By Joe Goldman
Argentine couples swept the top three spots in the tango ballroom category of the World Tango Championships in Buenos Aires Sunday night, with the first ever US finalists denied any award.
A seven-person jury awarded first prize to Ines Muzzopappa and Angel Sanchez of Buenos Aires, a couple whom many perceived as solid, traditional ballroom dancers without the overdressing and fiery pirouette dancing that had won previous events. Their victory, as well as that of the second- and third-place finishers -- also from the Buenos Aires metropolitan area -- was viewed by tango analysts as a return to the old and basic values of tango as a dance form.
Err, Tango’s Take
We would be doing ourselves a disservice if we did not run a story about our namesake. You know the tango, the forbidden dance. The dance that it takes a particular number to do and that number is typically between 1 and 3. Anyway, we’re glad that there were American finalists. We’ve always felt that America can be competitive in anything we put our minds to. It’s like soccer though. America would be a super power in the soccer world if our best athletes played the sport. If our best dancers did the tango, could anyone touch us? But our best dancers are more interested in jazz, tap, hip-hop, breaking (and Breaking Two) and exotic. Can any country even see us in the art of noodling (it’s the dance that drug-filled Phish fans do, the name is self-explanatory)? And how about the robot (outside of Japan, that it is)? Sure, we’re not the force we once were in baseball or basketball, but we like our chances if we start our kids doing the tango. Maybe Antonio Banderas could teach a team of inner-city misfits. Maybe Emmitt Smith could lead our international dance squad.