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Mazen Kiwan: Dancing his way through life!

Beirut International Tango Festival -8th Edition
May 3 till May 8, 2016


Highlight: The concert will be held on May 3rd and 4th in The Palace Theater – Aresco Center Hamra. The workshops will be held at LAU on the 6th, 7th and 8th during the day. As for the milongas (Tango nights), they will be held at The Palace Theater on May 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th.


Tango lovers gather from all around the world in Beirut, to participate in Beirut’s tango International Festival for the 8th consecutive year, produced and organized by Mazen Kiwan, under the patronage of the Ministry of Tourism.


This year, the festival opens its doors with two concerts, re-arranged and performed by Ziyad Sahhab and his band, in collaboration with one of the best Argentinian Bandoneon player, Lysandre Donoso and the vocals of Debora Russ, offering a unique experience where East meets West in a Tango Fusion performed for the first time in Arabic by a surprise guest star.


Besides, the festival invites beginners and advanced Tango dancers to brush up their Tango skills, as the Argentinian Maestros will be giving workshops to students of all levels.


Dancing under the start sky is also part of the festival, so grab your dancing shoes and hit the floor.


For more info and for the full program, visit: www.tangolebanon.com
For Ticketing at Virgin Box office, follow the link: http://goo.gl/7fWl2R


One-on-one with Mazen Kiwan
His slogan? LOVE. In capital letters. An expression through dancing. An embrace of love. Just what Tango is all about: an ode for life and a hymn for harmony. A walk for togetherness, be it with small backward steps, or with consistent forward ones, Tango is a live vibrant expression of life. And Mazen masters it from head to toe, from emotions to technique.


What is dancing to you?
Dancing is life to me. I also make my living out of dancing. Still, it happened in the most natural way possible and I didn’t put down a plan for it. Today, I wouldn’t dissociate life and dance. I started earning my living out of dance in 1990. Before, dancing was only for fun. Dance filled my life in such an exhaustiveness that I wouldn’t find time for anything else at all.


What was your dancing base before you stick to Tango?
I used to practice modern dance and dance with Caracalla. Afterwards, Tango fascinated me. At first, I was captivated by the music. Afterwards, the social aspect of it; meeting new people, traveling, going to live performances and dance shows, attending social happenings, and enjoying the fun part of it. Little had I known back then that Tango would be that rich in History and culture. I would say Tango is a philosophy of life. Besides, there is a thought-provoking History behind the whole concept. It’s more of a culture and a lifestyle; a way of living.


In a word, Tango reflects wholeness. Many actors used Tango for the purpose of cinema, such as Al Pacino, Antonio Banderas, Marlon Brando.


Is there any age to start Tango?
You can start Tango at any age. Simply because, as long as you can walk, you can dance Tango. The dance is based on walking. It’s all about walking with someone in perfect harmony. Tango has no age.


Which philosophy hides behind the Tango rules?
Once, a student of mine told me that I had once stated something that happened to be absolutely meaningful to him, not only in terms of Tango and dancing, but also as a life viewpoint. I had simply said to him, ‘You have to accept to take a few steps backwards to make bigger ones forward.’ I would conclude that this Tango’s metaphors are to be concertized in life as well.


How difficult was it to train actors who weren’t that much into dancing for Liaisons Dangereuses, Joe Kodeih’s play?
It was challenging, but not difficult. Since we had to transmit a message, I got guided by the story, with the help of the actors as well. I used dancing as a tool to serve the story. It wasn’t difficult at all thanks to the people.


*Interview conducted by Marie-Christine Tayah