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Friday, Jan. 4, 2008
Top tango couples dance into a city near you
By MARIKO KATO
The world's top tango dancers will put on a spectacular show throughout Japan in Tango Dance Premium from Jan. 20-Mar. 31. With no fewer than 55 performances at 45 venues, the five winning couples of the annual Tango Dance World Championship will indulge audiences across the country with a rare opportunity to experience first-class tango dancing live.
Held every year in Buenos Aires since 2003, the Tango Dance World Championship pays homage to the colorful, alluring dance form in its birthplace, the most recent taking place in August 2007 and hosted by the Buenos Aires Ministry of Culture. Growing more international every year, the championships now welcome several hundred couples from four continents — including Japanese pairs, who are consistently the largest contingent from a non-Latin American country.
The performers on this tour are all winners of the "stage tango" category, who triumphed over around 150 other couples during 10 vigorous rounds. In contrast to the more traditional Salon Tango, stage tango is a form of "fantasy tango," in which popular skills are stylized for artistic display and evaluated on choreographic composition, synchronicity, costumes and makeup.
The young couples include: Argentines Gaspar Godoy and Gisela Galeassi, who caused a sensation when they won the first championships aged only 18 and 20 respectively; and the Colombian pair Carlos Alberto Paredes and Diana Giraldo Rivera, who in 2006 became the first non-Argentine champions.
Tango Dance Premium tours Japan between Jan. 20 and Mar. 31. Venues include Kyushu Kosei Nenkin Kaikan, North Kyushu (Jan. 29); Kobe International House (Feb. 5), Nakano Sun Plaza Hall, Tokyo (Feb. 22-23); Hokkaido Kosei Nenkin Kaikan, Sapporo (Feb. 26); Wakayama Prefectural Cultural Hall, Wakayama City (Mar. 21); and Ehime Prefecture Prefectural Cultural Convention Hall (Mar. 27). For tickets, call (03) 3226-9999; for a full list of venues and dates, visit www.latina.co.jp/html/liveinfo/2008tangoseries.html