When a tango challenge is not a challenge
Last year many couples entered, there were heats, a final and a winning couple. Sadly I missed it was I was away, but I watched the videos and was told about it by the organiser.
This year, just five couples entered, not all from Sydney - and all of a very high standard. But sadly that was not enough to make it a viable competition and so whilst we were all treated to a performance by these couples over the Easter weekend, there was no grand prize.
This challenge was intended, I believe, to be very much something for community, to inspire those interested to work on their tango with a great prize at the end. It required the cooperation of the tango schools but, with notable exceptions, this was not forthcoming.
Having been involved in the tango championship in its first 3 years in Australia, which drew huge crowds and fabulous publicity, I am wondering if such a competition will only work if it is part of The Championship and is used as a publicity vehicle to promote tango to the broader community and thus bring students to the schools. There is unlikely to be another tango challenge after this... and given the cost of putting the Championship on in Australia, there is unlikely to be another Championship in the foreseeable future. For those who feel tango is not about competition this is undoubtedly a good thing.