New Zealand Festival debrief
I never got round to writing up the next 4 days of the Festival. When one does not usually dance 3 to 6 hours a day, and go to a Milonga at night, fatigue takes over - and socialising is always more important than writing in this situation.
So... here are my thoughts for what they are worth - and I would love others to write what they thought!
There was so much to choose from - and you don't really know how dancers teach until you do a workshop... so we signed in for 3 workshops with Geraldin Rojas and Ezequiel Paludi, but only did one. For a number of reasons...mostly that they talked more than they let us practise - and they didn't go round and dance with participants and there was so much else to choose from. Of the other workshops Joaquin Amenabar stood out for me... I just loved his approach and his teaching. He involved us all in learning and understanding rhythm and the history of tango music. If there was a curriculum for tango dance teachers this type of course would be a must. How many teachers take their pupils through tango rhythms? The other teachers who came a close a second - once again partly because dancing to the music was an essential part of the class - but also because they are excellent teachers was Fabio and Ana's milonga workshop.(Fabio Robles and Ana Andre from Robles Dance Academy in Melbourne)
The performances were mixed. The first night Geraldin wore a dress that was barely there and distracting - the routine was dynamic but not awesome. The second night she wore a simple black dress and stunning silver shoes. The performances were more entertaining (without the distracting dress) and they danced a superb, elegant waltz as their final number - it was awesome.
Of the other dancers Fabrizio Forte and Celi Arias stood out for originality - on the second night they did a stunning performance to Ravel's Bolero that brought the house down. Tamara Bisceglia and David Palo danced 'raw tango' - it was passionate and electrifying. Sophia and Pedro (from Sydney's Patio de Tango) and Ana and Fabio have very different styles - one salon the other stage, but both performances were entertaining.
Last year we published interviews with participants at this Festival - and they all agreed they would go again. We would too! Because the venue is great (see post New Zealand Tango Festival Day 1), the Wellingtonians are some of the friendliest people I have ever met, the milongas are excellent, everything is well-organised and it is good value.
The photo is of Joaquin's performance at the Tango Ball.