World Tango Festival Where is Meant to Be

Buenos Aires will host the first Tango Dancers World Championship. The event, scheduled for the first week of March, is expected to attract 300.000 tourists.

"As Argentineans we are known in the world not for many things, one of them is the Tango". For Anibal Ibarra, Major of Buenos Aires, the Fifth edition of this Festival should be considered as strong evidence that national identity is still alive. And there is something true on this, Tango music is one of the most famous rhythms around the world and its spirit is undoubtedly connected with Argentina.

Although Tango is an original product of both margins of the Rio de la Plata, Buenos Aires and Montevideo, the extraordinary growth of the Argentine Capital in the early XX Century made the entire world to identify Tango with the country of Maradona. In the 1930's Carlos Gardel, the most famous Tango singer, took his music to the international movie market, shooting for Columbia Pictures and the Paramount in the United States.

Since then, Tango became popular all over the world and countries like Finland, Hungary and Japan usually host relevant festivals to play and dance the music of Buenos Aires. Some of these countries will send representatives to Buenos Aires to participate in the event. Distant nations as China, France, Bulgaria, Iceland, Switzerland, Germany, Finland, Hungary and Slovakia will compete against locals and other Latin American participants for the first prize. The winner couple will dance in the most famous Latin American Opera House, the Colon Theatre of Buenos Aires.

"As Carnival is identified with Rio de Janeiro, we want Buenos Aires to become the center of the Tango", says Ibarra remarking his intention to link the Carnival celebrations in Brazil to the Tango festival in Buenos Aires as part of a whole tourist circuit. "We expect incomes for up to $10 millions", of course if the US President Bush cannot launch war against Iraq before March 9.

Officials of the City Government presented the festival in the main cities of Europe during 2002. Also, the Secretary of Culture contacted all the Tango Clubs of the world to inform about the organization of the competition.

Buenos Aires is trying to come up from the bad image that the uprisings in 2001 left. During the first three months of 2002, tourism affluence slumped. However, with the strong devaluation of the local currency, people started coming back to the city and the number of tourists went up 360% since the second half of the last year.

Tango was the expression of the lower classes at the beginning of the last Century. It came up to the light from the shadows of the brothels of Buenos Aires, as the eternal return of the blood of millions of immigrant that came to this country to make something big of its land. Tango is not an "event", reads a statement, because its nature has nothing to do with eventuality as in the case of crisis; its nature is definitive just like identity. The Tango that sung Gardel, the Tango that played Piazzola and loved Jorge Luis Borges is there, to be taken. Its fate is to come up, over and over again, like Argentina.

Hernan Etchaleco PRAVDA.Ru Argentina

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