT CLASHES WITH OTHER FESTIVALS..
Its unfortunate! The problem is, these dates are given to us by BA festivals, to fit in with their world programme. There is a festival in Moscow in March, Italy and France in May. We have been given June, and then there is another in Italy in July. The Dance World Cup in Buenos Aires is in August. The World Cup Officials will come to London to oversee the championship and they need to travel to all the championships worldwide. They are a small team so they cannot be at more than one festival at a time.
From Left: Luciano & Pablo in Red Square, Moscow, Russia
LAST WEEK YOU GUYS FLEW OVER TO SEE THE FESTIVAL IN MOSCOW. I HEARD IT WAS A BIT OF AN EARLY START
Yeah we had to wake up at 4am…argh… and we got to Moscow at about 4pm in the afternoon. It was surprisingly mild weather for Moscow!
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE FESTIVAL IN MOSCOW?
Our first impression was OMG we are not doing anything like this! For Moscow, the championship was 90% of the focus of the festival. They run it theatre-style – see videos below – and ticket holders can only watch the couples dancing. During the day, some of the officials held a few non-official competitions for social dancers. They have more than 60 couples competing just for the Salon Category! Their tickets, to watch only, were quite a bit more expensive too..
SO HOW ARE WE GOING TO DO THE FESTIVAL HERE?
In our London programme the championship is going to be a beautiful feature but we want to focus on the social dancing and the workshops. That’s why we have some of the top maestros coming to join us who will be judges but who will also perform each night and hold a large selection of workshops. We want our festival to be about the milonga and dancing. The people who come to the milonga will also see the championship. In Moscow the milonga and the championships were in different venues and you had to buy a ticket for both events.
DID YOU GET TO DO SOME DANCING?
Yes! It was very nice. We had a chance to dance with some of the people who were competing that day. They have a very nice level in Russia. But I don’t think we should be afraid of that. Again, the chances to win in London are very good for all couples competing. But don’t get me wrong, the idea is to participate and yes, someone will also win and go to BA.
Moscow Championships. From left: Pablo Rodriguez, Ines Bogado, Sebastian Jimenez, Luciano Brizzi
MEET ANYONE INTERESTING?
Well we met Juan Martin Carrara and Stephania Colina, who are well known on the London scene. We also saw Sebastian Jimenez and Ines Bogado (Salon Champions 2010) who are good friends and came to visit us in London in 2010. I am really happy to tell everyone that they are coming back to London in May – so we will organize some workshops for all the competitors in preparation for the championships.
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED THEN?
Yes. 100%. It was really useful to go there and see how they do it. They are a long standing festival and very successful. We got many tips. They explained how difficult it was in the first year for them. A competiton of this size is daunting and many people are skeptical. But slowly, we hope that people will recognise how positive a festival of this size will be for our city and our community.