- Title: ARGENTINA: Sultry strains of tango fill Buenos Aires as annual competition nears
- Date: 12th August 2011
- Summary: VARIOUS OF THE 2010 TANGO CHAMPIONS, MARIA INES BOGADO AND SEBASTIAN JIMENEZ, DANCING
- Embargoed: 27th August 2011 13:00
- Location: Argentina, Argentina
- Country: Argentina
- Topics: Arts,Quirky,Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVA9Z2FO32BIVKZEESMGK45YT32J
- Story Text: Argentines prepared to strap on their dancing shoes on Wednesday (August 10) as Buenos Aires began building up to the highly anticipated annual Tango Festival and World Tango Championships.
Last year's winners of the Salon Tango championship, the young Argentine couple of Sebastian Ariel Jimenez and Maria Ines Bogado, performed at Wednesday's event, delighting the audience with the disciplined sultriness that netted them 2010's top honour.
Tango traces its roots to the brothels of the poor districts of Buenos Aires in the 1880s. It's international popularity has exploded and each year, thousands of tourists flock to the Argentine capital to join in the annual Tango Festival and watch the heated battles between the world's top dancers.
Buenos Aires' Culture Minister, Hernan Lombardi, said the event is a source of pride for Argentines.
"The Festival and World Tango Championships are a tradition in Buenos Aires, and we are so proud that each year it grows more. Last year, more than 500,000 Argentines and 300,000 tourists attended - incredible numbers. This is the most important tango event in the world and now that tango has World Heritage status, declared by UNESCO, we have an even greater responsibility," he said.
Hundreds of couples from all over the world compete in two different categories - the Salon competition and the Stage competition. Over a two week period, judges weed out their top picks and the even culminates with crowing champions on two different nights. Last year, Jimenez and Bogado - both then-18-years-old - took the Salon category. The Japanese-Argentine couple of Chizuko Kuwamoto and Diego Ortega took victory in the more flamboyant Stage competition.
The competition's artistic director, Gustavo Mozzi, said he could see a marked rise in the talent.
"There are two categories that bring together dancers from all over the world, who are demonstrating from year to year the presence that tango has internationally. The level of the couples performing is higher each year," he said.
This year's Tango Festival will kick off on August 16, while the World Tango Championship begins on August 22. Winners will be crowned on August 29 for Salon Tango and August 30 for State Tango.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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