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Walking into the gymnasium for my first ever lesson, people greeted familiar faces from previous festivals like old friends and welcomed the new and curious.The festival is comprised of many components.On Thursday evening, Lombardi's black-and-white photographs were exhibited along the back wall of Aresco, each revealing passionate displays of dancers in Uruguay 10 to 15 years ago when tango re-emerged. In the film, dancers from the photographs, now older, were interviewed about the time the photos were taken and gave intimate insights of what tango meant to them, and what it was like to dance in milongas back then.Lombardi, who used to dance himself, uses his photography talent to precisely time and reveal the subtle expression of the tango. Lombardi met the festival's founder Kiwan in 1999 and the two soon became good friends and found a respect for each other's craft.After Kiwan returned to Lebanon in 2002, after spending seven years abroad, he began teaching workshops.By 2009, there was enough interest for a festival.BITF 2016 marks the eighth year of the festival's success in attracting people who wish to take the first step (or five) but didn't know how to, and bring an ever-growing, international community together every year to share an exceptional experience unknown to many.
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