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Pure Improvisation Wednesday, 04 January 2017 print

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Picture this.

You meet someone for the first time. Music is playing. He asks you to dance and you accept. You step out onto the dance floor and together you start to dance.

Somehow you understand everything he is going to do as if you were telepathic. You move together in a complex series of movements, twisting and turning, losing yourself in the music. You are - both literally and metaphorically - swept off your feet. A casual bystander assumes that this must be a meticulously-rehearsed choreography but you and your partner know that you are complete strangers.

I’m sure this sounds like something that could only happen in a scene from an old MGM movie. And as I grew up on these movies this scenario was something that as a teenager I would play out in my head.

Then I discovered tango. And it played out in real life too.

Not surprising then that so many people (like me) fall completely and utterly under the spell of tango.

Intoxicating as it is to be part of such an intense connection, the spectacle of two people improvising together is also quite beautiful and exciting to behold.

I can spend hours gazing at the dance floor watching the couples dance by. Every day folk, who dance tango for pleasure, not professionally. But most of all I love to see a professional couple give an improvised performance and watch the story unfold before my eyes.

And this is what happened in October when David performed with Alejandra Mantiñan at Negracha Tango Club.


The very first time that Alejandra and David had danced together was the day before the performance. For just half an hour.

It was exhilarating to see what can come out of pure improvisation between two dancers who barely know each other. It was simply amazing to watch a creative process live in front of hundreds of people.


Every improvisation is unique. Each individual coming to the dance partnership is unique. The chemistry between each of those individuals is unique and what happens when they come together in that one moment of time will never again be replicated.

This, people, is what tango is all about! Pure improvisation.


We are so excited that Alejandra and David will be performing again at our Winter Ball on Saturday 21st January. We can’t wait to see what they will create for us this time!

Alejandra Mantinan is a world-famous tango dancer of over 30 years experience. She is known for her creativity, in particular her ability to adapt to many different styles of dance and to add expressive and often inventive decorations to her dance.



For more information and to book tickets for the Winter Ball: click here.

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