January 24, 2018

Argentina’s ‘Dancing Nation’ looks set for fifth season in People’s Republic

Monday, March 20, 2017

China the latest to dance to the beat of Ideas Del Sur

One of the original Argentine incarnations of the show.
One of the original Argentine incarnations of the show.
One of the original Argentine incarnations of the show.
The Baila Argentina format developed by Ideas Del Sur was first broadcast in 2010 within ShowMatch and Sabado Show for Channel 13. It was a nationwide competition between cities who formed mass choreographies performed by the people of each local region, irrespective of skill or age. Everybody got together to rehearse and then present in competition a mass dance with the objective of winning and thus collect money for some charity meeting local needs. Now, the format has spread way beyond this country’s humble borders and is sweeping the world.
Sony International successfully distributed the idea internationally with local versions now popping up in countries such as China, Mexico, the Philippines, Brazil, the Ukraine and Ecuador. The most curious thing about all this, however, is an Argentine format penetrating such a closed market as the Chinese and more curious still is that the China Central Television (CCTV), the public television group of the People’s Republic and one of the biggest communication companies in Asia, should want it on its network. It has already been through four seasons in China and a fifth is currently being negotiated.
So how did it get there? And how has it been so successful?
Javier Zilberman is a executive producer with a track record of 23 years producing TV programmes. Over the last seven years he has successfully dedicated himself to creating Contenidos, co-ordinating the Desarrollo de Formatos area of Ideas Del Sur, where he has given birth to projects such as this and others like Soñando Por Cantar and Soñando Por Bailar (respectively dreaming of singing and dancing), two big hits broadcast on Channel 13 screens.
“For us it is an honour that a format of our creation should travel to so many countries. Seeing the adaptations in each country fills us with pride and joy,” said Zilberman. “Dancing Nation, which is its international name, has (all) the ingredients an entertainment format could desire. There is music, dancing, a competition, a winner and a prize.But the programme also travels around each country to highlight the points of interest in each locality and the force and talent of its people. Its language is universal and transcends cultural barriers. All that combination makes it very attractive,” he added.
“I had the enormous challenge of adapting Baila Argentina for Sony International and giving shape to the programme. Beyond letting it grow in time, it needed an attractive structure to sustain it for an hour or more on the screen.
“The stories and rehearsals in each locality became more important. Indeed in China, where we are negotiating a fifth season, the accent has been placed on finding a hero in each locality, who stands out as a person who helps others so that instead of rewarding an institution, we support the work of this ‘hero.’
“That would be something like stimulating the work of such valuable people as Margarita Barrientos, for example.”
Zilberman believes Argentina’s productions do well thanks to the unique conditions they are created under.
“Argentine content is well received in the world because we can do a great format with less resources. Personally speaking, I find it highly gratifying to participate in the creative process, act as format consultant to dissipate the doubts of each country and then see the final product in the form of the images broadcast by channels like China’s CCTV, Brazil’s Globo or Mexico’s Azteca.”w
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