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Final Edit
December 2003

The image we rescued from the cutting room floor.

Final Edit Editor Assistant design director David Whitmore reveals the weight cultural interpretation carries when deciding what images to cut or keep.

Cut It?
"This photo was in close contention with another one that was ultimately chosen for the last image of the story," says assistant design director David Whitmore. "This picture is probably closer to the average American idea of tango, that of a highly stylized dance. But for Argentines, tango has a much broader meaning. It's about song and emotion and tragedy. The photographer is from Latin America, and his interpretation of tango is much more in keeping with the image that was finally chosen. That discrepancy tipped the balance."

Or Keep It?
"This is a wonderful moment," David continues. "It's one that readers can grab hold of. We pull back and see the dancers' entire bodies and the spectators sitting at the edge of the dance floor. The photo combines elements of other images. Yet it can stand on its own. The way this couple is standing, leaning in toward each other, is very unusual. You would come to this, notice it, and want to find out what's happening here. It's a strong image that gives the whole story by itself."

—Katherine Ressler

December Final Edit
Photograph by Pablo Corral Vega


Lean Two

It's a signature move for Carlos Gavito: He stands casually, unmoving, hands at his sides. His dance partner, Mariana Dragone, leans into him, fully trusting, testing the limits of balance. "The simplicity of the style is the magic of it," says Dragone, who has been dancing with the popular Gavito—for pleasure, not professionally—since 1998. "There are moments of silence, of pauses, but the energy makes one feel reborn."
Though he didn't select the photo for the tango article on page 34—having to pare down a wealth of powerful images to just 13—illustrations editor Bert Fox was intrigued by the quiet intensity of this pose. "You expect tango to be hot, sweaty, with bodies entwined," he says. "This is none of those things. It's a lovely moment." But, he adds, "the intimacy of tango was captured better in other photos."

—Jennifer Steinberg Holland

Check out Tango, the feature story for which this photo was originally taken.
Final Edit Photographer Zoom In on more images by Pablo Corral Vega.

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