Tango Cherries – Kaleidoscope Marathon, 2016, Moscow (Russia)

Entrance Area of the marathon venue

Moscow in summer is quite beautiful … Usually I came here in autumn or winter times and always felt that Moscow is a bit rough, a bit dirty, sometimes cold and unfriendly – that I like St. Petersburg much more. But after experiencing Moscow in July I have to admit that I felt welcome, enjoyed the sunshine, friendly people and good coffee combined with architectural highlights and blissful tandas.

I came here for the Kaleidsocope Marathon – an event which is made, so they say, for russian followers to dance with foreign men. If so, you are not alone with asking yourself why of all events I wanted to go there. Maybe I like adventures and to find out things for myself, or I’m just curious.

Located in a beautiful, but not perfectly nor completely restored old factory area, the marathon is held in the building of a cafe. One big room with a bar, a sophisticated italian coffee machine and lots of chairs and sofas to chill has been the lounge area. There was another big room in which we danced. A nice wooden floor and good sound system made dancing very pleasant, and the cute barkeeper … well, that’s off topic 😉

Around the location itself there are photo studios, fashion labels, creative and art working spaces, a big dance studio, a restaurant and some nice cafes, the marathon hotel (with quite affordable rates!), as well as a craft beer bar. Yummie!

Within 30 minutes walking distance one could reach the new Moscow city center, an impressing new skyscraper site, with shopping malls, art galleries, hundreds of offices and a movie theater, gym, and everything you need in a “city in the city”. I walked there through some nice park and enjoyed the stunning architecture. There had been some organized city tours as well, which I did not attend since I’ve seen the red square many times, but especially dancers who came for the first time to Moscow have been impressed and happy.

A cafe around the corner
A cafe around the corner

The marathon itself had a visible followers surplus, especially on saturday night. But except me nobody seemed to be surprised about this fact. It is just like in our milongas, a russian follower explained to me. Ok, for me usually a marathon indicates a gender balanced event, but ever since the first marathons we see an eroding of labels and names. Except the gender balance there have been many things marathon-like, no shows and no classes, all dancing in one place, common meals (dinner) and a good level of dancing. I’m not sure but I seemed to have been one of very few non-russian followers, so I felt a bit exotic!

The leaders had been mainly foreign, with a handful of russian leaders. Dance wise I had a good time and enjoyed many nice tandas, but mostly with my friends. On saturday night, when I entered the place at midnight and saw this big variety of woman sitting, standing, chatting, sleeping, waiting, while all men were dancing, I just had some drinks and went to bed early. I had much more fun in the afternoons.

My personal favourite DJ set of the marathon came from Santiago Castro.

For leaders with a faible for russian followers I can recommend this marathon to the fullest, for followers you need a healthy mindset, self-confidence, and some patience to have fun in this event. If you come for tango only it can be frustrating, but if you enjoy Moscow city as well, then go for it.

The beautiful dance hall
The beautiful dance hall

The organizers are extremely friendly, helpful and professional women, they are prepared for everything it seems. Be it organizing our visa or hotel bookings, making suggestions to dine out or sight-seeing, calling taxis or booking tables in restaurants – I could feel their true sense of hospitality and their passion for this event. This made it an over all very warm and impressing experience.

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