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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.

via GIPHY

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.

via GIPHY

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.

via GIPHY

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.

via GIPHY

via GIPHY

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

We are completely thrilled to welcome Marianela Nuñez to our Winter Ball again this year.

Marianela is one of the biggest stars of the Royal Ballet. She has performed all the leading roles in the classical, dramatic and contemporary repertory.

Marianela was named Best Female Dancer at the 2005 and 2012 Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards and in 2013 won the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance.

She has appeared as a guest artist with companies including American Ballet Theatre, Vienna State Opera Ballet, Australian Ballet, La Scala, Milan, Ballet Estable del Teatro Colón and Teatro Argentino de La Plata.

Here she is in the lead role of Don Quixote with ballet star Carlos Acosta, who she partnered on many occasions.

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She has enjoyed acclaim with many prominent critics. Of her performance of the lead in Swan Lake, they have written:

"... every gesture sings, every step is luminous with emotion. The result is sublime".

"Her approach to one of the most difficult parts of the 19th-century repertoire is simply exemplary, and I have no doubt that her incandescent and technically flawless interpretation is destined to be long remembered in history, along with those of other unique artists."

"...[her interpretation] confirmed her indisputable supremacy as the ideal 21st century interpreter of the classic. Her rendition of Odette’s sadness and fear is something that should be recorded for posterity."

via GIPHY

via GIPHY

Last year at our Winter Ball she stunned our guests when she gave a surprise performance. She was partnered by Alejandro Parente, who is a principal at Theatre Colon, Buenos Aires. They performed a modern ballet to a piece by Astor Piazzolla "A Buenos Aires". Just perfect for the tango-loving audience!

via GIPHY

Marianela was born in Argentina but has spent most of her adult life with the Royal Ballet in London. She met David in Ballet School in Buenos Aires. Both David and Marianela know how it feels to live far away from Argentina and both feel passionately about the charitable causes supported by our Winter Ball and APARU.

We are so happy and grateful that Marianela and Alejandro will be performing for us again at the Winter Ball.

For more information and tickets click here.

It was amazing to be back on the dance floor again on Boxing Day when we gave our first performance since the birth of our baby in July.

The event took place in the Clore Ballroom at the Royal Festival Hall, with dancing for all, live music and two dance performances.

For those of you who missed it, here is a youtube video:

Our next performance will be on Saturday 21st January at our annual Winter Ball in the Old Finsbury Town Hall. We really hope you can make it!

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