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Tango Lab in Santa Barbara:  March 2014


Celebrated Tango Pioneer, Dancer + Educator

Daniel Trenner

— from Northampton, Massachusetts —

The Iconic Lead + Follow:  

Principles of "Letting and Flowing"


Monday - March 24th, 2014

— at a private home in Santa Barbara —


More Information:

    Workshop Overview      Daniel's Bio/Background      

      Links + Video       Perspectives on Daniel

More on Leading / Following      Past Quantum Tango Workshops

Overview:  "Iconic Roles " Tango Lab with Daniel Trenner



Monday, March 24th, 2014



in a private home in Santa Barbara

Tango Lab:


7:30 - 10:00 p.m. - a Two-Hour Seminar - followed by ...
          a 30-Minute Supervised Práctica with Daniel



 $40 / Dancer * ... (= $80 / couple)

*    For this edition of "Tango Lab" ...

•    Intermediate-to-Advanced Dancers

This edition of Tango Lab is aimed at dancers with at least one full/solid year of tango study - and - who partic ipate regularly in social dancing.

To join us with confidence on Monday evening, we expect you to be familiar and comfortable improvising tango in varying floor conditions, to a range of music, with a variety of partners + embrace ...

•    Role Balanced

In order to maximize everyone's experience and insure that we have an equal number of leaders and followers, you are encouraged to register and attend Tango Lab with a partner.

For single dancers interested in Tango Lab, please let us know your role, and we will do our best to match you with an appropriate single partner, if available ...

And while "traditional" gender roles are not a limitation — women who lead and men who follow are both welcome — we will plan on keeping to an even number of dancers so that everyone will have a partner throughout this seminar ...

•    Limited to Eight Couples (16 dancers)

Thank you for your understanding that, for this intimate seminar in a private home with Daniel Trenner, we can accommodate a maximum of 16 dancers ... 8 couples.

Questions + Registration — please contact:   Stephen Bauer ...

On the Possibility of a Private with Daniel ...

Newer dancers, unpartnered single dancers, those with Monday night conflicts, and/or anyone who wants to spend more time with Daniel might like to consider the possibility of a private lesson.

Depending on interest + scheduling, Daniel may be available for a limited number of private lessons during the daytime on Monday, March 24th.

If you're interested in this possibility, please contact Stephen for more information ...

Daniel Trenner is considered by many to be the "godfather" of Argentine Tango in North America.

Daniel's connection with the dance began back in 1986 when he first traveled to Buenos Aires and discovered tango just as it was beginning to re-emerge following years of neglect and political repression in Argentina. Already an accomplished dancer in several other forms, Daniel found there were few if any "tango classes" available at the time, and the newly revived tango scene was dominated mostly by social dancers who had learned their tango informally, "on the street" in the 1940s and '50s, during tango's "Golden Age."

      Daniel pictured with Anne Marie Duquette

Daniel attended countless milongas, meeting and befriending numerous older dancers as he steeped himself in tango's culture and history. His interest and enthusiasm gradually led to opportunities to study with dozens of notable dancers-turned-teachers — including Miguel & Nelly Balmeceda, Antonio Todaro, Juan Bruno, Mingo & Esther Pugliese, Rodolfo & Maria Cieri, Eduardo Arquimbau, Pupi Castello, Tomi O'Connell, Pedro 'Tete' Rusconi & Sylvia Ceriani, and Maria Villalobos — as well as with gifted contemporary dancers like Gustavo Naveira, Olga Besio, Miguel Zotto and Graciela Gonzalez who were actively creating and pursuing their own influential investigations of tango.

As his understanding and experience with tango grew, Daniel was eager to share his discoveries with fellow dancers in North America. He founded the seminal "Bridge to the Tango" and began to organize and host tours to Buenos Aires so that others could benefit from the connections and opportunities he had encountered and pioneered in Argentina. "Bridge to the Tango" also began to import and sell tango music to dancers in the U.S., and Daniel took the initiative to produce more than 80 instructional videos on tango — including many which document the artistry and insights of key dancers from the 1940s and '50s who are sadly no longer with us.

In between his many trips to Buenos Aires in the 1990s, Daniel traveled widely throughout Europe and North America, and — with the help of world-class partners like Rebecca Shulman, Florencia Taccetti, Mariela Franganillo and others — he introduced thousands of newcomers and experienced social dancers alike to the pleasures and challenges of Argentine Tango.

Daniel's deep background with and understanding of other types of dance made him unusually adept at bridging the "cultural divide" between this quintessentially South American art form and his non-Argentine student dancers. As a result, Daniel helped seed and inspire many of our most important and influential tango communities in the U.S. — indeed, in 2014, it would be difficult to find an active tango dancer in North America who wasn't able to trace their own tango roots directly back to the early investigations, inspiration, efforts and enthusiasm of Daniel Trenner.

A long-time anchor of the tango and dance communities in New England and the Northeast, Daniel has recently begun to travel and teach again. And, after nearly 30 years of experience with tango, he now finds himself in the role once occupied by his own early teachers and mentors:  A vital bridge to the history and practice of tango over the years — not only to the late 1980s and '90s when Daniel first caught the wave and helped create tango's modern emergence as a thriving international art form, but further back, to the tango of 1940s and '50s, when many of the older milongueros that Daniel befriended and studied with took their first steps onto the dance floors of Buenos Aires.

Please join us in Santa Barbara on March 24th to welcome Daniel Trenner back to Southern California, and treat yourself a rare view of tango past and present, through the unique eyes of this Modern Master.

Links to:

Daniel's Website — with essays, background, history and more.

iTango Cafe — Daniel's site for tango videos, including the 80+ projects he created for Bridge to the Tango, many of them documenting the work, artistry and insights of milongueros who first came to tango in the 1940s and '50s.

For more about his work with this older generation of dancers, see the "Milonguero Preservation Project" ...

Video featuring Daniel's Dancing:

Traditional Salon Tango — with Rebecca Rorick Smith

Playful Tango to Piazzolla — exchanging Lead & Follow with Alex Krebs

Tango Nuevo — 3-way partnering with Homer + Cristina Ladas

Selected Testimonials + Perspective

Over many years and many travels, Daniel has met, taught, danced with, and inspired tens of thousands of tango dancers.

For more perspective on Daniel and his teaching — as well as insight into his deep and lasting influence on tango along the West Coast and beyond — see these thoughts from Homer + Cristina, Alex Krebs, and Christy Coté.

“Cristina and I have known Daniel as a friend and tango mentor for many years now. Throughout the years he has he given us much needed advice for the art of teaching tango and also for working as full time instructors. In addition, Daniel has shed much light on the development of tango historically from the Golden Age and, in a first-hand account way, since its reemergence as a global social dance in the 80’s and through the 90’s. This is much needed information, which without Daniel’s thoroughness of documentation and attention to detail, would otherwise be lost or mired in a state of utter confusion, gossip, and make-believe. The United States tango scene owes a great debt to Daniel for his early pioneering work, vast community building efforts, and scholarly recordings. In truth Daniel was and still is the bridge to the tango for many of us...”

                                         — Homer + Cristina Ladas, Organic Tango School, Bay Area

“Daniel's experience in tango is almost unparalleled of any teacher I know. He was studying tango in Buenos Aires in the 1980's with many milongueros that are no longer with us and not only learned from, but documented a lot of them on film. Because of this he has a unique perspective in the tango world today -- bridging the old and new styles and being able to transmit his knowledge to students in an informed, entertaining, and well-thought out manner.”

                                          — Alex Krebs, Tango Berretin, Portland

“Daniel Trenner was knocking on the door of Buenos Aires to discover the world of Argentine Tango long before any of us knew it existed! With his extensive dance background he was able to decipher much about Argentine Tango in this very much underground scene of the late 80s and early 90s and by spending one on one time with the authentic Milongueros. Luckily for all of us he was also a great teacher and shared his knowledge with dancers all over the United States as he traveled and also through an extensive video collection in which he documented so much of his discoveries about Argentine Tango. Daniel is truly a fountain of knowledge and experience when it comes to Argentine Tango. An opportunity to study with him is one I highly recommend!”

                                           — Christy Coté, Tango Con*Fusion, San Francisco

More on Leading + Following

Beginning with his earliest encounters with tango back in the 1980s, Daniel has delved deeply into the lead + follow dynamic of the dance, probing the inner workings of this most essential tango relationship.

Along the way, Daniel's unique blend of historical and cultural perspectives — bilingual, North American, fluent in many forms of body movement + dance, equally adept at both leading + following — has helped make his observations, discoveries and insights particularly valuable to his fellow tango dancers.

Among Daniel's many investigations:

"The Changing Codes of Tango Social Dancing" — Daniel's classic 1998 essay on the issues, forces and transformations that were unfolding in tango from the late 1980s into the 1990s, during the early days of Tango's Renaissance ...

"Homage to the Followers":  Part 1 and Part 2 — Daniel's 2009 ruminations on the continuing development and evolution of the follower's role in the first decade of the 21st Century, and its impact on the relationship(s) and interactions between partners.

For additional background on similar themes, topics and history:

"The Traditional Way to Learn Tango" — insights from Christine Denniston on how dancers learned tango in the "Golden Age" of the 1930s, '40s and '50s, from her website on the History of Tango.

2001 Interview with Fabián Salas — for a different perspective on then-current changes and developments in tango, including an evolution in the pedagogy of the dance that was being explored and developed by the Tango Investigation Group, an influential collective of forward-thinking younger dancers intent on learning, understanding and engaging tango as contemporary art form.

The Tango Investigation Group included many of Daniel's peers and colleagues in Buenos Aires of the 1990s — Fabián Salas, Gustavo Naveira, Chicho Frumboli, Mauricio Castro, and Andrés Amarilla, among others.

History + Perpective on Tango "Styles" — tracing tango from its earliest days, through the "Golden Age" and Tango Renaissance, on into our own present time and experience, from dancer Stephen Brown.

In tango, the slippery term "style" often refers to our attempts to highlight particular aspects of the form and its practice, and/or to organize the divergent elements of the dance into broad categories, related groupings, convenient containers ...

One way of understanding this fluid and ever-changing mix is to look at tango through the lens of history, geography, and the many shfiting cultural factors that have and continue to influence the ongoing evolution of the dance.

Past Quantum Tango Workshops & Events with Visiting Dancers

•    Brigitta Winkler — "INTER:  Act / Sect / Weave / Relate" — February 2014

•    Leonel Chen + Florencia Han — "Milonga:  Fast + Small" — November 2013

•    Daniel Trenner — Tango Lab: "Iconic Roles - Tango's Lead & Follow Dynamic" — March 2013

•    Felipe Martinez — "Cross-System Gems" — September 2012

•    Sharna Fabiano — "Close Embrace of the Third Kind" — September 2011

•    Folias Tango Quartet & Avik Basu — "Tango Music:  Its Secrets Revealed" — August 2010

•    Daniel Trenner — "Milonga:  Traditional Perspectives & Tráspie" — May 2009

•    Sabine Zubarik — "Milonga for Beginners" — April 2009

•    Andrés Amarilla + Meredith Klein — Mulitple Workshops — October 2007   (pdf)

•    Andrés Amarilla : Extended Residency — January / February / March 2007   (pdf)

•    Andrés Amarilla + Meredith Klein — Tango Lab: "Alternative Embrace" — May 2006

•    Andrés Amarilla + Meredith Klein — Multiple Workshops — May / June 2006   (pdf)

•    Andrés Amarilla + Meredith Klein — Tango Lab Intensive: "Nuevo" — February 2006


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