Review: Strictly Christmas Tango

30th December 2009

(Other reviews)

Date: 26th December 2009

Location: Royal Festival Hall

I've got to get OUT!

It was a relief to have some Tango on Boxing Day this year, it seems all the London tango venues are for one reason or another shut or 'closed for refurbishment' we are told until January, and anyway, the relatives are driving me potty, there is not a lot on the telly and I NEED to get out.

"Strictly Christmas Tango" was at the Clore Ballroom in the Royal Festival Hall, and was organised by Jenny Surelia of "A Taste of Tango" fame.

From the blurb:
Jenney Surelia leads you from the afternoon into the early evening with a programme of live tango music, dance demonstrations and plenty of opportunities for the public to learn the basic steps of tango. Live music will be provided by Tango Siempre with Guillermo Rosenthuler on vocals and dance demonstrations will be lead by Jenney Surelia and Santiago Hernandez.

Sounds good...

Open to all

From the attendance, it seems everyone else had the same idea too. Now let's not forget, this is a free event, in a public place which means da-da-daaa THE GENERAL PUBLIC will be there.

Oh no.

They wander onto the dance floor, doing their stupid play-act dance mimicking Tango, fortunately it lasts for a short time before they get fed up as we all ignore them.

Once we have the mickey takers gone though, what is left unfortunately is another form of entertainment - the eccentrics who dance on their own and shuffle around, holding their arms to the sky, interpreting their own way of feeling the music, from their (oh shall I say it, er yes) loony minds. Harmless, but get in the way as they don't follow the line of dance, they just plonk themselves anywhere in the dance floor and move haphazardly.

Setting up

As normal, we Tango folks would meet up and choose our table and chairs, sometimes with the added stranger on the table where we would crowd off eventually as we dominated the area.

No leaving any of your stuff here though, fortunately there was a free cloakroom for the bulk of the bags and coats etc, but the other little bits you don't put in were in real danger of 'walking' i.e. shoes, jumpers or that expensive alcohol you bought from the bar not 2 minutes ago.

So we always had someone on 'guard duty' whilst others went off and danced.

Good / bad

The floor was great, the size of the hall was big enough, a good attendance with people I have never seen before at Tango - it was that north London lot I was told, so yeah, it was alright.

The bad bit? Well, watch out for the parking. We went on Boxing Day, hey, Bank Holiday? Bank Holiday rates in the underground car parks? Er, no, they charged Saturday rates as Monday is the 'official' Bank Holiday day. They could have told us, but failed to do so. I found out after I had parked up and had been there for some time. I will be complaining to the RFH about this and how we should have been told.

- Ken Royden, 30th December 2009

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