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What is Villa Urquiza-style tango?
Villa Urquiza is one of the most beautiful styles within the overarching label of “traditional tango.” It gets its name from the Villa Urquiza neighborhood in Buenos Aires. The style is characterized by its elegance, with an emphasis on clean lines, exquisite adornments, and soulful musicality. Common elements in this style include enrosques, lapices, agujas, the reloj, corridas, adornments and complex turns.

What is Nuevo Tango?
While some people confuse nuevo tango with certain movements, or even with a particular way of dressing or musical taste, it is actually something much simpler. Nuevo Tango is a means of analysis that enables us to identify the movements and combinations of movements that are common in traditional tango, and to re-use them in ways that are not common in traditional tango. For instance, while it is common in traditional tango for the leader to execute a back sacada with his left foot, the asymmetry of the tango embrace makes it much more challenging to execute the same sacada with the right foot.

In the mid-1990s, a group of dancers began exploring what happened when traditional tango elements were used in uncommon ways. Much of this exploration was done in closed rehearsals organized by Fabian Salas. Because many of the resultant movements and combinations of movements were more physically challenging than traditional tango steps, they had to refine their movement technique in order to accommodate the new style. In this way, the birth of “nuevo tango” launched several dancers into international careers as tango teachers and performers, including Gustavo Naveira, Fabian Salas, and Mauricio Castro. Although much younger than the others, Andres Amarilla was one of the dancers in that group.

What will we work on in this Seminar?
The seminar consists of eight 1.5-hour sessions in the course of two weekends (March 29-30 and April 12-13). Each day of the seminar, we’ll start by working on a traditional Villa Urquiza-style sequence, focusing on movement technique and stylistic details. Because Villa Urquiza style makes great use of turns with enrosques, lapices, and agujas, these traditional sequences can be distinctly challenging.

Once we have mastered each sequence, we’ll start to break it down, analyze its elements, and recombine them in ways that are not typical of traditional tango. In so doing, students will not only come to understand the process of analysis that is central to “nuevo tango,” but will gain tools to help them create their own sequences, whether “on the fly” during improvisation, or more methodically in practice sessions or choreography. Lastly, we’ll focus on refinements in technique that have to be made in order to execute the more challenging combinations of movements that make up “nuevo tango.”

Seminar Info
This seminar is appropriate for intermediate and advanced dancers. We strongly encourage students to sign up for all 8 classes, as we will build progressively on the material and themes covered throughout the seminar. However, students may choose to take some classes and not others, if they wish.

Who are Andres Amarilla & Meredith Klein?
Andres began dancing tango at age 11 and had the good fortune to study with three of the greatest tango dancers of all time (Gustavo Naveira, Juan Carlos Copes, and Rodolfo Dinzel)—and to perform in their dance companies--before his 18th birthday. At age 17, he partnered for a year with Geraldine Rojas, immersing himself in the Villa Urquiza style which Geraldine, and her stepfather Jorge Dispari, are known for. In the 1990s, he participated in closed rehearsals organized by Fabian Salas in which nuevo tango was essentially invented. Andres & Meredith have been working together for just 2 years and have already taught over 2,000 students in 30 cities on 4 continents.

© Andrés Amarilla 2005-2008