Archive | November, 2012

Student of the Month – Jose Orellana

Jose Orellana at La Milonga de San Anselmo
photo by Alli Novak

by Lanny Udell

 

Dancing tango since: Jose started taking tango lessons about 10 years ago. Although he left it for salsa, tango was still in his soul. In 2009 he reconnected with his inner tanguero.

Why tango: During his salsa days, Jose met Cari who later became his wife. They decided to take tango lessons together and enjoyed a beautiful wedding dance.

Favorite part: “I get a lot of satisfaction when I encounter someone I don’t know on the dance floor and we can have a ‘conversation’ ” he says.

About Debbie & John: Jose appreciates that they teach very difficult material “gently.” He describes their technique as simple and clean … “I’m really happy to be in their hands.” Jose recalls when he first met Debbie and John and noticed their rapport. “I fell in love,” he says. “They’re not only good dancers and teachers, they’re good together.”

Anything else: Jose will have a leading role in the upcoming student production, Close Embrace: A Tango Love Story. He hopes to give the audience something that will inspire them to explore tango. “I want them to walk out thinking they saw something special.”

Last word: While he is a little envious that the Argentines invented tango, he says his native Chile has better empanadas.

Jose Orellana & Tanya Rokhlin
photo by Alli Novak

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Video Notes: Debbie and John Soltadas, Fourth Sacada the Other Side

Monday Night Class Notes from November 19, 2012

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Video Notes: Debbie & John Soltadas, Fourth Sacada, Boleo and Gancho

From Class Monday, Nov 12, 2013

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Video Notes: Debbie & John Soltadas & Boleos

Monday, Nov 5th Class

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Seth Asarnow y Su Sexteto Tipico Join Alma del Tango

Marin’s premier nonprofit dedicated to Argentine Tango

(San Anselmo, CA, November 12, 2012) Alma del Tango, a Marin County nonprofit based in San Anselmo, is pleased to announce that Seth Asarnow y Su Sexteto Tipico has come under the organization’s auspices.

Seth Asarnow y Su SextetoTipico

Seth Asarnow y Su SextetoTipico
Photo by Peter Ivory

A Marin native and resident, Asarnow is considered one of the best bandoneon players in the country, and his sextet is frequently seen and heard playing at tango venues throughout the Bay Area.”I consider myself a tango musician, not just a musician who plays tango,” he says.

Keeping the Golden Age of Tango Alive
Asarnow endeavors to reproduce the sound and style of tango orchestras that were popular during the Golden Age of Tango — the 1930′s to 1950′s. “These days very few musicians have the ability or desire to play in this style,” he says. “I’m trying to preserve an amazing style of music in its original form.”

After seeing the  show Tango Argentino in 1986, Asarnow was drawn to the bandoneon and its soulful, melancholic sound. The bandoneon, a type of large concertina, was developed in Germany and brought to Argentina by emigrants at the turn of the 20th Century where it became the essential instrument in tango ensembles. He describes the instrument as unusual, with many quirky features that give it a distinct and endearing personality. “Those qualities, along with its mournful, evocative sound are what make it so captivating,” the maestro explains.

Asarnow is happy to be associated with and support the other groups under the Alma delTango umbrella. His goal is to raise funds to expand the sextet to an Orquesta Tipica which usually has 10 to 12 musicians including a string section, three or more bandoneons, piano and bass.

“I’m excited to have Seth and his Sexteto as part of Alma del Tango,” says board president
Debbie Goodwin. “Music drives the dance, and live music takes the experience to a whole
new level.”

Debbie Goodwin & John Campbell

Debbie Goodwin & John Campbell, founders of Alma del Tango, the Marin-  nonprofit.
Photo by Alli Novack

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About Alma del Tango

Alma del Tango is a nonprofit 501c(3) organization dedicated to encouraging artistic expression and the development of community through Argentine Tango. Started by dancer/choreographer Debbie Goodwin and tango dancer John Campbell in 1966 under the name Social Dance Cultures, the organization is now doing business as Alma del Tango, translated Soul of the Tango. In addition to offering tango classes and events, Alma del Tango is the umbrella organization for the all-women’s company Tango Con*Fusion, Alma Video, Debbie Goodwin Dance, Tango Califia, and now Seth Asarnow y Su Sexteto Tipico.

For more information: www.almadeltango.org

 Media contact: Lanny Udell
(415)459-8966
lanny_udell@comcast.net

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Video Notes: Debbie and John Barrida, Colgadas

Class Notes from October 29, 2012

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Student of the Month – Tanya Rokhlin

Tanya Rokhlin 2012

Student of the Month – Tanya Rokhlin
by Lanny Udell

Lanny Udell

Dancing tango since:  July 2011

Why tango:
Tanya was drawn to tango after experiencing the embrace. She was on a cruise ship and saw a performance by a “gorgeous Argentinian.” She asked for a private lesson, and the moment he embraced her she felt the connection. “I was in a zone,” says Tanya.

When she came back to San Francisco she began to look for classes. That’s when she found Debbie and John.

Tanya Rokhlin & Robert Leys in Tango Tales 2012

Favorite part: The connection. Tanya admits that her life has been mainly self-centered, but when she started taking private tango lessons with Debbie she realized that she had to listen, to surrender to the lead, or she’d never get in the zone again. “I find sweetness in this,” she says.

About Debbie & John: Tanya feels blessed to have found them. “I love their enthusiasm and professionalism.”

Tango Tales

Tanya Rokhlin & Deborah Loft Tango Tales 2012

Anything else: As she prepares for the lead role in the upcoming student production,
Close Embrace: A Tango Love Story, Tanya recalls performing in Tango Tales earlier this year.
“I never thought I was a showy person, but I found it exhilarating.” She’s looking forward
to being in the spotlight again.

Photo by Alli Novak
Dancers Jose Orellana & Tanya Rokhlin


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