CULTURAL POTPOURRI| Locos por El Tango Argentina

THE GOOD news for Davao’s ballroom dancers was that “El Tango Argentina,” an invitation to a Milonga Cena by Locos Por Tango, was held last December 11, at 7:00 p.m. at the Velvet Club of Oro Derm City.  A most awaited annual event by dance aficionados, “El Tango Argentina” featured Argentinian dancers David Alejandro Palo, with his dancing partner Senorita Ayse Gencalp.  An added attraction to this sensationally hot event was the special participation of gracefulballroom dancers from Bacolod City plus, of course, the vavavoom Bolrumistas of Davao City headed by the hot mama, Becky Laurel.

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PROFESSIONAL Tango Dancers from Argentina David Alejandro Palo and Ayse Gencalp

     For those not into dancing, milonga means a “dance party or a venue where Tango is performed.”  Milonga also refers to a Tango style that is faster-paced without pauses in syncopated beats.  It is a kind of rhythmic walking minus the complicated figures of Tango; although it incorporates still the same basic elements as Tango but allows greater relaxation of the legs and body.  Milonga is a humorous and rustic style of dancing in contrast with the serious and more dramatic Tango.   This Tango version originated in the Rio Plata of Argentina and Uruguay.

      Well, despite its unfavorable beginnings as a dance form favored by the lower class in 19th century Argentina, Tango has gained popularity all over the world.  “In the past few years, Argentine Tango has flourished in the Philippines.  Evaristo Borja, Jr., Edna Ledesma, Cecile Go, Jun Acampado, Cathy Prieto and Ogie Mendoza are the go-to Argentine Tango teachers who offer private lessons.  Organizers host a milonga or tango dance party in well-patronized restaurants of Manila on certain nights,” wrote the respected ballet dancer turned dance critique, Marge C. Enriquez.  As to Margie Moran- Floirendo’s tango prowess, Enriquez observed, “Ballet Philippines President Margie Moran-Floirendo looks regal as she shuffles across the floor; letting things happen intuitively on the dance floor.  This lady is hooked on Argentine Tango.  As in any dance, it has a technique, but it requires sensuality and expression.”

     “National Tango Day is held annually since 1977.  It is to pay tribute to Tango’s legendary figures namely composer Julio de Caro and dancer Carlos Gardel.  In Davao, we celebrate Tango Day with an evening of music and dancing featuring invited Tango personalities from Argentina.  This year’s featured artistes David Alejandro Palo and  Ayse Gencalp will share their gift of dance, experience, and demonstrate their skill to the loving Tango enthusiasts of the City.  To see them perform would be a one-of-a-kind experience even for non-dancers,” said Becky Laurel when she welcomed the guests that evening.

     David Alejandro Palo is an actor, dancer, teacher and choreographer of Argentine Tango.  He has conducted workshops traveling to key cities of Southeast Asia like Singapore, Bali, Manila, Davao, among others.  In April, 2014, he was the Artistic Director of the Pescara Tango Festival held in Abruzzo, Italy.  On the other hand, Ayse Gencalp started her dancing career in her hometown of Izmir, Turkey, where she became one of the most talented dancer and teacher.  She immigrated to Argentina to pursue her passion for dance and music.  She has conducted workshops in Turkey, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Argentina.  Ayse was also a featured soloist in Tango shows in Buenos Aires.

        Locos Por Tango Davao 2015 was mounted to raise funds for Persons With Disabilities of Los Amigos, Davao City.  The fund-raising was sponsored by One Network Bank, Pru Life UK/Borromeo Insurance Agency, Mamu Restaurant & Anisabel Suites, E.M. Celi Property Holdings, Davao City Waterworks District, Unifrutti Philippines, Inc., Swiss Deli, Bio Essence, to mention some.  “Please don’t fail to mention our performers who participated as they sacrificed their afternoons practicing and preparing for their respective roles in the event.  They gave their all to this dance we all love, the Argentine Tango,” reminded the fiery Becky Laurel.

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