Tuesday, August 9, 2022



Snow has arrived in Hanmer Springs ready for the Nelson/Tasman Tango Libre volunteers to spring into action under the sharp eye of Anne-Maree Therkleson, to decorate the Hammer War Memorial Hall for the 6th annual Winter Tango Festival to be held on the 12-14 August.

The Hammer Springs festival is so popular though that tangueros come from all over the country and Australia for the event to celebrate tango dancing in the wonderful winter experience of Hanmer Springs. 

Anne-Maree Therkleson - Tango Libre Nelson/Tasman

Anne-Maree says “a whole year's planning and activity goes into these events behind the scenes, but without volunteers from the Nelson/Tasman Tango community and the whole country it would be impossible for these events to be held.”

“Every year Tango volunteers generously come forward to help decorate and set up the hall, to help make some of the food and help out during the event.”

Winter Tango in Hanmer is going to be held for three days from 12-14 August and Anne-Maree is pleased that the snow has started to fall in Hanmer Springs which is the icing on the cake for a long weekend of dancing.  “It is so fortuitous that Covid has not interfered this year.  I have had to cancel many festivals over the last 2 years”

Hanmer Springs web cam showing that it has been snowing in Hanmer Springs in the last 48 hours

Anne-Maree says “The festival is a musical challenge for the expert Tango DJs who compile music for the three days ensuring that each event (milonga) has its own flavour.”

Ice accumulating on the web cam in Hanmer Springs

This year the DJs are Brendon Varcoe (Nelson), Maida Zanaboni (Auckland), Deb Waltenberg (Christchurch) and Kieran Holland (Christchurch). 

Hanmer Springs War Memorial Hall where the festival is held

Anne-Maree goes on to explain "Tango virgins will be interested to know that the songs are grouped into 3s and you dance with the same person for that length of time then they play a short different piece of music, for example maybe rock’n’roll, disco or salsa (cortina) when the dancers have an opportunity to invite a new partner and start all over again with someone new!  It is a chance for people to dance with their favourite dancers and meet new dancers as well.  It is very social and so much fun.”

“I love creating community and environments where people can come together and share their love of music and dance.  I organise 4 festivals a year in different parts of NZ for this coming together to happen.”

To read more about Anne-Maree’s festivals and classes she has a website www.tangolibre.com with all the information.

milonga evening - Tango

Some of the decorations Anne-Maree had planned for Hanmer Springs in previous years and put up with the help of Tango Volunteers and her partner Stevan.

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