The Philadelphia Argentine Tango School hosts tango legend Nito Garcia, a star of the tango stage since the 1950s, with his wife and partner Elba Sottile de Garcia, from August 20-26. Nito Garcia learned tango the old-fashioned way, watching his uncle and aunt dance on a packed-earth patio in the province of Buenos Aires more than half a century ago. As a young man, he polished his skills in the dance halls of Buenos Aires, winning 15 dance contests between 1955 and 1965. In the 1960s, he was a principal dancer with the orchestra of Osvaldo Pugliese, considered by tango dancers and musicians alike to be the greatest tango orchestra in history.
Nito and Elba met in a small town outside of Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1973. They had experienced parallel tragedies three years before. In 1970, just two months apart, both had lost their first spouse to a car accident. Not long after meeting, they fell in love, got married, moved to Junín (a city in the province of Buenos Aires), and began dancing tango both socially and in performance with local tango orchestras. Later, they moved to Mar del Plata (a coastal town in the province of Buenos Aires), and continued performing and also teaching.
Their international debut came in 1991 when they were invited to teach in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Since then, they have completed innumerable tours around North and South America, Europe and Asia, headlining tango festivals, performing in stage shows, and teaching workshops. An incomplete list of the cities where they have taught and performed includes: London, Tokyo, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico City, Bolonia, Barcelona, Moscow, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Stuttgart, and Buenos Aires, as well as in more than 20 cities in the United States. Highlights of Nito and Elba’s performing career include dancing with Forever Tango in New York City, at the Esquina Carlos Gardel in Buenos Aires (where they continue to perform nightly when not traveling), and at the Cosmotango Festival in Buenos Aires every year since its inception in 1999. In 1996, Nito and Elba were awarded the prestigious Lobo del Mar award for their outstanding contribution to the arts, and in 1997, were presented with the “Person of the City” award in Mar del Plata, Argentina.
Nito and Elba are coming to Philadelphia as part of a two-month tour to eight US cities (San Francisco, Dallas, Bloomington, New York City, New Orleans, Boston, Philadelphia and Santa Barbara). The entire tour is organized by Philadelphia Argentine Tango School Director, Meredith Klein.
In Philadelphia, from Wednesday, August 20 to Tuesday, August 26, Nito and Elba will teach group and private lessons for tango dancers at various levels, give a lecture on the history of tango, and perform at a milonga (tango social dance). A complete schedule of activities and online registration is available at http://philadelphiatangoschool.com/nito-elba.html.
Most workshops, the tango history lecture, and the prácticas (informal social dances) will take place at the regular studio of the Philadelphia Argentine Tango School (2030 Frankford Ave, PHL 19125). The Saturday workshops and milonga will take place in the gorgeous ballroom upstairs at the Ruba Club (414 Green St, PHL 19123). The Saturday activities (three workshops and the milonga with a performance by Nito and Elba) are open to all levels and beginners are encouraged to attend.
For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit http://philadelphiatangoschool.com/nito-elba.html or contact Meredith Klein, Executive Director, at 617-291-3798.