We’ve rolled back around to that time of year when Buenos Aires dedicates a whole month to its national dance Tango! Even though tango began among the members of the working class here in Argentina, its popularity has grown to the point where people from all over the world will be flying in to join the tango celebration.
Each year Buenos Aires plays host to the Tango Festival y Mundial de Baile. Tango Buenos Aires, the festival portion, will take place from the 14-28 of August and will feature numerous activities and events, such as concerts, dance shows, milongas, dance classes, and documentary films. All of the Tango Buenos Aires events are free to everyone to attend until full capacity has been reached.
The other portion, Mundial de Baile, is an international tango dance competition that draws both dancers and spectators alike from all over the world. The competition is open to anyone, amateurs and professionals alike, and will be held at different milongas in different barrios all over the city. This year some of the couples are coming from as far as the US, Japan, Greece, and Italy, and others from as near as the Capital Federal itself here in Argentina. It will take place from the 20-28 of August, at the tail end of the Tango Buenos Aires Festival, and will feature two categories: tango salón and tango escenario. What do these two categories mean (for those of us born with two left feet)?
Tango salón is representative of how tango is danced in a social setting, usually a salon (thus the name). For this category, the dancers are not permitted to break their embrace when they’re dancing and they can’t raise their legs any higher than the knee. They also must continuously dance counter-clockwise without spending too much time in any one spot on the floor and they can’t use any of the moves that are part of tango escenario, such as jumps. The style of walk and the musicality of the performance are very important to the scoring.
Tango escenario, as the name implies, is meant to be danced on a stage, in front of an audience. With that in mind, it tends to be more dramatic and “flashier.” There are fewer rules for this category, although that certainly doesn’t make it any easier. The dancers can use movements that aren’t directly related to traditional tango and they’re even allowed to break the embrace, so long as these breaks with tradition aren’t too excessive. Dancers should also use the whole stage during their performance.
So now that you have an idea what tango and this event are all about, tune in and see who will be this year’s tango champions!