The World Tango Festival and Championship is held annually in the Argentine capital from the 14th -27th August.
Couples swirl and sweep across the stage while a panel of judges scrutinizes every detail to determine this year’s winning pair.
Nerve and excitement levels were palpable as 41 tango pairs from around the world vied for the coveted trophy. This is a very big deal indeed in the world of Tango.
Held at the Luna Park stadium in Buenos Aires, the first day of finals had couples representing countries as far afield as Japan, Russia, Colombia and the European champions, from Romania.
The winning couple in the Salon Tango category, Clarisa Aragon and Jonathan Saavedra, are from the central Argentine province of Cordoba. Aragon. They said the level of the dancers this year was impressive.
“It’s like right now, just you don’t expect this, among all of the pairs any of them could have come out champions and this is the unknown factor that you never know who will win,” said Aragón.
“She has given me so many things in this (tango) and from the beginning I somehow always wanted that things would turn out in this way. The strongest influence I have had in my dancing life is her, that is it,” said her partner, Johnathon Saavedra.
One might think the Latin American nations held sway in this discipline and although originators Argentina have won many times, there is stiff competition from all over the world. Russia, as always when dance is involved, is very strong.
Fursov and Simonova made it to the final four. There is a passionate
tango following in Finland, too, but from colder climes to Italy, where
the title hopes were carried by Facchini and Abballe.
Winning this prize catapults a pair into dance superstardom, but the competition also awards a host of solo prizes and there are numerous seperate dance and style categories.
“You dream about it. You sleep it, you eat it, you live it but you never imagine this moment. You never imagine winning. If you dream it and work for it and you break your soul for it but you can’t explain it because I don’t know if I should cry, laugh. It was a very strange sensation in my body, very strange, but to know that I did it with the love of my life at my side, like that? What more can I ask for?”
says champion Ezequiel Jesus Lopez.
“Tango and dance are really my whole life. Since I was five years-old I have danced and there is not a day that goes by without dancing and when I was little not a day went by without dancing. So, dance is part of my life. My life is this,” says champion Camila Alegre.
2015’s winners are locals, to the delight of the crowd, which now includes thousands of tourists who come every year. The top prize, nearly 5000 dollars means a lot less than the public adulation.