Japanese-Argentine couple take world tango dance crown

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The Independent Online

An Argentine-Japanese couple Tuesday beat 400 dancing pairs to take top prize in the Mundial de Tango world competition held this year in Buenos Aires' Luna Park amusement center.

"I can't think straight, only feel, feel and feel this emotion," a sobbing, nearly speechless Tokyo-born Chizuko Kuwamoto said after winning the competition.

She and her partner Diego Ortega live in the Japanese capital, where they competed in last year's Mundial de Tango but lost. This year, they decided to represent his home town of Colon in the contest.

The couple this time beat their Japanese rivals Kyoko and Hiroshi Yamao, title holders since 2009.

In the closing ceremony of the eighth tango dance-off, thousands of people watched all the dancers participate in a final spectacle, hosted by Panamanian singer-composer and sometime actor Ruben Blades.

"Salsa (music) and the tango both spin an urban tale of music that transcends borders and nationalities," Blades told the crowd.

Twenty-two couples reached the finals, including three from Japan, five from Colombia and one each from South Korea, Chile and Venezuela.

The tango in 2009 was declared part of the world's cultural heritage by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

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