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TUFS Students Win Prize at International Argentinian Tango Competition

published July 12, 2017

On Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd of July, two members of the TUFS Argentinian Tango Club, Takuto Kase (School of International and Area Studies, Latin America Studies, third-year) and Ikumi Matsui (School of International and Area Studies, South-Western Europe Studies, third-year), competed in the 2017 Tango Dance Asian Championship, and won the Special Jury Award for best up-and-coming dancers. This award was given to the pair at the strong request of the judges.

For more information on the competition, click the link below (link in Japanese).
http://campeonatoasiatico.com/index.html

Reflection from the Competitors

Takuto Kase

I am so honored to have had the chance to compete in an international competition, and a prestigious one at that. I want to thank my fellow club members, and everyone else for the support. I also would like to thank Maestro Sr. Jesús Velásquez and the other judges who decided to bestow this award upon us. I feel that this experience was a great privilege, and I have learned a great deal from being able to compete in a competition that attracts so many professional dancers. Once again, I am so grateful to all those that were involved.

On a slightly different note, the President of Argentina, Mauricio Macri, visited Japan in May of this year, and Japan has also been called the second home of tango. However, the number of young tango dancers around the world is decreasing. Tango is registered as an intangible cultural heritage, and enjoyed around the world, as it is a dance that anyone at any level can do. Here at the TUFS Argentinian Tango Club, we want to take this beautiful dance that Argentina has given us, and help spread its popularity amongst the young generation. Even if you just want to take a look, all are welcome, so please come along.

Next year is the 120 year anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Argentina. Tango, a dance originally created by struggling immigrants and originally loathed by the government, is now a dance that strongly connects Japan and Argentina. Don't you think that is fascinating?

Ikumi Matsui

To sum up, this competition was not a competition we could fight head-on with our technique alone. Being able to stand on the same stage as the professional dancers that teach us, I felt honoured by the great effort that they put into training us, but I couldn't help feeling that we had been thrown in the deep end, so I felt encouragement from the award we were given.

The number of young tango dancers around the world is decreasing (especially in Japan). Tango is a dance made by the people, and is free of rules (in fact much of it is improvised), so it is very enjoyable, and though this may sound strange, somewhat profound. Some of the staff at the Embassy of Argentina in Japan call this 'imperfection,' and say that it's one of the things that make Argentinian Tango so beautiful. As a pair and a club, we need to concentrate on tango more from now on, but we are looking forward to the day that we can dance this 'imperfect' dance with everyone.


Takuto and Ikumi during their performance


Award Ceremony

On Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd of July, two members of the TUFS Argentinian Tango Club, Takuto Kase (School of International and Area Studies, Latin America Studies, third-year) and Ikumi Matsui (School of International and Area Studies, South-Western Europe Studies, third-year), competed in the 2017 Tango Dance Asian Championship, and won the Special Jury Award for best up-and-coming dancers. This award was given to the pair at the strong request of the judges.