A selfie interview of Jac. Toes on the 2015 edition
“Groningen was announced as a no-nonsense festival… And how was it?”
“Without a doubt: the festival had definitely a quality label. No frivolities, no unnecessary luxury. Just nice dancing in a soul tent on a good floor. A bar and a restaurant at hand. And everything for a nice and friendly price. The food and drinks as well as the workshops and the milongas. What needed to be ok, was more than ok! Of course there were a few minor items to improve, like the administration side of the festival.”
”Did you learn something in the workshops…?”
“For me was the workshop Rolling very effective, but I also learned a lot in the other workshops. Because the focus was really on work. A cup of coffee in between and there we go again. Be on time, start on time. It beemd like the Groningen common sense also hit the Argentinian maestros Pablo and Sofía: when Pablo for example asked a question, he wanted a clear answer, not a diffuse murmur: ‘Do you understand?’ Only after a clear confirmation of the participants (“Yes, we get it!”) he went on with the class. Funny. From the didactics of the class you could also tell that they are very experienced teachers. No endless complicated sequences that only the best dancers can get. Their goals were clear cut and we worked until the sequence or attitude became part of your body. In a relaxed atmosphere. For the more experienced dancers, raffinement was the goal, not more and more steps. Also organizer Nicole helped to find a partner for those who subscribed solo. One more thing you didn’t have to worry about.”
“In this case, the wholeheartedness of the people of Groningen became clear: in other cities they look at strangers preferably from a distance, but at this festival their reaction was more like ‘How wonderful you came all the way up here!’ The four venues, all at walking distance, were a gift. And in the meantime you could also visit Groningen just a little bit. Not wrong at all!”
“The tango festival has put me in a drunkenness, while I am a very sober person of Groningen. The clock showed me it was 4 in the morning when I rode home on my bike. It was a weekend where time and space disappeared and only tango was left.
Pablo Inza and Sofia Saborido started this off with a sparkling tone. They are real maestros who give their classes with pleasure, humor and attention to everybody. Their demo was fierce and the encore was a subtle dance on the melancholic live music of Kay Slekings sensitive guitar. We were zo close and we enjoyed it so much because we could see and feel that Pablo, Sofia and Kay were enjoying it themselves so much. Inspired by this performance, dancing on the dance floor became even more fun and fluid and the well chosen pandas followed one after the other.
The Tango Festival Groningen became one of my most beloved tango experiences, never expected to dance with the young and the old, from my own and from other countries, in my own town. I am looking forward already to this new ritual in September!”