Why competitions in Argentine Tango make no sense

Igor Polk, November 28 , 2006

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"I won a dancing competition!" What does it mean in Ballroom and Tango? In Ballroom it means success. You are the best, and your students can be assured that you have a potential to bring them up to the top: you know the way. That is the essence of Ballroom dancing existence. What else? All top people have won some awards.

Tango is a serious business. It has shows. It means that the best professional dancers are not able generally speaking to find time to participate in competitions. It means the result of any competition is falsy by definition: how can one be a best if the best did not participate?

Why Tango is a topic of theatrical shows, performances worldwide, but no one really have heard about Ballroom shows outside of a ballroom? Because Tango is not just a dance. It is a cultural phenomena and staged performances are stories, refelections of it: reach history of tango connected to history of Argentina, tango music in complexity and beauty the same like classical music, layers by layers of incredible tango lyrics, lives of great musicians, dancers and poets. It makes a great wealth a hundreds shows can not seize: tango was the way of live for the whole society layers. Have anyone heard about ballroom music? It is sold in "Easy listening" departments. History? Of what?

Tango is not just a dance. It is a spiritual activity. Dancers meditate during their dance and that is what makes Tango Tango. That is the root everything else is serving to: music, poetry, aura of places. Have anyone figured out how to find the World Champion in meditation and healing?

There is one more thing. I was thinking about it, and can not find a solution. In Tango we change partners every tanda. It is the essence of being a good tango dancer to be able instantly grasp the character of your partner and make the best dance. How this quality can be revealed during competitions?

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The most important and respected tango competition is Tango World Championship in Buenos Aires.

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