Tango Unchained beats downpour

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Tango Unchained, Hastings. August 24. Review by Naomi Robinson.

Tango dancers from Hastings and beyond were more than a match for torrential rain as Tango Unchained brought the warm vibes of Buenos Aires to a soggy Saturday.

Produced by local company, 18 Hours, as part of Hastings Borough Council’s Stade Saturdays, Tango Unchained proved a popular event. But pouring rain meant it could not be held outdoors as originally planned.

A live town centre Tango demonstration was relocated indoors thanks to support from Priory Meadow Shopping Centre. Crowds gathered in to admire the passionate tango of Ragroof Theatre Company and take part in an introductory lesson.

As the rain intensified, an afternoon demonstration in the Old Town was cancelled and tango dancers huddled in cafes across town awaiting news of an alternative indoor venue for the evening outdoor extravaganza. With just two hours to spare, The Hastings and St Leonards Angling Association stepped in to offer the stricken dancers their venue for free. Members who had come to their club for a quiet drink found themselves enjoying an unexpected treat.

One hundred and fifty tango lovers and absolute beginners alike, quickly filled the venue, where they were treated to a live tango show from Ragroof Theatre’s dancers, followed by a beginners tango class.

Live band Tango 3, featuring singer and guitarist Corina Piatti, Enrique Galassi on Double Bass and Rossie Lodwell on Violin, provided authentic sounds of Argentine Tango. Delighted dancers took to the floor for hours, with tango DJ Kirsty Bennett providing additional tunes until 11pm.

Judith Davey travelled from Exeter for the free event, and said: “It was busy, fun and friendly’, she said. ‘I’m glad I came - it was worth the trip.”