It takes two to tango: Tango marathon in Cluj-Napoca draws 200 participants

The feet are moving. The music is vibrant. The connection is unmatched, because as a wise man once said, "it takes two to tango." These words perfectly describe the 11th edition of Tango Cazino: Marathon Edition. Located at Casino Urban Culture Center in Central Park Simion Bărnuțiu, Cluj-Napoca, the annual event took place between August 12 and August 15.

In short, it was a unique celebration combining the art of Argentinian cultural tandem dance and the historical landmark of Cluj-Napoca. This year's edition managed to attract over 200 people from the local community to international dancers.

"Tango embraces connection with human nature because our bodies don't lie. It's a wonderful way of enjoying life and expressing ourselves without words," says Horia Călin, the president and co-founder of Asociatia Compania de Tango Cluj.

"Tango comes with an idea that you connect first and then, maybe, move together. Other dances come with standardized steps, but here, you need something extra that gets you dancing inside of you," he adds.

Călin and Ioana Lascu, his tango partner, started the initiative back in 2012. The founder, who visited Buenos Aires, the capital of tango, twice, was inspired by the tango wave that happened specifically in Eastern Europe. In the same year, the mayor of Cluj-Napoca inaugurated the restoration of Central Park Simion Bărnuțiu, where the Old Casino is located.

"We understood that if we want to hold a tango experience, it needs to be in a proper and historical place like this. We had 108 people on the first edition," he recalls.

The initiative has been met with positive receptions as they march through their 11th edition at the moment, but it wasn't without any bumpy road. They had to move their event to the cyber world when the global health crisis started in 2020.

This year, regardless, marks a different direction for the "festival" that's usually held annually and at its peak, circa 2018, lured over 400 participants. Some of them came from neighboring countries and as far as Japan, China, and other Asian nations. Contrary to tango festivals that usually involve a lot of classes and workshops, a tango "marathon" means day and night "milongas" for mostly experienced dancers.

However, this year's edition was not exclusively for the pros. Regular spectators were also welcomed to the free-to-attend "Gala Tango Cazino," which took place on the third day at the same venue from 19.30 onwards.

"We also invite regular spectators to enjoy the dance and feel the emotion," Horia Călin says.

Several experienced high-rollers were in attendance, including Claudiu Hontilă, a well-renowned instrumentalist with international experience and an associate professor at the "Gheorghe Dima" Academy of Music, and the Two2Tango duo of Sorin Robert and Irina Indrei.

rafly@romania-insider.com

(Photo source: Tango Cazino Facebook page)

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It takes two to tango: Tango marathon in Cluj-Napoca draws 200 participants

The feet are moving. The music is vibrant. The connection is unmatched, because as a wise man once said, "it takes two to tango." These words perfectly describe the 11th edition of Tango Cazino: Marathon Edition. Located at Casino Urban Culture Center in Central Park Simion Bărnuțiu, Cluj-Napoca, the annual event took place between August 12 and August 15.

In short, it was a unique celebration combining the art of Argentinian cultural tandem dance and the historical landmark of Cluj-Napoca. This year's edition managed to attract over 200 people from the local community to international dancers.

"Tango embraces connection with human nature because our bodies don't lie. It's a wonderful way of enjoying life and expressing ourselves without words," says Horia Călin, the president and co-founder of Asociatia Compania de Tango Cluj.

"Tango comes with an idea that you connect first and then, maybe, move together. Other dances come with standardized steps, but here, you need something extra that gets you dancing inside of you," he adds.

Călin and Ioana Lascu, his tango partner, started the initiative back in 2012. The founder, who visited Buenos Aires, the capital of tango, twice, was inspired by the tango wave that happened specifically in Eastern Europe. In the same year, the mayor of Cluj-Napoca inaugurated the restoration of Central Park Simion Bărnuțiu, where the Old Casino is located.

"We understood that if we want to hold a tango experience, it needs to be in a proper and historical place like this. We had 108 people on the first edition," he recalls.

The initiative has been met with positive receptions as they march through their 11th edition at the moment, but it wasn't without any bumpy road. They had to move their event to the cyber world when the global health crisis started in 2020.

This year, regardless, marks a different direction for the "festival" that's usually held annually and at its peak, circa 2018, lured over 400 participants. Some of them came from neighboring countries and as far as Japan, China, and other Asian nations. Contrary to tango festivals that usually involve a lot of classes and workshops, a tango "marathon" means day and night "milongas" for mostly experienced dancers.

However, this year's edition was not exclusively for the pros. Regular spectators were also welcomed to the free-to-attend "Gala Tango Cazino," which took place on the third day at the same venue from 19.30 onwards.

"We also invite regular spectators to enjoy the dance and feel the emotion," Horia Călin says.

Several experienced high-rollers were in attendance, including Claudiu Hontilă, a well-renowned instrumentalist with international experience and an associate professor at the "Gheorghe Dima" Academy of Music, and the Two2Tango duo of Sorin Robert and Irina Indrei.

rafly@romania-insider.com

(Photo source: Tango Cazino Facebook page)

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