When I went to my first free class during Bay Area Dance Week 2011, the Argentine Tango instructor let us know that there’s the first ever argentine tango championship happening at Millbrae, CA. Now, I’ve been thoroughly fascinated with Argentine Tango for a while now, so on Sunday, April 24, I decided to check it out (even though I was running a slight fever at that time).
And boy, they were all gorgeous. I didn’t stay until 1 am as the program suggested (to see how the maestros do Argentine Tango), but I did see the grand finale of Salon Tango and Stage Tango category. My favorite couple, Gustavo Hornos and Jessica Salomón of San Francisco (pictured here) won 3rd place and 2nd place, respectively.
I’m kind of bumped that they didn’t win and that the Stage Tango category wasn’t an official category since there were no sufficient competitors signing up for it, but I was impressed by the talents, passion, and techniques shown during the competition that I’m looking forward to next year’s competition very much.
For now, I’d like to share the picture highlights of the competition’s final night (Photography by Christian Hadidjaja), and congratulations once again to all of the winners.
1st Argentine Tango Festival & USA Championship 2011May 15, 2012Photos: 33
Last year, I missed this event entirely…….this year is my chance to join Bay Area National Dance Week from April 22 to May 1!
If you love to dance, no matter what your skill level is, you HAVE to take advantage of this free event. 10 days of 400+ FREE dance events all over Bay Area….what’s not to love?
Go browse the events and sign up, I mean it.
As a matter of fact, I’m doing it right now,
P.S.: One of Indonesia’s most respected dancer, Didi Nini Thowok is giving a lecture (and performance?) titled “Gender Mystic” at Asian Art Museum from April 21 – 24. The best time to catch him is April 23 at 1 pm at the museum. If you have a chance, great timing, and sudden impulse, I highly recommend that you see him. He is a terrific dancer that dares to cross boundaries and stay true to his crafts. I think he is on a class of his own in Indonesia, and he is UNBELIEVABLE. So amazing. So go check him out if you have a chance!
This just proves how awesome the Oakland dancers are so awesome. And hip-hop can be just so damn cool without all that “pop infusion”.
Keep dancing in the rain,
Argentine Tango had been a form of dance that’s elusive to me until now. I’ve done ballroom and latin dances, but I didn’t quite get Argentine Tango. The dancers do it in somehow kind-of off-beat quality, relaxed but intense, the men guiding the women’s moves while the ladies react to the men’s “suggestions”, the push-and-pull, the somewhat free-form of it all mesmerizes me.
So now I’m learning it, and boy, do I love it. Seriously super cool and passionate when needed, this dance is really something else. The technique is plenty, but the timing and rules are more relaxed than other ballroom/latin dances, so that each couple can easily add their own flavors.
Two of my favorite choreographed Argentine Tango dances so far are below. See it to believe it. I absolutely LOVE it.
The one from Janette and Branden of So You Think You Can Dance (Season 5) was complicated (well, the music is Libertango after all), and sexy. Hot! in a totally classy way. This video is also special since it has (American) English and Spanish speakers, while the subtitle is in Arabic. Talking about global!
The next one is from Gilles and Cheryl of Dancing with the Stars (Season 8). It looks simpler, but the passion is MUCH MORE intensified than the previous video. Sucked me right in. And the music? “The Assassins’ Tango” from Mr. & Mrs. Smith? Oh. Come. On. Passion to the max!
To quote head judge Len Goodman after Gilles & Cheryl’s argentine tango performance on…”it’s a mix…hard, soft, big, small, fast, slow; it’s got drama, it’s quite, it’s got passion…” Amen, sir! Love, LOVE this dance!
Do you Argentine Tango?
I always admire dancers. Classically trained dancers, street dancers…. people who are alive because they are dancing, even the word “love” seems too weak to describe the extent of their passion. People who choose dance as a profession, knowing how difficult and relentless their journey as dancers are.
Last night, I was looking for SYTYCD clips from YouTube when I stumbled upon Etoiles: Dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet ,Class, Rehearsals and Snapshots. It has 9 parts and I haven’t finished watching them all; however, it gives an intimate look of the Paris Opera Ballet dancers. Very inspiring stories, beautiful people, gorgeous black and white photographs, and stunning snippets of dance performances…. I have to finish them all.
And after watching something so beautiful, I can’t help thinking about my ballet teacher Maureen Janson. Sure I’ve never been a good ballet dancer and my pirouette is horrid, but I always admire her long lines, strength, and effortlessness when doing something as simple as a curtsy.
I hope the moment will come when I put on my dance shoes again,