It’s not the first time that the Festival of tango – which is the dance of passion – takes place in Baku. This event blows everyone’s mind away, because its rich 3-day program contents master classes from the world’s most talented tangueros and unforgettable show, live performances from skillful musicians and finally the most important – dances!
It is known that the capital of tango is Argentina. Tango was born among immigrants, thus many different cultures has been mixed in it: Cuba, Africa, European countries and Argentina itself. We talked about this emotional and beautiful dance with Cecilia Acosta – Argentinian, who speaks the language of tango. Cecilia came to Baku to give dancing classes within the festival. She has 10 years of dancing experience. During this time she did not only participate in numerous competitions, but also had become a regional champion in Tango and Milonga categories in 2015 and finalist of Metropolitan Championship in Milonga category in Buenos Aires 2017.
Her partner in tango and interview is Levan Gomelauri – dancer, DJ and founder of the first tango school in Georgia – “Tbilisi Tango”.
Cecilia, how did you discover dancing for yourself and tango in particularly?
Cecilia: Tango and folklore are common in Argentina, people dance tango anywhere, at different events and parties. Once I went to milonga and saw people dancing… I was literally mesmerized by this dance. At that very moment I knew what I wanted to do. I found classes at my university and started to learn tango.
How long did it take you to achieve such a high level?
Cecilia: It took me about two years. I was practicing at the classes and then was dancing at milongas – that was my way of learning.
You were taught by outstanding teachers. Do you have a special one among them, who you would like to emphasize?
Cecilia: Each maestro shares something special, gives specific experience, by using different examples and emotions. It is hard to highlight someone because every lesson is valuable in its own way.
Do you have some kind of your own teaching technique?
Cecilia: Each professor has own methods to express feelings. We are making a good couple with Levan because I explain something through sensations inside the body and Levan is good at giving examples of emotional associations between dance and life. So, our method contains two parts – technical and emotional aspects.
Which quality is the most necessary in order to learn tango?
Cecilia: It is important to be able to feel and embrace someone. Anyone can dance, but in tango you need to embrace your partner properly.
It seems like you float on the scene while dancing and it looks spectacular. Is it hard to achieve such effect and if yes, how long may it take?
Cecilia: Depends on the type of person. Some people just want to dance on milongas and have fun, but we try to feel each other in dance. We cannot tell how much time it takes exactly, it mostly depends on relationship of two partners.
It is known that in tango men are leading. Is it entirely true?
Cecilia: Function of leading is always on man, but it does not mean that he makes all decisions in dance. Both sides should feel each other and show what they can share with each other. Tango is a very close, intimate dance, and Caucasian dances are more distant, there is no touching. Still there is a big emotional connection just like in tango. The culture of Argentina was formed mostly by European immigrants, so European spirit is very noticeable in tango.
Levan, tell us how this extraordinary couple came up?
Levan: I am from Georgia, I lived and danced in Tbilisi. When my teacher was moving to Germany, he offered me to organize milongas instead of him. I was surprised, at that time I was studying at the conservatory and I was planning to go to Argentina, although my friends were calling me to Europe. I met Cecilia at milonga, we started dancing and practicing together. I proposed her to follow me to Georgia. Cecilia is from Tucuman province and at that moment she had been living in Buenos Aires for about 8-9 months. So, this is how it worked out. We found each other in Argentina, then came to Georgia and now we are dancing all over the world together.
This is your second visit to Baku within Tango Festival. What are your impressions from Baku audience and the city in general?
Levan: By the way, when I came to Baku for the first time 5 years ago, to give classes, I worked with dancer Sanan Huseynli, who organized the event. This experience was very interesting and unforgettable. We were really glad to find out that there is a big tango community here, many people are keen to dance tango. Now we notice that there are more people in festival, the audience grows, organization only gets better. We did not expect tango to be so popular.
Can you please share your plans for the nearest future with us? Do you have new festivals or tours planned?
Levan: Yes, we are going to Germany and Italy in January. In May we are invited to festival in Tbilisi – to participate as champions-2015.
INTERVIEW: GUNAY ASLANOVA
PHOTO: PARVIZ QASIMZADE