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4th Annual Philadelphia International Tango Festival – May 23-26, 2014

The Philadelphia Argentine Tango School presents the 4th Annual Philadelphia International Tango Festival from May 23-26, 2014.  This year, in addition to its local appeal, the festival anticipates hosting visitors from at least twenty states and five countries.

An improvised social dance that originated in Argentina and Uruguay in the late 1800’s, Argentine tango is now danced enthusiastically by large numbers of people in vibrant tango communities around the world.  Completely improvised, Argentine tango makes possible for complete strangers to enjoy wonderful dances together.  As a result, tango dancers often become addicted to traveling the world to experience the dance in different cities.  With a first-class group of tango maestros (masters) and DJs, the Philadelphia International Tango Festival has become recognized as a destination by tangueros (tango dancers) worldwide.

Silvina Valz

Silvina Valz

The festival features four internationally-renowned tango couples, three of whom come from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Also appearing is Silvina Valz, recognized as one of the greatest living tangueras (female tango dancers). Having taught and performed throughout the world, Silvina recently gained great acclaim as the featured dancer in “Fermin”, an Argentine film released this month, which has already appeared at the Chicago Latino Film Festival. Silvina will be teaching and performing with Andres Amarilla, a celebrated Argentine tanguero who has been dancing over 25 years.

Javier Antar and Kara Wenham

Javier Antar and Kara Wenham

Guillermo Cerneaz and Marina Kenny

Guillermo Cerneaz and Marina Kenny

 Adam Hoopengardner and Ciko Tanik

Adam Hoopengardner and Ciko Tanik

The festival also features tango couples Javier Antar and Kara Wenham (of Argentina and the U.S., respectively), Guillermo Cerneaz and Marina Kenny (Argentina) and Adam Hoopengardner and Ciko Tanik (New York).

Thirty tango workshops are being offered for dancers of all levels. The workshops are organized into tracks or specific topics – tango musicality, movement technique and improvisation. This year, the festival will feature an unprecedented seven milongas and prácticas (Argentine tango social dances and practice events), to keep attendees dancing from early evening into the wee hours over the Memorial Day Weekend.

Most festival events (workshops and social dances) will take place in the upstairs ballroom at the RUBA Club in Northern Liberties at 414 Green Street, Philadelphia. This space is reminiscent of a particular mix of elegance and edginess, where tango is danced in Buenos Aires. During the day, workshops will take place concurrently in the studio of the Philadelphia Argentine Tango School located at 2030 Frankford Avenue in Philadelphia.

Of course music is required to accompany all this dancing. The festival is offering an equally popular and superb line-up of DJ’s,  including Travis Widrick (Buffalo), Jay Abling (Phoenix), Manuk Colakyan (Philadelphia/Turkey), Marc Hussner (Philadelphia/Sweden), Adam Hoopengardner (NYC) and Ciko Tanik (NYC/Turkey).

In order that participants have adequate time to stretch and prepare for the festivities and non-stop dancing, a daily yoga class is offered,  taught by Argentine yogi and tango aficionada Monica Moya.

Registration is open now on the festival website: http://philadelphiatangofestival.com. A range of registration options – from a full festival pass, to specific level and day passes, to a milongas-only pass – are available online. Registrants may also choose to purchase individual workshops and milongas at a discounted pre-registration price. Full-time high school, college and graduate students receive 20% off any registration option. Pre-registration ends at midnight on Sunday, May 18, after which attendees may pay at the door for classes that have not sold out and for all milongas and prácticas.

The Philadelphia Argentine Tango School recently celebrated six years of offering superb instruction in Argentine tango to beginners through professional dancers in Philadelphia. In addition to group and private lessons, the Philadelphia Argentine Tango School offers twice-weekly prácticas, monthly milongas and occasional larger events. We have organized three previous Philadelphia International Tango Festivals (2010, 2012 and 2013), and have hosted three major tango bands directly from Argentina, Otros Aires (2009), Tanghetto, (2010) and the Alejandro Ziegler Quartet (2012 and 2013), as well as workshops with many world-renowned tango instructors. In addition to teaching in Philadelphia, our instructors regularly travel to teach and perform worldwide. In the past three years, Philadelphia Argentine Tango School instructors have taught in Austria, Poland, Russia, Cyprus, Lebanon, Brazil, Argentina and throughout the US. In 2009, School Founder Meredith Klein established a permanent studio in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia.  Since then, the Philadelphia Argentine Tango School has been enthusiastically collaborating with other local arts and development organizations to help build a robust Frankford Ave Arts Corridor.

Videos of Teachers/Performers:

- Steven Weisz

Founder & Editor
While not a dancer himself, Weisz’s love for the arts and dance started as a child growing up in New York City. With parents, who were strong supporters of the arts and part of a community with an incredible array of notable artists in music, dance, theater and fine arts, Weisz’s access and affinity for the performing arts took root. Upon attending college in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania in the mid 70’s, Weisz started performing as a puppeteer, magician, juggler and fire eater as a means of supplementing his income. This soon grew in to what became Rainbow Promotions Inc., one of the largest entertainment and special events producers in the region. It was here that he began to promote and book dance for major events throughout the city. Many of the dancers he worked with in the early days of his company are now major choreographers in Philadelphia. At the same time, Weisz’s interest in computers and the early developments of what is now known as the Internet, led him to also start another company, Delaware Valley On Line, which became one of the first regional ISPs. It was this combination of event production, internet development and event marketing that led him to examine the use of the internet as a means to promote the arts. Dance continued to be a major interest for Weisz and in 2005 he founded PhiladelphiaDANCE.org as a major online resource to promote dance in the city. It was soon after that the Dance Journal was also founded as a way to provide an outlet for writing on a range of topics that encompass the ever growing and emerging dance community in the region. Weisz continues to run both PhiladelphiaDANCE and The Dance Journal on purely a voluntary basis with no income derived from any of his projects. He is also the Artistic Director of Graffito Works, a unique platform for dancers and performing artists to create site-specific work and to make it readily accessible to the public.

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