By Mudassir Raja
It is inseparable from its social reality, as tango was created in the first half of the Nineteenth century in Argentina and Uruguay. At the beginning it was an expression of popular culture, while it shortly became a real artistic expression, later turning into national music. The dance derives from the Cuban habanera, the Argentine milonga and candombe, and is said to contain elements from the African community in Buenos Aires, influenced both by ancient African rhythms and the music from Europe. By 1912, the first European tango craze took place in Paris, soon followed by London, Berlin and other parts of the world.
Tango Club Qatar (TCQ) is bringing its sixth Tango Festival Doha for those who enjoy the dance form. As usual, the three-day-long festival, from November 1 to 3, will feature different activities, including workshops providing basic training in the musical art, milonga, an Argentinian ballroom dance, the forerunner of the tango, and a grand performance on the finale night.
The international festival is being organised by TCQ, in association with Intercontinental Doha, The City. Three well-known tango couples, two from Turkey and one from Argentina, will be performing on the occasion.
“The event will be a dream party for tango lovers in Doha. The organisers are looking forward to having people who are interested in learning the basics of the music and dance and enjoying the fascinating performances of the classy artistes,” said Anil Kumar, who is a founding member of TCQ, a vibrant community group focused on tango. He added that the Embassy of Argentina in Qatar has always provided them the necessary support to arrange the tango events.
Kumar said that he founded TCQ to provide a platform for all the tango admirers to get together and enjoy the music and dance form. “We do not have many members. There are about 20 active members. However, there is diversity as the members belong to different counties, from South America, US to Europe and Asia. We meet at least once a week, every Saturday, to have tango parties where we dance in pairs to traditional South American music,” he said
Anil said, “TDQ not only provides a platform for the enthusiasts to practice tango, but they also socialise. We also organise different workshops on tango. We have been inviting tango teachers and choreographers mainly from Argentina, Italy, and France.”
He added the festival was going to be fun for tango lovers. “People, who love and follow tango music, will have a great opportunity in Doha to learn basics of the art form from some of the best artistes and performers. Besides, the workshops and the ball dance by the three couples, there will be a grand dinner for the participants.
Sharing details of the visiting couples, Kumar said, “The first couple, Malvina Gili and Sebastian Zanchez, is from Argentina. They have been dancing together for over 10 years. Malvina and Sebastian featured at the best stage tango productions in Buenos Aires. They also performed together with the most famous tango stars from Argentina, including Alberto Podesta, Nelly Omar, Abel Córdoba, Hugo Marcel and Guillermo Fernandez.
They started dancing with the most renowned tango orchestras from Argentina such as Sexteto Mayor and The Orchestra Ciudad de Buenos Aires supervised by Raùl Garello. They participated as the judges in the Tango Festival of Medellin, Colombia 2010 and at the World Tango Championship 2013. Sebastian and Malvina are members of the ‘Tempotango’ Company.”
He further said, “Esref Tekinalp and Vanessa Gauch, the second couple, is honoured as one of the pre-eminent choreographers in Turkey. After becoming partners in tango, in a very short period of time they have become a source of inspiration for many people. They flaunt the traditional tango elegance along with the innovative musical understanding of the new era.
He added, “Utku Kuley and ?ris Basak Dogdu, the third couple, is a tango choreographer in their own Academia Del Tango Istanbul. They worked with Sebastian Arce and Mariana Montes, Mario Chicho Frumboli and Juana Sepulveda, Gustavo Naviera Ruben and Sabrina Veliz. Since 2012 with Iris Ba?ak Do?du, Utku has been teaching tango and performing at milongas and festivals around the world. For the first time they are joining us in Doha. Doha tango community is excited to welcome them and waiting to see their magical live performance.”
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