Focus Tango Festival 2022

The first edition of Focus Tango Festival, Friday the 10th of June till Sunday the 12th of June 2022, has been a festive tangoweekend in the centre of Amsterdam, at the spectacular and monumental location Posthoornkerk.

We feel honoured to have presented to you, as a premiere in the Netherlands, from Istanbul, the maestros Sercan Yiğit & Zeynep Aktar. For the first time since covid-19, a tango festival could took place in Amsterdam. This made it extra special to bring to you 3 milongas, 4 workshops and 6 renowned DJ's, no one less than DJ Jur Heijnen, DJ Lucas Malec 'El Tabernero', DJ Arjan ‘el Irresistible’, DJ La Gata Negra, DJ Lorena Garcia en DJ Richard ‘El Fresco’. It was an honour that singer Juan Carlos Tajes and dancer/teacher Mirta Campos welcomed everyone with a toast on the opening night. There has been more attention given to the history and development of tango in Amsterdam and the Netherlands with Special Guests Wouter Brave, who gave a personal and in dept talk, master of ceremony Martine Berghuijs and the live music by pianist Christa Mierás and Juan Carlos Tajes.

The Posthoornkerk itself, the first building in Amsterdam by the famous Dutch architect Pierre Cuypers, known for the Rijksmuseum and Amsterdam Central Station, has a remarkable historic connection to tango itself dating back to 1914.
​Timetable and Program

Friday 10th of June: Registration Desk opens at 15:00. Presentation by Juan Carlos Tajes
17:00 - 21:00Opening MilongaDJ Jur HeijnenAmsterdam
20:00 - Welcome ToastSpecial Guest
21:00 - 00:30DJ Lucas Malec 'El Tabernero'Buenos Aires / Amsterdam
Saturday 11th of June: Venue opens at 11:30. Presentation by Martine Berghuijs
12:00 - 13:15WS 1: Tango, changing DirectionsSercan Yiğit & Zeynep Aktarİstanbul
13:15 - 13:30Interval
13:30 - 14:45WS 2: Tango, EnrosquesSercan Yiğit & Zeynep Aktarİstanbul
14:45 - 15:00Doors open for rest of the program
15:00 - 16:00TalkWouter BraveAmsterdam
16:00 - 20:00Grand MilongaDJ Arjan 'el Irresistible'Amsterdam
20:00 - 00:30DJ La Gata NegraAnkara / Amsterdam
21:00 - 21:15PerformanceSercan Yiğit & Zeynep Aktarİstanbul
Sunday 12th of June: Venue opens at 11:30
12:00 - 13:15WS 3: Vals, playing with timingSercan Yiğit & Zeynep Aktarİstanbul
13:15 - 13:30Interval
13:30 - 14:45WS 4: Milonga, joyful combinationsSercan Yiğit & Zeynep Aktarİstanbul
14:45 - 15:00Doors open for rest of the program
15:00 - 15:15Live MusicJuan Carlos Tajes & Christa MierĂ¡sMontevideo / Amsterdam
15:15 - 20:00Closing MilongaDJ Lorena GarciaBuenos Aires / the Hague
20:00 - 00:30DJ 'El Fresco'Haarlem

WS 1: Tango - Ways of changing directions and ways to adapt with embellishments for followers. (ınt - adv)
WS 2: Tango - Enrosques for both roles. (adv) 
WS 3: Vals - Get out of your comfort zone: Playing with the timing of circular movements and ways to adapt for the followers. (ınt - adv) 
WS 4: Milonga - Make milonga your favorite tanda; joyful milonga combinations. (ınt - adv)
More about the workshops?

Special: Talk by Wouter Brave
The more recent history of the development of tango in Amsterdam, gets attention during the talk How it all started and why, by our Special Guest Wouter Brave, one of the pioneers of tango in the Netherlands. In 1986 he founded, together with Martine Berghuijs, Mirta Campos en Lalo Diaz the first tango school in the country. This Tangoschool Amsterdam was of great importance in the growing popularity and spreading of tango in the Netherlands. The revival from the 1980s forms the basis of the current tango culture in the Netherlands.
In that light, and also from a practical point of view, this year's program mostly consists of artists who have a connection with Amsterdam. Scheduled after the workshops, on Saturday the 11th of June, 15:00 - 16:00. Doors open at 14:45.

Special: Live music by Juan Carlos Tajes and Christa Mierás
Pioneer singer of tango in the Netherlands, Juan Carlos Tajes will be our host on the opening night, and will also honor us with a short but powerful live music set. He will be accompanied by Christa Mieras on concert piano. Scheduled after the workshops, on Sunday the 12th of June, 15:00 - 15:15. Doors open at 14:45.

Historic Connection
On Thursday 9th of May 2024 it will be 100 years ago that, after a 31-year (!) ban, the first six permits were granted in Amsterdam for dance events in public space. We consider this to be a milestone for the development of dance and tango, in our capital and country. One century of dancing in public in Amsterdam will be celebrated in 2024 with an in-depth program and collaborations with others, such as historic (dance) locations and dance schools. With this first edition of Focus Tango Festival in 2022, we want to give our guests a foretaste.

The Posthoornkerk itself has a historic connection to tango from 1914. Barely a year after the tango was first demonstrated in the Netherlands, during the ban on dancing in public in Amsterdam, which lasted 31 (!) years, a bundle full of complaints against tango was released and sold in the bookstore of the church, on the other side of the street, at Haarlemmerstraat 119. Op tegen de Zedenontaarding! / Up against the depravity of Morals!, is 45 pages long and from page 22 on, it complains that specificly tango is the worst symptom of this decay. This "evil dance" was considered a threat to marriage, and therefor the survival of the church and the state.

Let's get (back) on that dance floor!

Haarlemmerstraat 124-126
1013 EX Amsterdam

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Stichting Focus Tango
by Fatima Leeuwenberg
KvK number 85749125
BTW number NL863728571B01