Sell it!

That’s what our dance teacher Miss Zweifka repeated during rehearsals for our annual recital on stage.  She wanted us to dance as if there was an audience in the studio.  Sell it to the audience! she said in her deep voice.  Watching the qualifying rounds of the stage tango competition brought back fond memories.   These couples must get the audience’s attention the second they enter the stage.

This performance by a Russian couple was the first I saw as I entered the auditorium this afternoon.  I couldn’t take my eyes off them.  Their performance was absolute perfection.  The stage competition is open, but the top couples are professional caliber.  Yulia’s classical ballet training comes through every movement.  They delivered a spectacular performance that moved me to tears.

Those who can, do — those who can’t and don’t know it, try anyway.  Those who can get your attention as they walk on stage.  Sparks start flying in the first few seconds.  There were amateur couples who tried to deliver to the audience, but it takes more than just a choreography and costumes.

Some had the guts to try anyway.  One couple are the subway tango dancers–Diomedes and Nilda.  They registered for the salon and stage competitions, and they spend their days performing in a subway station with boom box.  They got their three minutes on stage and applause today.

While the competition continued, I left at 7:00 to attend Gabriel Soria’s conference with collectors.  He is responsible for these conferences each year at the festival.  We saw a video with one collector at home with his huge library of records, and then listened to a Canaro recording from 1916.  As one speaker pointed out — If it wasn’t for these collectors, we wouldn’t have tango today.  They safeguard old records and especially sheet music of tangos that were never recorded.  Without their collections, digital recordings would not exist.

There were 120 couples in the stage competition that lasted nine hours yesterday and today.  After two grueling days of performances, those going to the semifinals on Saturday received the news at 8:55pm.  Thirty-seven couples gathered in front of the stage to congratulate one another for making it to the next round.  Thirty couples are Argentine.  The list of semifinalists was posted at 10:00pm on another site, although it was announced that the results would not be published on the tangobuenosaires site until Friday at 2:00pm.

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2 Responses to “Sell it!”

  1. suerteloca Says:

    Those Russians sold it.

  2. jantango Says:

    Yes, they certainly did, but not enough to make it to the semifinals with the couples who train with Mario Morales.

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