After eleven years living, dancing, teaching tango, and writing in Buenos Aires, I came home to L.A. in 2014, where I'm reconstructing my life.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Judging the Jury
Ruben and I went to Glorias Argentinas last night with friends to watch the next-to-last night of the qualifying heats for the Campeonato Metropolitano 2008.
Twelve couples competed in the Tango category, seven or eight in Milonga. Most were old milonguero-types, along with two or three young couples.
Among the judges were Eduardo Arquimbau, a stage dancer and choreographer for many, many years and who was in fact the first dancer, along with his wife Gloria, of tango that I ever saw--in the show, Tango Argentino when it came to Los Angeles in 1988.
The other two judges were young girls in their twenties.
Now I ask you, how can a stage dancer and youngsters less than half the ages of the competitors, fairly judge social dancing in a milonga?
I dunno, to us there was something very wrong with that picture. And it was true, that a very young couple qualified in both tango and milonga, a couple that had no connection, passion, musicality (especially in Milonga), and what is more, a terrible embrace. But they had tricky footwork. And so they qualified.
This year is the first for the very intelligent idea of separating the contestants into two age groups, under 40 and over. But so far, since the rondas include everyone, and the jury is of mixed ages and backgrounds as well, this fair division hasn't been put into practice. I'm hoping it will be more clear in the Semi-Finals and Finals.
Like our old milonguero friend who was with us and decided not to compete when he saw the jury, said, How can these people judge the way I dance? I've been dancing since before those girls were born!
A very good question.