Cloudy and rainy skies over Buenos Aires failed to dampen spirits at the 2023 Tango World Championship on Saturday, with an Argentine-Brazilian couple taking the top prize in the acrobatic ‘Stage’ category.
More than 60 couples took part in the tournament’s final day gala event, performing before a table of judges on the main stage near the capital’s famous Obelisk. Top-quality dancing was backed by incredible live performances by music legends such as Pepe Colángelo, Amelita Baltar and Raúl Lavié.
The main title was won by porteños Julián Sánchez and Bruna Stellita, representing Buenos Aires City. The Argentine-Brazilian duo danced to Manuel Jovés’ ‘Loca’ tango and were eventually crowned world champions for their performance in the acrobatic category that includes jumps and choreographed pirouettes.
Of the 20 finalists in the showy Stage category, 17 couples were all Argentine. Two of the pairs were the winners of preliminary tournaments in Asia and Europe. Finishing in second place were Argentine couple Daniela Bravo and Lucas Guevara.
In the emotive ‘Pista’ or ballroom tango category – the style traditionally danced in Buenos Aires’ numerous milongas – local couple Johnny Carvajal and Suyay Quiroga, who performed ‘Mi dolor’ by Juan D'Arienzo, emerged triumphant.
For the first time, a prize was also awarded for the ‘Pista-Senior’ category, rewarding those aged 55 years and over: Argentine couple Sandra Leal and Sergio Decrin, from Rosario Santa Fe Province.
Natacha Poberaj, the event’s artistic director, had sought to attract both masters and new generations from the tango scene. The ‘Tango Mundial’ closed with a special choreography performance, directed by tango legend Carlos Rivarola, that involved 120 Argentine and foreign winners from previous editions of the tournament.
Internationally renowned stars like pianist José Colángelo, and singers Amelita Baltar and Raúl Lavié, also performed, with classic tunes from the genre – ‘Madame Ivonne’, ‘Balada para un loco’ and ‘Naranjo en flor’ – ringing out for the crowd.
This edition of the Tango BA Festival and World Cup, which began on August 23, has attracted more than 1,300 dancers from all over the world.
Dancers from Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Chile, Japan, Russia, Costa Rica, Ukraine, Colombia, India, Germany, the United States were involved in the tournament, with hundreds of amateurs visiting milongas across the city.
A record 744 couples from 35 countries signed up to take part officially, with dancers ranging from the ages of 18 and 99 participating.
Argentina was represented by dancers from 40 cities of 18 provinces of the country: Buenos Aires City, and the provinces of Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, Río Negro, Neuquén, Misiones, Mendoza, Chaco, La Pampa, Salta, Santiago del Estero, Chubut, Tierra del Fuego, Tucumán, San Luis, Córdoba, Entre Ríos, La Rioja, Formosa, Santa Cruz and Jujuy.