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Tango Legends Nito and Elba Garcia to Visit Philadelphia

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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.

 

- 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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