The tango world cup in Buenos Aires is one of the city’s most important cultural events. Every year it opens its doors to more and more visitors from around the world. This year, for the very first time, the competition welcomes Chinese participants.
Tango is the pride of Buenos Aires, the unique music and dance that developed from the influence of Argentina’s immigrant population. The annual festival now attracts over half a million visitors every year with shows, as well as salon and stage tango competitions. And the dance is not just growing in Argentina, but around the world, adding more official secondary venues this year. Beijing is one of those venues, and Shirley Xu is the director of the Tango Association in China.
Shirley Xu, director of China Tango Association, said, "This is the 1st year we have held the affiliated competition with tango world cup. This year 28 couples competing in tango salon, from many cities not only Beijing but also Shanghai, Taiyuan, Chengdu, many cities. And many people come to see, because not many come to compete, but many come to watch the completion and I believe next year we will have many competitors."
Miss Xu took part in this year’s salon tango competition, but dancing with an Argentine partner, she represented the festival’s host nation. Yet travelling from China to take part in this year’s competition were Jia Lin and Peng Danyang. They won the qualifiers in their home town of Beijing. They have been dancing tango for five years, and are the first couple to represent China at the competition.
Tango dancer Jia Lin said, "We just learned at tango workshops, at first half a year work shops, now (another) two month-workshop in Argentina.I think we tried our best!"
Tango dancer Peng Danyang said, "t’s like a dream, the dream is we come to Buenos Aires, it’s like a dream."
Tango is the soundtrack to Buenos Aires. But the dance is becoming increasingly international with couples from across South America and Europe taking part in the world cup, and now with Beijing as a secondary venue, Chinese dancers have made their first appearance there with their own style.