Archive | July, 2013

Student of the Month – Mark Anderson

by Lanny Udell

Dancing since:  Mark first saw Argentine Tango performed at a half-time exhibition show during a Grand National Ballroom Convention, over 20 years ago. Then, after a 10 year hiatus from serious dancing, in April 2011, he attended a Weller House milonga in Fort Bragg. Dressed in tight-fitting Wrangler jeans with a rodeo belt buckle, cowboy boots and a western shirt, he “tango-walked” all night. He recalls: “The people, the embrace, the ambience, the music…I was hooked!”

AccordionPiano

Mark Anderson – Accordion Player

Why Tango: For Mark, tango is the pinnacle of dance expression. He has had structured partner dance instruction and experiences for a number of years, but since finding this dance form, “I can truly relax and express myself, and feel my partner’s expression in the music,” he explains. The music is a big part of the draw for Mark, an accordion player with a deep appreciation for musicality.

Favorite Part: Those moments between the cabaceo, leading up to the embrace…and then that first step when I can feel us become one with each other …

About Debbie & John:  After watching some very accomplished followers at a milonga in Santa Rosa, Mark inquired as to where else they were dancing. They mentioned Alma del Tango and invited him to join them at a class. “Debbie approached me as soon as I entered the dance floor,” says Mark. “She made me feel very welcome and at-ease.”  He admired the manner in which John and Debbie worked together and relayed the facets of the lesson to their students. Now he looks forward to Debbie’s energy and enthusiasm every week.

TangoMirabai

Mark Anderson – Tango Dancer

What surprised him most: Having come from a ballroom background, Mark was surprised at the slower movement of the dance lanes in tango, “ it allows much more time to explore and improvise,” says the tanguero.  He is also surprised at the vast array of options and amalgamations available in the figures presented in tango. “And, I am pleasantly surprised at how luscious and provocative the women dress at the milongas!”

On a personal note: Mark makes his home in Potter Valley, Mendocino County.  A home and commercial building contractor for over 30 years, he currently specializes in turn-of-the century remodels. Mark is an active ocean diver and pursues sport fishing using breath-hold diving techniques. He is also an active musician playing the piano accordion, and a classical music enthusiast.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Mark Anderson – Contractor

Last word: “I have always enjoyed reaping the benefits of positive results from confronting challenges,” says Mark, “and I find Argentine Tango classes and milongas to be some of the most challenging and rewarding moments in my life, thus far.”

Read full story · Comments { 0 }

La Milonga de San Anselmo honors local legends of Tango

On July 26, we celebrate Al & Barbara Garvey and Jean & Charlie Stewart of Marin, founders of the SF Bay Area Argentine Tango community

_MG_0631

Barbara & Al Garvey at La Milonga de San Anselmo July 2012

The San Francisco Bay Area is home to one of the largest tango communities outside of Buenos Aires. Today, we take for granted the fact we have the choice of several classes and milongas on Tango Mango to attend every day of the week. But this was not always the case.

The first time Barbara Garvey, a long time Fairfax resident now living in Puerto Vallarta, saw the show Tango Argentino on a business trip to New York in 1985, she called Al from the hotel to say “I’ve just seen what we’re going to do the rest of our lives.”

9489_2A year later, the touring company of Tango Argentino had come and gone from San Francisco, leaving behind a small but enthusiastic group of aficionados. Al and Barbara continued to actively promote all tango activity in the area, developing a mailing list and information center to support a growing community of teachers, students and entrepreneurs. They were joined in this endeavor by Jean and Charlie Stewart, also of Fairfax.

_MG_0708

Jean & Charlie Stewart at La Milonga de San Anselmo July 2012

Among the first Norteamericanos to travel to Buenos Aires in search of tango

On that first trip in the spring of 1987, Barbara and Al were fortunate to take a lesson from the legendary Fino Rivera, only a few weeks before his untimely death. This encounter clarified dramatically for them the distinction between salon-style, or social tango, and the exhibition version, tango-for-export, to which they had been exposed by cast members of Tango Argentino.

Back in the States, looking for a proponent of social tango, they discovered Orlando Paiva, a milonguero of exceptional elegance, then resident in Los Angeles. They invited him to present a series of workshops in the San Francisco Bay Area. After his return to Argentina, they continued to organize seminars in Northern California for Daniel and Maria Bastone of New York, and Michael Walker and Luren Bellucci of Los Angeles, Orlando’s protégés.

Studying with the maestros 

On subsequent journeys to Buenos Aires they studied with many other leading maestros, among them Roberto Grassi, “El Pibe del Abasto,” Pupi Castello, Graciela Gonzalez, and Lampazo. In 1991 they met Nito and Elba Garcia in Mar del Plata, Argentina and, through the auspices of friends Hector and Ana Villalba, brought them to California for the first time, launching their world-wide teaching career. As the Northern California tango community grew to the largest in the US, keeping up with all its activities prompted the founding, in 1995, of the non-profit Bay Area Argentine Tango Association.

 The first milonga in Marin

The Stewarts ran the Fairfax Milonga from 1994-1999 then the Garveys took over until they moved to Puerta Vallarta in 2003. Al and Barbara also hosted many tango parties in their charming 90-year-old house centered around a dance floor and its tango bar. If you danced tango between the years of 1985-2003 you most likely would have attended these wonderful events. John and Debbie missed Al and Barbara so much, they traveled south to dance with them in their new home, again designed around a dance floor and surrounded by yet another budding tango community they have inspired!

Al and Barbara have performed and taught tango for almost 25 years, but they, along with Jean and Charlie, think of themselves as milongueros and tangueros, interested in all aspects of its culture, from the dance to language, literature, music, history and philosophy.

Milonga de San Anselmo Guest DJ’s 

The Milonga on July 26th also features another Marin couple, guest DJ’s Steve and JoAnn Palubinskas. Steve and JoAnn were introduced to tango in the same Mill Valley tango class taught by George Guim that John Campbell was attending in 1994. They have been instrumental in keeping the spirit of tango alive throughout the Bay Area and can be found dancing and DJing at many of the top milongas. They hosted the popular Broadway Milonga from 1996 to 2002 and currently co-host the bi-monthly El Arrabal milonga in San Francisco along with Adolfo Cazzary.

Come join us for a wonderful evening of music, dancing and companionship at La Milonga de San Anselmo, Friday, July 26th.

La Milonga De San Anselmo
(held 4th Friday of every month)
167 Tunstead Ave., San Anselmo CA94960
Class 7-8pm,  Milonga 8-11pm
Class + Milonga $15
Milonga Only   $10

Read full story · Comments { 0 }

Call For Tango Dancers: Tango Magic

Are you an experienced dancer with a desire to perform? Perhaps your tango still needs refinement but your heart and soul are ready!

Would you love to be part of a company of tango dancers on call for special functions, parties and celebrations?

Then … join us for

TANGO MAGIC … Alma del Tango’s 2014 production

Tango Magic, conceived and directed by Debbie Goodwin, explores the magical moments of the dance.  That unspoken connection between partners, the music and the movement. Through mainly improvised dancing and some choreographies, the audience will discover how tango touches lives…and has the power to transform them. Like magic!

This year, instead of a theater production that disappears after four performances, we want to create something more lasting…a show that will allow us to say yes to the many requests we receive inviting us to perform at community and corporate events, as well as private parties and celebrations.

In order to do that, we need your talent and dedication to the project for the premiere showing.

What: Tango Magic
When: Feb. 14-16, 2014
Where: Alma del Tango studio
Training: Begins Sept. 1, 2013

The show will remain an integral part of the Alma del Tango program offerings. If you are unable to make these dates but still want to be a part of the training process for ongoing shows of Tango Magic, please sign up!

The Cast

We’re looking for dancers of various skill levels:

  • Professionals and very high level dancers (Contact Debbie for specifics, your requirements will be different from those of the general cast.)
  • Advanced level student cast
  • A cast in training who aspire to develop the skills to perform in Tango Magic

Emphasis will be on attaining a higher quality of improvisational dancing with connection and musicality … AND a show that shares the magic of tango in a powerful, intimate way.

Please read more about Tango Magic in the articles below.

Debbie and John are a treasure in the Marin tango community! Their commitment and generosity as teachers is deeply heartfelt. Their love, passion and dedication to the art of tango is inspirational and contagious!  Their teaching style is fun and playful! Participating in their student production is an absolute blast! Through my participation in their student production, All About Tango, my dancing and technique improved immensely. The experience got me out dancing several times a week and connected with the local tango community. I definitely recommend studying with them, attending their various tango events, and participating in their student production! – Kat Sun

Quick Links: Available Roles | Commitments for General Cast | Commitments for Women’s Choreography

Tango Dancers are needed for the following roles:

Improvisation - Close Embrace 2013

Improvisation – Close Embrace 2013

1. Ten Int/Advanced dancers for improvisational dance scenes

5 leaders, 5 followers for tangos, valses & milongas. The improvisational dancing will take place in a group and also as duets. This, along with the Tango Magic story, will be the main part of the production.

2. Three Int/Advanced couples for individual choreography – duets

Duet - Michael & Margaret - Close Embrace 2013

Duet – Michael & Margaret – Close Embrace 2013

The style, music and story line of the choreography can be adapted to each couple. One couple will dance a tango, one a vals, another a milonga.

3. Three to five couples for one group tango choreography

The choreography is a sleek contemporary piece that will illustrate to the audience “how to dance the tango.”

4. Eight to 20 dancers for all-women’s choreography
(
All levels welcome – see description of women’s choreography below.)

Ready to dance? If you are interested in joining the cast or still have questions, please phone 415-482-7588 or contact Debbie.

What will I need to do?

To make this production possible, a preliminary commitment is needed by September 1, 2013 from a minimum of 3 leaders and 3 followers of strong Level 3-4 ability or above.  Everyone’s level will definitely go up a notch if involved!

Please note how this can be a doable project for all concerned:

  • Don’t have the time? You can opt to be in parts of the show that only require once a week attendance Sept-Feb plus Jan & Feb rehearsal dates. If you wish to play a bigger role, your attendance may be required 2 -3 times a week.
  • Not available to perform Feb 14-16, 2014? You can still sign up if you wish to be part of this company of dancers but cannot perform in the premier showing in February. You will train for the performance Sept – Feb and be all set to perform as we put the show on in the following months. We expect ongoing monthly performance opportunities for Tango Magic!
  • Don’t have a partner? You can still sign up and train Sept-Feb. That way, you will be ready when the right partner comes along or if we need an understudy in certain roles. A leader or follower can have multiple partners for Tango Magic to allow for more people to be able to participate and also helps with scheduling performances and creates an understudy role. When one partner is not available, perhaps the other will be!
  • Not good enough yet? You can still still sign up and train to be part of this company of dancers even if your skill level is still not ready. You will train Sept- Feb so you will be ready for future shows when your skill level improves.

Commitments for General Cast

All classes, rehearsals & premier performances will be in San Anselmo. Future dates and locations of performances depends on bookings. To accommodate dancers’ schedules, the cast will rotate.

  1. Attendance at Monday night and/or Wednesday night classes and /or Friday night classes (Sept-Feb). An average of 3 out of 4 weeks per month Sept-Feb.
  2. Attendance at Friday night Prácticas (Sept-Feb). This is where you will be able to practice your social style dance with your partner, potential partners and other cast members. An average of 3 out of 4 weeks per month Sept-Feb.
  3. Group Couples Choreography Rehearsals (Saturdays 1-2pm).
  4. Individual Choreography – Duets by private class appointment with Debbie. (Special reduced rate of $70/hour per couple instead of $85)
  5. Read and respond to monthly email updates. You will receive weekly and monthly dance goals to focus on in addition to important information for cast members.
  6. Sell or buy 10 tickets to family, friends, and co-workers.
  7. Volunteer for one of the production jobs. (Ex: Set up, clean up, ticket sales, program ads, set design etc. List will follow)
  8. Attend photo shoot. Jan 18 and/or 19, 2014 . (Minimal fees for photo shoot. Sign up sheet for 1/2 hour or hour slots closer to date. )
  9. Attendance at January Rehearsal/Audition.
    Sun., Jan 18, 2014 2pm-5pm.
    We will run through show format and determine which couples have made enough progress on their choreography to be in the show and for which performance. Depending on cast size, not everyone will be in every performance.
  10. Attendance at final month of rehearsals for improvisational dancers: Sundays, Jan. 5th, 12th, 19th from 2pm-4pm.
  11. Attendance at final month of rehearsals for everyone: Sundays: Jan. 19th, 26th, Feb. 2nd &  9th from 2pm-5pm
  12. Attendance at Dress Rehearsal & Performances (Tuesday-Sunday Feb 11-17: Tech Reh = Feb. 11th 7pm-10pm), Dress Reh = Feb. 13th 7pm-10pm) -Performances:   Friday, Feb. 14 (Valentine Special), and  Saturday Feb. 16th at 7pm & 8:30pm.  Sun. Feb 19th at 2pm (Dancer’s call is 1-2 hours before showtime = 6pm on Fri., Sat., and 12pm on Sun.)
    *Cast Party Sunday after show

Regular class fees apply $15. (Discounted Monthly Passes Available- Couples $300/couple for unlimited group classes.)

 

Commitments for Women’s Choreography

Close Embrace_Oblivion_CloseEmbraceby AlliNovak2013

Women’s cast of “Oblivion” from Close Embrace 2013
photo: Alli Novak

Cast of Shoe Seduction

Cast of “Shoe Seduction” – All About Tango – 2011

 

This year’s women’s choreography will be danced to Piazzolla’s Leonora’s Song featuring the beautiful footwork and adornments of the follower’s role in tango. Prepare to be challenged as we work to refine body movement, balance, foot placement and coordination to create a stunning display of fancy footwork!

Cast of Don Juan

Women’s Cast of “Don Juan”, Tango Tales 2012
photo: Dart Rinefort

We need a minimum of 10 women signed up by Sept. 1st to make this happen. First class is Saturday, Sept 7th, 2013.

 

1. Attendance at Saturday morning Technique & Choreography classes. An average of 3 out of 4 weeks per month Sept-Feb.  Cost is $25 for the entire morning  (Only $20 if you have a 10 or 20 class package. If you have a monthly couples pass, add only $45/month for Women’s Classes. )

10:30-11:30 Women’s Tango Technique (All Levels)  (This class is also open to public for $15. Required if you are participating in choreography.)

11:30-12:30 Women’s Choreography Class (All Levels)
(This is a closed class only available to those signed up to perform in Tango Magic 2014.)

Also required #’s 5-11 in Commitments for General Cast section above.

 

Read full story · Comments { 1 }

Quinteto Quilombo Plays Astor Piazzolla

Join us as Quinteto Quilombo performs the music of Astor Piazzolla, the renowned composer and virtuoso bandoneonist. Be transported to an earlier time, when Piazzolla was revolutionizing the traditional tango, as the Quinteto plays some of his greatest music in the maestro’s original instrumentation. This exciting evening includes performances by Christy Coté, Chelsea Eng and Debbie Goodwin & Carolina Rozenszrotch of Tango Con*Fúsion, and guest artist Rose Vierling.

 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Quinteto Quilombo are: Seth Asarnow / Bandoneon, Ertan Torgul / Violin, Aileen Chanco / Piano, Paul Binkley / Guitar, Bill Everett / Bass

Reception: 7 p.m. Enjoy wine & empanadas. Artist’s talk: Seth Asarnow on the Bandoneon

Concert: 8 p.m.
Tickets: $25 ; $35 for Premium Seating (First 2 Rows)

This intimate performance will sell out quickly, so reserve now. Only 75 tickets available!

Alma del Tango Studio, 167 Tunstead Ave., San Anselmo, Ca 94969

Brown Paper Tickets Ticket Widget Loading…
Click Here to visit the Brown Paper Tickets event page.

 

 

Read full story · Comments { 1 }