Sydney Tango Salon Festival Milongas

As I write this I am wondering if Anonymous from Brisbane? came to this year's Tango Festival. He wrote a very interesting critique of last year's event on this blog and I would love to hear his assessment of this year's. In the meantime here are my impressions of this year's milongas - well 2 of them. I didn't go to the Welcome milonga for reasons I won't go into here. And I find I am unable to do workshops and milongas in the same day - I just can't last the distance. Last night (Saturday) and (Friday) the milongas were held at the South Sydney Juniors Leagues Club in Kingsford. This is a venue that is not used by Sydney milonga organisers because it is huge! but it is perfectly suited to the Festival milongas. A huge parquet floor, a stage and a low ceiling are a good canvas to work with. Soft lighting, not too low, not too bright, some spots to give a bit of vibrancy and lights over the supper table are enough. The layout is long tables at right angles to the floor - not ideal but all that can be done here. So why did my partner and I enjoy this year's milongas so much? Firstly the music. Two of Sydney's best djs, Pedro from Esquina de Tango and Fabio from Tango Entre Amigos provided playlists that had everyone dancing. Last night especially with a bigger crowd, and a few tracks that were outside the Golden Age circle but still perfectly danceable - Racciatto (not to mention the rock'n'roll tanda which I think had everyone hoping that Gabriel and Analia on the floor!), Pedro excelled. Secondly the vibe. This the only time Sydney has the opportunity to dance with and welcome visitors from overseas and interstate in any number. It is a wonderful opportunity to get to know others, to experience dancing with those who don't dance as part of the Sydney scene - in other words to expand one's tango experience. Our table had visitors from Queensland, Victoria and South Australia - we loved the company as much as the dancrs. Thirdly the running order for the night. Teachers danced, with the exception of John and Cheryl Lowry from the Gold Coast, they were all from Sydney. And they danced in two groups, one each night. Not all of Sydney's teachers were there, sadly, and not all danced (their choice I hope). Then on the first night Lorena Ermocida and Pancho Martinez Pey performed. With passion, precision and a beauty that spoke of simplicity, but was incredibly skillful - performances that left us feeling quite emotional. The second performance was Sebastian Missé and Andrea Reyero. Technically this was very good and a totally different style to that of Lorena and Pancho. Their performances were characterised by very clever and acrobatic moves, more like Stage tango than Salon tango but much appreciated by the audience. On the second night we were treated to Sebastian brother Gabriel Missé and his partner Analia Centurion. Perfect footwork, beautiful figures and superb intrepretations.Followed by Roberto Herrera and Lorena Ermocida (both I think on their third visits to Sydney, though this is the first together). They danced with a sense of humour, a technical brilliance and an obvious joy in dancing together that brought the house down. And that was it! The night was MC'd by Jairo Sanchez Rivera, from Tangueros, an excellent MC who is speaks perfect English and Spanish - and it ran like clockwork. I am really looking forward to tonight's milonga which is being held in Remembrance of Andrea Missé, whose death in a car accident earlier this year rocked the tango world, and it promises to be another night of tango pleasure. Apologies: no photos! iphones in my hands don't produce good pics - as soon as the official videos go on Youtube I will let you know!

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