Jorge “Gem” Duras, Argentine Tango Instructor, Director
Jorge “Gem” Duras has been dancing tango for 20 years and teaching professionally since 2003. In 1990’s he studied with the original cast members of the famous show Forever Tango, in particular the legendary Carlos Gavito. He then visited Buenos Aires numerous times to study advanced technique, ballet and stage tango with younger Forever Tango stars Francisco Forquera and Jesus Velazquez, receiving his tango certificate. Over many years he became familiar with the styles of such important and diverse dancers as Mariano “Chicho” Frumboli, Gustavo Naveira, Susana Miller, Javier Rodriguez, Osvaldo Zotto, Norberto “Pulpo” Esbrez, Geraldine Rojas, Carlos Rivarola, Juan Carlos Copes, Dana Frigoli and Milena Plebs. As a result he is able to teach and guide the students in various tango styles such as Salon, Milonguero, Nuevo and beyond.
Dale Ellison, Argentine Tango Instructor, Co-Founder
Dale Ellison, known in Buenos Aires as Delia, has been dancing Argentine tango for more than 19 years, and teaching for more than 10. She has developed a reputation as a dynamic Argentine Tango teacher and performer in salon, milonguero, nuevo and performance styles of tango.
Originally a San Francisco resident, Dale received her tango training from the stars of the famous show “Forever Tango” most notably Carlos Gavito and Marcela Duran. Initially a salsa dancer and club style salsa instructor, Dale was drawn to tango for its sensuality and passion, later winning the first prize in the first San Francisco Tango Competition in 1998. Dale Ellison teaches and runs tango activities as the director of Tango Rojo in Charleston SC.
Guest Instructors, Connecticut Tango Festival
Analia Carreño, Luis Ramirez
Analía Carreño and Luís Ramirez, master dancers and choreographers, have been dancing together for ten years incorporating their elegant, dynamic and passionate style, into their performances in stages and dance halls throughout the world. Analía and Luís have performed regularly in major tango shows such as Esquina Carlos Gardel, Tanguera, Tango Emotion and Señor Tango. They have been invited to teach and perform at numerous important tango festivals in major world cities such as Moscow, Berlin, Hamburg, Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul, Tokyo, Singapore, Sydney, Melbourne, Bali, Brunei, Kuala Lumpur and Manila. They have appeared as a guest at the CT Tango Fest in 2015.
Pablo Nievas and Valeria Zunino
Internationally renowned dancers and teachers, Pablo Nievas and Valeria Zunino both started dancing in their childhood. Pablo initially learned tango from his grand-father at the age of five, later he attended the “Escuela Municipal de Danzas” to study tango and Argentine folk dances professionally. Valeria started dancing at the age of four, and later attended the prestigious “Escuela Nacional de Danzas Clasicas” where she studied ballet first. After working as a jazz dancer at various musicals in Buenos Aires and performing at various ballet theaters, she was introduced to tango and became partners with Pablo to create a long and impressive international tango career.
They have been invited to teach and perform in most countries in Europe as well as Asia, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South America. They were guest instructors at the 2014 CT Tango Fest.
Pablo Velez and Daniela Kizyma
United for their common passion, Pablo Velez and Daniela Kizyma are rising stars of a younger generation of Argentine Tango dancers and performers. Born in Argentina with Ukrainian, Lithuanina and Italian heritages, Pablo and Daniela started dancing as teenagers first studying with Walter Gomez. They formed their partnership in 1998, to start a successful career of performances in shows such as La Ventana, Gala Tango, El Viejo Almacen, Madero Tango, Che Tango, Complejo Tango, Bien de Tango and Mora Godoy Company.
In Buenos Aires they teach at the Mora Godoy School, Milonga El Tacuari as well as Gala Tango. Their international engagements took them to four continents to teach and perform in countries such as Denmark, Italy, Turkey, Greece, Spain, Poland, Lithuania, Germany, Japan, Paraguay and Brazil among others.
“Los Totis”, Virginia Gomez, Christian Marquez
United for their common passion, Virginia Gomez and Christian Marquez, known as “Los Totis” have been traveling a long path to become a tango couple known for their consistency, maturity and their authentic tango style. Working together since 1996, they studied with renowned tango masters in Buenos Aires, and in 1997 they gave their first performance. Soon after they participated various important shows such as “Los tangos de la Cábala¨, ¨Piazzolla Tango¨, ¨Copes Tango Copes, ¨O´Tango¨y ¨Coorporación Tangos¨
Since 2002 they have been traveling to Europe and Asia becoming one of the most sought after tango couples. They have recently been invited to teach and perform at workshops and festivals in Istanbul/Turkey, Hong Kong. In 2006 they were the featured dance couple on the video clip of Gotan Project “Diferente” and second year in a row they have been invited to the International Argentine Tango Congress (CITA) in Buenos Aires, where they regularly teach and reside. They visited the United States as guest instructors in 2012.
Victoria Sarquisse, Federico Jorquera
Born and raised in Argentina,Victoria Sarquisse and Federico Jorquera are young salon and show style tango dancers and instructors. Their tango technique is elegant and dynamic, yet relaxed and focused on connection and musicality. Victoria is the creator and director of TANGO-Flex, the newest Tango workout specialized for increasing flexibility, balance, and body control specially designed for Tango Dancers. She also specializes in footwork technique and woman embellishments. Federico specializes in musicality, body positioning, and connection. They have taught and performed in various cities in the US, Argentina, and Ecuador, including the “Cancilleria Argentina” for the Argentinean Government and at the “Escuela Argentina de Tango” in Buenos Aires. They were featured at the Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night’s Swing Festival as well as the US Tango Congress and Festival in Miami with performances. They have also performed with the famous Neo-Tango Orchestra Otros Aires at their US debut and on live TV for Channel 11 in New York City. Victoria & Federico live and teach in Tampa, FL, and are the Directors of Tampa Tango Argentino.
Carolina Jaurena, Diego Blanco
Carolina Jaurena has performed at major halls and tango festivals internationally: Tango & Tango, Tango Fantastico, Tangos for la Milonga” with the Romulo Larrea and Sudwestfalen Philarmonic at the Symphonic Tango night in Hilchenbach-Lutzel, Germany, the D.C. Tango Festival, Boston Tango Festival, and Stockholm Tango Festival. Carolina is also a much sought after performer in television and film, having appeared on such shows as Fox 5 “Good Day New York”, “Today in NY” on NBC, Sábado Gigante on Univision as well as a role as a dancer in the feature film Random Hearts directed by Sidney Pollack and starring Harrison Ford.
Award-winning Argentine Tango dancer Diego Blanco has performed in many productions including Tango: It takes more than two, Noche de Passion, Fiesta Latina, Jennifer Muller the Work, Lets Speak Tango, Tango undress and The 4 Tango Seasons among others. His tango style is energetic, rhythmical, and innovative, and through his fluid moves he fuse nuevo tango with the close embrace look of traditional tango. He incorporates Classical Ballet, Jazz, African, and Jose Limon, Martha Graham, and Jennifer Muller techniques to his Argentine Tango to create a unique dance technique.
They were invited guests at the 2010 CT Tango Fest.
Oscar Mandagaran, Georgina Vargas
Oscar Mandagarán began his career as a professional dancer of tango and folk dance in 1988. He was a member of the tango company “Señor Tango” in Buenos Aires for 2 years. He performed as a member of the cast in the Oscar nominated film “Tango” under the direction of Carlos Saura. Between 1998 and 2003 he starred in the Broadway hit show Forever Tango and toured with the company all over the world.
A multi-talented professional tango dancer and tango singer, Georgina Vargas starred in Tango x 2 in Italy as well as Con Sabor a Tango, a dance company and show that she co-founded in Argentina. Together they are one of the most sought after Argentine couples from Buenos Aires, teaching and performing in more than 20 Countries. Known for their elegance and superb technique they embody the passion and intensity of tango in their dancing and teaching.
They were guest instructors in 2007 and 2009 at the Connecticut Tango Festival.
Guest Instructor of Honor
Omar Vega, who was one of the main dancers/actors in the well-known movie “Tango Lesson” by Sally Potter, visited Connecticut as a guest of Tango Sueño in March 2008, few months before his passing. An obituary can be found here…