With the finals of World Cup of Tango Dance - in its two categories: Salon Tango and Stage Tango - the Buenos Aires Tango Festival and Tango Dance World Cup came to end at the Luna Park Stadium earlier this week.
An Argentine couple walked away with the top prize for Salon Tango while a River Plate couple - he from Argentina and she from Uruguay - took the top award for Stage Tango. The winners faced a gruelling week of playoffs to make it to the finals where they performed before a seven member panel of judges - who are themselves top tango dancers and choreographers - at the final gala held in the covered Luna Park stadium, in downtown Buenos Aires before approximately 6.000 people.
The top winners of this prestigious competition walked away with prizes including some 8,000 US dollars in cash and air tickets to Paris, where they will be performing later this year.
Although the top prizes went largely to couples from Argentina, the competition attracted over 500 couples from around the world of which 134 competitors representing over 20 countries - including delegations from Colombia, Japan and Russia - took part in the finals.
This year’s festival included a special homage to “bandoneon” player Astor Piazzolla who died in July 1992, and was represented by his son Daniel and grandson, drummer Daniel “Astorito” Piazzolla who performed with the Electronic Octet, a group his grandfather put together in the 1970s .
Piazzolla is considered to be the most influential tango musician of the late XXth century and the leading proponent of the concertina-like instrument that produces the mournful sound that is quintessential to tango.
It was also the farewell of the Festival of Tango of Buenos Aires, organized by the Culture Secretary of the City of Buenos Aires Government, who once again set a new record as the festival was attended by well over half a million people.
Over 2,000 artists converged on Buenos Aires for the two-week tango extravaganza - which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year - taking part in concerts, dances, art exhibits, book presentations and master classes offered free to the general public among the highlights.