His friends raised the money and on the eve of his centennial they gifted him a trip to participate in the Tango World Cup.
Behind every step-in tango there is a story. Each step marks a moment, each step carry’s with-it years of emotions. The dancer’s nationality is lost, all that echoes throughout the ballroom is their character, their personality. Here, in Buenos Aires, for the International Tango Festival and World Cup, a dancer stepped onto the dancefloor with a long story to tell. At 99 years old, veteran of the Second World War, dressed in a suit, tie and hat, prepared to tell his story.
James McManus, a man of over 9 decades, the dancer who is but a step away from a century of being with us, arrived in Buenos Aires to represent Ireland in the ballroom category of the International Tango Festival and World Cup.
It’d been over two decades since McManus had set foot onto a plane, but just a few months ago, thanks to the encouragement of his friends, decided to save up and take the plunge. James was able to fly, with a smile on his face and on the eve of his 100th birthday. It was more than a gift it was a dream come true, competing in the World Cup.
Without a doubt, the oldest participant to take part in the history of the competition. McManus, along with his partner the argentine dancer Lucia Seva, a professional dancer that served as tutor and professor to the Scottish dancer. Paragraph
Although the Irish-Argentine couple weren’t able to advance further into the competition, the mere presence of the veteran on the dancefloor of Luna Park touched the hearts of many both within and outside of the tango community. McManus commanded the attention of all that looked onto the stage. His elegant bicolored seemed to glimmer with the flash of the press, local and international, that within a moment took his story around the world.
© images credits: Chas Gerretsen / Nederlands Fotomuseum, courtesy Zoetrope corp / prensalibreonline.com.ar