The UK Tango Festival was well and truly underway!
With everyone gathered in anticipation in the main hall, Elizabeth Knock (Master of Ceremonies) invited all SALON TANGO contestants to step on to the dance floor for the first round of the Tango BA Championship Preliminaries. Greeted by loud cheering, each competing couple was asked to dance 3 tango’s chosen by the judges and announced by Victor Ariel Yuryevic (DJ). The couples did not know the songs until they were announced, thus ensuring that each couple’s performance was truly unscripted.
Dancing to the sounds of D’Arienzo, Canaro, Troilo and others, the contestants, in groups of 4 or 5, showed their very best Salon-style Argentine Tango to the seated judging panel and Tango BA officials in attendance.
Each competing couple aimed to demonstrate their expertise in negotiating the Ronda (line of dance moving anti-clockwise), a closed embrace that does not break at all and the traditional salon style tango without ganchos or extravagant figures. The judges undertook to:
“give special relevance to the couple’s musicality and connection, technique, musical interpretation and elegant walking style”
The three STAGE TANGO category couples then performed, each in turn and to their chosen song, a choreographed demonstration of their “personal view on the tango dance” impressing the audience with artistic movement, figures and lifts incorporated into the traditional salon style tango.
While the milonga sprung into action, the judges deliberated. Shortly after, during a pause in the programme, all contestants took to the floor once again to hear the judges’ verdict. The SALON TANGO couples going through to the second round are:
✪ Couple No 7. Andy Ong & Jennifer Tracey (England)
✪ Couple No 10. Kas Mizuno & Merle Morgan (England)
✪ Couple No 2. Mark Phoenix & Nozomi Akanuma (England)
✪ Couple No 5. Isabella Fusi & Valentin Reshetnikov (Russia)
✪ Couple No 13. Jagoda Slawinska & Andre Maurice Gambra Vargas (Spain)
✪ Couple No 9. Sophia Rodriguez & Jesus Rodriguez (Switzerland)
✪ Couple No 12. Kaisa Saarinen & Hernan Ohaco (Finland)
✪ Couple No 8. Alex Barberi & Manuela Marce (England)
STAGE TANGO finalists category will not be announced until Sunday 08 June, the final of the UK Tango Festival Championships.
Congratulations to EVERYONE taking part!
Following the competition the milonga (social dance) began in a frenzy, with competitors, judges, dj’s and the audience all jumping onto the dance floor for hours of wonderful tango.
The renowned Fabian Salas and Lola Diaz (2 of the 4 judges) performed to 3 songs, wowing the crowd with a delightful and playful performance amidst cheers from for more.
What a night!
As one of the contestants noted
“I have never seen so many contestants hugging and wishing each other good luck”
“It was great to dance with everyone in the milonga afterwards and get to know people in London. There is a real sense of celebration in the air”
In just a few hours, the second day of the Festival and Round 2 of the championships will commence in Hammersmith. If you haven’t got a ticket, come along! Tickets are still available at the door.