UK Tango Festival Day Two

Story | Review | Rita Horne | 7 Jun 2014 | 0 comments

Day 2 of the competition kicked off promptly at 2130hrs, Saturday 08 June 2014.


It was an evening full of controversy, intrigue and of course, the very beautiful Argentine Tango.


As the crowds congregated in the stately and expansive festival hall in Hammersmith (London) our 8 Semi-finalist SALON TANGO contestants prepared for the next dance-off behind the curtains backstage.


Once again, Elizabeth Knock (Master of Ceremonies) graciously opened the evening and without further ado invited the remaining contestants to the floor. As per the heats round, 3 tangos were announced by the Festival DJ, Marcela Rojas, and danced in turn.


Much to everyone’s surprise, all semi-finalist couples took to the floor except one couple. Shortly after, the following official announcement was made:
“With regret the couple from Russia, Isabella Fusi & Valentin Reshetnikov, have not been able to carry on with the competition as we have discovered that the UK festival branch does not cover the region they are from in Russia. We wish them luck and hope they can compete under another branch”
While the festival milonga (social dance) whirled into action, the judging panel swiftly deliberated.


To a stunned and silenced audience the judges’ fateful decision was read out.


In no particular order, the couples going through to compete in the finals of the UK TangoBA Dance World Cup Preliminaries are:


✪ Couple No 8. Alex Barberi & Manuela Marce (England)
✪ Couple No 9. Sophia Rodriguez & Jesus Rodriguez (Switzerland)
✪ Couple No 10. Kas Mizuno & Merle Morgan (England)
✪ Couple No 13. Jagoda Slawinska & Andre Maurice Gambra Vargas (Spain)


Congratulations to all the semi-finalists and the very best of luck to those going forward to compete in the finals!


Guests, Judges, Officials, and the London Tango Community alike were completely captivated by the OUTSTANDING performance by Fernando Carrasco & Jimena Hoeffner (2 of the 4 judges) who, during the evening, demonstrated 2 tangos, 1 vals and 1 extraordinary milonga. It was a delight to watch and an inspiration to the milonga that followed.


Marcela Rojas, the celebrated festival DJ from Radio2x4 (Buenos Aires), oversaw the milonga in grand style and amidst the whirl of dancing we took a moment to reflect with some of our contestants who did NOT make it through.


Andy Ong (Partner: Jennifer Tracey)
“I am disappointed about not making it through to the finals with Jennifer. However, I felt we danced to the level we hoped for and am happy with our performance together. I thought our musicality and core skills in each of the judging criteria were all as good as we could have expected. One of the judges was very encouraging as he came to find us afterwards to tell us that he personally gave us the highest score of the entire evening. This meant a lot to me and makes me feel like we’re still winners in some of the judges eyes.”


Hernan Ohaco (Partner: Kaisa Saarinen)
“This is our first festival of this kind in London and we are very happy to find out that the competition atmosphere is so friendly between the participants. We cheer each other up when we lose out and congratulate each other with TRUE smiles when we pass through to the next stage.


There is a very special feeling inside when you are competing. It is something stronger than a teaching performance or tango show. It takes a lot of guts to put your skills under the critical eye of your fellow tangueros, who vary in perspective and experience but serve as rightful judges for the occasion. From the start we all knew that there were no losers participating in the competition.


We came to London to gain experience in preparation for some other competitions coming up next year. We found here a super warm embrace from the London Tango Community, who came to congratulate us, express their disappointment and surprise by the judges’ decision and to ask if we are coming back to London to teach. It is an amazing feeling to, on the one hand be out of the competition and on the other, to be so warmly received.


It meant a great deal to us that two of the judges came to tell us that we are on the right road, that what we have is very special and that sometimes things happen in the very best of families.


We are leaving this competition having learned so much. We are sad to be out, but from our hearts, we accept and trust the results as they are and congratulate all the couples going through to the finals. We want to extend enormous thanks to the London Tango Community for being such beautiful hosts”
All competition participants may speak with the judges following the competition, to hear reasoning on the panel’s final decision, to be encouraged by knowing what they did well and to understand how they can improve their dancing in the future.


We can now only wait, with bated breath, for the last chapter in the story of the London Tango World Cup Preliminaries to unfold tonight.


The festivities will begin at 1900hrs in Cecil Sharp House, Camden Town. See you there!


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Published: 7 Jun 2014 @ 23:24


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