The Santa Monica International Tango Holiday (aka “The Smith”) have announced the addition of Nito and Elba Garcia to the fest.

Nito Garcia won fifteen dance competitions in a from from 1955-65. What is more this was the very beginning of his career. He began dancing with Elba in 1977. The pair won the Lobo del Mar award in 1996. Now, I could not find out who gives this award but it is for contributions to the arts. All the reviews of this pair are glowing with adjectives such as “graceful” and “dramatic” being used copiously.

The pair have toured the world, performing at festivals and acting as instructors. If you are in the Santa Monica area you will have your chance to witness them in person. AND to take a class from them. This would frighten ME, personally because I would likely step on someone’s feet.
“The Smith” is holding what will be their first tango festival with 28 tango workshops taught by a virtual “who’s who” of the tango. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced dancer (or anything in between) you will find something for you here. There will be over 40 hours of dancing, a beach milonga (tango party), DJs, yoga classes for dancers, chacerara classes and more. Included in beginner classes is a 7 lesson tango “boot camp.”


Festival Prices are as follows
FULL FESTIVAL PASS:
-Until April 15 - $275


-Until May 6 - $325
-Milonga Only Pass (over 40 hours of dancing) - $100
-Class Only Pass (8 classes per level) - $225
-Tango Boot Camp - $60 per person or $100 per couple

 Find out more at  www.SantaMonicaTangoFestival.com
 

 
Tango Splash have been holding Tango events, teaching the Tango and supporting the Tango community in Los Angeles for a decade and a half.

The events  sound like a blast and they tend to be reasonably priced as well . You can attend the class by itself, the milonga (Tango party) or both. As I noted the prices are reasonable. The next class was $20 for the class alone, $12 for the milonga alone or $25 for both.

We will have details on these events and maybe more information as well. Tell your L.A. friends and dance enthusiasts. You can check out the Tango Splash website at www.tangosplash.com.
 
The I recommend looking at the Todo Tango site. It is available in English and Spanish and has just about all the information on Tango you could want, from history to music and beyond.

While I hope to have info on events, new music, new movies/DVDs on the Tango I can never hope to have the breadth and wealth of information on this site (at least not any time in the future that I can visualize!)

There are event listings, biographies, music, essays on the tango and much, much more. DO check it out!
 
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With over 200 recordings to her credit Argentine tango singer Ada Falcón left the limelight in 1942. This vanishing act is often described in overly dramatic terms--made to seem like some Houdini trick. In fact, she simply went from being a glamorous star at the seeming height of her career to a religious recluse. Nonetheless she was rarely seen and basically vanished from sight without explanation--until 2002.

I Don't Know What Your Eyes Have Done To Me, a documentary by filmmakers Lorena Munoz and Sergio Wolf, is shot almost as a thriller. It uses classic footage of Falcón in her film appearances and finally, in the last interview of the then 96 year old star's life. They tracked her down living as a Franciscan nun. She had rarely given interviews in the years since her "disappearance" and the result is moving. Once a rich, world-wide star, who turned her back on both fame and fortune for life as a nun, she speaks after decades of self-imposed isolation.

The film came out in 2003 and is widely available on Cinemateca.
 
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Tango Reporter is based in Los Angeles and provides Tango news and other arts and culture information and stories. Their is a great print version and also a website.

Tango enthusiasts should check them out. The publication is in Spanish and English. You can also find a link to editor Carlos G. Groppa's book, The Tango in the United States.  The book is published by McFarland & Company Inc.


 
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This DVD makes a lot of a brief appearance by Robert Duvall (a Tango enthusiast) despite his brief appearance. This doesn't mean the film isn't worth a look--in fact you could excise the few minutes of Mr. Duvall and the film would stand up just fine (no insult to the actor intended!)

The film is highly stylized and shows some of the story of the dance as a sort of melodramatic docudrama. If this were all the film had to offer it might fall flat. Yet, somehow it works but the meat of the film are the interviews with various dancers. Most, mind you, are not professionals. One man cleans up a cemetary--not an official position, he does it for tips from the families of those interned there.  And there are other interesting stories. It is a shame more time isn't dedicated to the lives of these dancers but there are, of course, time limitations. These old school dancers, named Milongueros, live the tango. The dance and how they feel about it, relate to it, is an intergral part of their very lives.

For Tango lovers an appearance by Juan Carlos Copes might seem more apropos than Duvall's.  Director Jorge Zanada is an Argentine and this may show in the details and the accentuation of the sensuality and, indeed, the "machismo" associated with Tango.

Professional Tango Dancers, of a modern-type, make an appearance here as well--to be critiqued by some of the Milongueros. Again this is too brief and the viewer longs for more interaction. It is also, once again, hard to criticize because Zanada was making a film, not a miniseries. In fact, longing for MORE, from the film may be one of it's strengths. The novice, (me, for instance) will walk away wanting to see and know more.

The film was shot in the mid-1980s and is currently widely available on DVD.