Ten years of tango championships

It began as the Campeonato Metropolitano de tango de salon con estilo y elegancia with the first qualifying rounds held in Lo de Celia Tango Club on January 4, 2002.  I reported on Tango-L about the purpose of the competition and criteria for judging.  It’s interesting to note that all 20 couples who signed up for the competition on the first night danced at the same time, unlike today with rounds of ten couples on larger floors.  It was a milonga environment.  Professionals were not allowed to enter the competition.  Age divisions were not part of the competition until 2008 (senior and adult).  Milongueros viejos and young couples competed together.  First prize in 2002 was 600 pesos awarded to three couples in three zones; this year’s prize was 20,000 pesos.   I reported on the Centro-Sur finals that were held outdoors at the Centro Cultural del Sur.  I wrote a brief history of the first four years here.  Very few milongueros viejos competed after the first year as a result of biased judging.

This is my video of the Centro-Sur zone finals of the Campeonato Metropolitano de Tango de Salon con Estilo and Elegancia.  I didn’t attend the Oeste zone finals on February 22, 2002, and no longer have the master recording of the Norte zone finals on March 1, 2002, when Amanda Lucero, Juan Topalian, Muma Valino, and Ricardo Vidort competed.  The competition was part of the IV Festival Buenos Aires Tango, which took place during a crisis in Argentina, and included 200+ free tango classes around the city.  The city cancelled the first campeonato mundial scheduled for July 2002.

The competition results were published in the March and April 2002 issues of B.A. Tango — Buenos Aires Tango. Bold text indicates teachers.

Zona Centro-Sur judges: Carlos Rivarola, Gloria Barraud, Eduardo Arquimbau, Gloria and Rodolfo Dinzel.

  1. Graciela Lopez – Blas Clemente Catrenau
  2. Gabriela Sanguinetti – Enrique Usales Urtubey
  3. Cintia Yassogna – Mariano Rodriguez
  4. Lorena Leiva – Nicolas Chavero
  5. Erika Lopez – Fabrizio Forti
  6. Maria Eugenia Cuyas – Nestor La Vitola
  7. Graciela Legan – Luis Luduena
  8. Angela Ciccone – Fernando Monetti
  9. Emilse Sanchez – Norberto Moreno

Zona Oeste judges: Aurora Lubiz, Jorge Firpo, Carlos and Maria Rivarola, Celia Blanco.

  1. Vanina Muchenik – Gabriel Aspe
  2. Maria Plazaola – David Derman
  3. Karina Moriyon – Marcos Gerardo Quiroz
  4. Dalila Yentel – Marcelo Guitierrez
  5. Julia de Leo – Jose Lepanto
  6. Ana M. Gonzalez – Pablo Maccarone
  7. Carla Verga – Ollantay Rojas
  8. Norma Garcia – Alberto Sancia
  9. Monica Paz – Osvaldo Spinelli

Zona Norte judges: Juan Carlos Copes, Milena Plebs, Juan Fernandez, Elsa Maria Borquez and Hector Mayoral.

  1. Silvia Mussi – Alfredo Alonso
  2. Cecilia Raffo – Gustavo Rasso
  3. Iliana Mohaupt – Rodrigo Ruiz
  4. Viviana Represas – Carlos Cordoba
  5. Gimena Aramburu – Juan Fosati
  6. Stella Maris Hassan – Jose Maria Gomez
  7. Susana Beruedo – Roberto Otero
  8. Karina Reches – Pablo Villegas
  9. Nilda de Virtuani – Luis Virtuani
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6 Responses to “Ten years of tango championships”

  1. delmartango Says:

    This is so interesting! Thank you for documenting tango history and making it available to everyone.

  2. jantango Says:

    It’s been exactly twelve years today since I began filming the milongueros.

    The initial purpose of competition was to contribute “presence, energy and good humor…with the pleasure of dance.” Last night I spoke with a milonguero who participated the first year. He recalled the large number of older couples from the milongas who registered. It united the city at a time of crisis. When the best milongueros did not place, it was obvious to all that the judging was biased.

    Today, winning a tango championship guarantees work touring the world to teach and perform. It’s no secret that the association selects the winners.

  3. Chris Says:

    Thanks for that, Janis

    When the best milongueros did not place…

    It would be interesting to see a list of entrants.

  4. delmartango Says:

    Jan, I agree with you that the competition his highly political and an excellent source of revenue from tourism. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the commercialization of tango and what the future may hold.

  5. jantango Says:

    Tango like Lindy hop, jitterbug, West Coast Swing, etc. began as street dances that kids made up as they went along. There were no rules or classes. They were improvised. No one had training…they just danced. Youth made these dances popular.

    Then popularity spread and suddenly these street dances require years of training in technique to acquire choreography like professionals. Dance training is big business. Social dancing is falling by the wayside.

    I don’t know the future. I only know what is now. The older generation (over 70) in BsAs is keeping tango alive as a social dance. The younger generation views tango as a career.

  6. pablo Says:

    estube en la final y quede segundo te saludo y me acuerdo de aber bailado en la milonga con vos estoy viviendo en japon un
    abraso milongero desde aqui

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