A marriage of music and dance at World Accordion and Tango Festival

WatchIt's the largest international celebration of accordion and tango music in Western Canada. Tess van Straaten takes us to the World Accordion and Tango Festival.

The tango is a seductive dance — full of passion and romance — and a Tango Del Cielo performance at Oak Bay’s Dave Dunnet Theatre is all that and more.

“Full of passion, fire, dance, love, music, romance, everything!” says musician Jelena Milojevic. “It’s gorgeous and I’m just so honoured and privileged to be a part of it.”

The performance is part of the  World Accordion and Tango Festival — the largest international celebration of the art of accordion and tango music in Western Canada.

It’s a marriage of music and dance, including some instruments that may surprise you.”People would tell me you can’t play tango on the harp, it just can’t be done,” says American harpist Anna-Maria Mendieta. “But that inspired me to do it and create my own arrangements.”

This is the second year for the festival, which attracts accomplished performers from all over the world as well as talented local musicians.

“It’s a blast playing with them,” Milojevic says. “I love it! I’m just melting on stage with every single note.”

Most of the shows are in Victoria, but there have also been performances on the Lower Mainland, Nanaimo and Salt Spring Island — weaving together a story for the senses.

“The music is all about the dance and once I started studying the dance, it made sense,” Mendieta explains. “As two dancers are leaning against each other and balancing so perfectly and respectfully with one another, we as musicians are doing the same thing, dancing with each other musically.”

Tess van StraatenTess van Straaten

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