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Workshop in Ojai:  May 2009

Daniel Trenner

from Northampton, Massachusetts —


Daniel Trenner - headshot



"The Traditional Perspective, Single Time

— and What You Need to Know

Before You Traspie"


Monday - May 18th, 2009

- in the Gallery at the Ojai Art Center -

More Information:

Workshop Overview

More on the Workshop

Daniel's Bio/Background

Recent Video of Daniel

Daniel in L.A. - May 2009

Daniel in Bay Area - April 2009

Daniel's Website

Past Quantum Tango Workshops





Milonga Workshop with Daniel Trenner, May 2009

Overview:  "Milonga" Workshop with Daniel Trenner



Monday, May 18th, 2009



Ojai Art Center - in the Gallery - 113 S. Montgomery, Ojai

Milonga Workshop:


6:00 - 7:30 p.m. - an Extended 90-minute Session


Cost:      $20 * / Dancer for this Special Workshop


                 2-for-1 / Students with I.D.

Supervised Práctica: 


7:30 - 8:00 p.m.     ... FREE ...

      * $5.00 Discount in Ojai for Dancers attending any of Daniel's L.A. Workshops 5/14 - 5/17

— Newer + Experienced Dancers Both Welcome —

Daniel's historical approach in this Workshop — including a look at milonga's simpler, single-time past and its evolution into the more challenging traspie — should offer dancers of all levels plenty of new perspective, insight and challenges.

Download a .pdf flyer (64k) for "Milonga Workshop with Daniel" on 5/18/09 ...

Driving Directions and more about Monday Night Tango in Ojai ...


After the Workshop + Práctica, please join us for Social Dancing at ...

The Monday Night "Tango Incident" in Ojai


8:00 - 10:00 p.m.         Free — No Cover

       — at  LOS CAPORALES - 307 East Ojai Avenue, Ojai  - next to Libbey Park

More about the the Monday Night "Tango Incident" in Ojai ...

More on the "Milonga" Workshop with Daniel Trenner

Historical Background on the "Milonga" Workshop with Daniel:

During the "Golden Age" of the 1930s and '40s, milonga, as both music and dance, played a distinctive role in tango culture, and in helping create the overall shape of a evening of dancing.

For example:  Despite its faster tempo, milonga typically offered dancers a welcome chance to "relax" from the more challenging and intricate demands of tango:  Milonga provided a predictable even beat that invited a simpler dance vocabulary, a straightforward connection between partners, and plenty of energy and motion — qualities which magnified its lighter, "happier" sensibility.

As tango began to re-emerge in Argentina in the mid-1980s, older dancers brought this "Golden Age" approach back onto the dance floors of Buenos Aires, reviving milonga as a playful and easy-going interlude within the greater evening of dancing — something that even newer dancers could find enjoyable and readily accessible.

But just as in earlier time periods, tango was once again on the move — with innovative and progressive dancers creating new shapes + relationships, and pushing the boundaries of the form.

As the 1990s dawned, milonga specialists like Tomi O'Connell, Daniel "El Flaco" García, and Omar Vega, among others, increasingly began to experiment with traspie — literally, "stumble foot" — injecting rapid double-time steps and syncopations into milonga's more traditional single-time interpretation, and exponentially increasing its potential and complexity.

Inspired by this creativity, other open-minded dancers picked up on the new possibilities, and milonga traspie grew more widespread, gradually becoming something we see on dance floors all over the world. As a result, today's milonga can seem especially daunting to newer dancers, while at the same time offering unique challenges, opportunities and rewards to more experienced dancers.


More about Daniel's Approach in "Milonga: The Traditional Perspective ..."

Daniel was "on the ground" in Argentina both before and after this transformation of milonga — something which gives him an exceptional insight into milonga's recent (and ongoing) evolution.

By taking a closer look at how and why these shifts occurred, Daniel's workshop in Ojai will explore this crucial "hinge" period in tango history. And by considering both the traditional social roots of milonga in single time, as well as its far more complex and dynamic present-day incarnations, Daniel will give newer + experienced dancers alike a chance to better understand + access just what it is we do when milonga music starts to play ...

"Milonga: The Traditional Perspective — and What You Need to Know Before You Traspie" is the nearest most of us will ever come to teleporting ourselves back to Buenos Aires circa 1990 and spending a year among milonga's classic practitioners and traspie innovators ... don't miss it.


More About Milonga — the Music and the Dance:

The syncopated, up-tempo 2/4 beat of milonga is the rhythmic foundation of all tango music, and it dominated the sound during the 19th Century when the many overlapping threads of modern tango were first coming together.

Through the related forms of candombe and habernera, historians now trace the driving beat of milonga directly to West Africa — in the areas of present-day Congo and Angola — where this distinctive rhythm is more than 1,000 years old. In these cultures, the syncopated pulse of milonga still means what it always has, quite literally: "Get up, and dance!"

In our own culture, the challenge for dancers is to match the vocabulary and movements of tango to the pace and energy of this music to create the style of dancing we call milonga.

Of course, in addition to a particular kind of music and the dancing that it inspires, the word "milonga" also refers to a gathering of dancers who come together to enjoy tango. So it's entirely possible to "Dance a milonga to a milonga at a milonga" — quite a wonderful thing.

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 2009, 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 more than 20 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 Ojai on May 18th 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.


Some Recent Video of Daniel's (Improvised!) 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


Daniel's Recent Workshops in Berkeley + San Francisco — April 2009

In addition to his Jan/Feb 2009 visits to Tango Berretin and ValenTango in Portland, Daniel has been offering twelve days' worth of tango workshops, lectures, interviews and activities in Berkeley + San Francisco during April 2009.

To find out more about these events — and to find out what dancers like Homer + Cristina Ladas, Alex Krebs and Christy Cote have to say about Daniel — please visit his workshop page, sponsored by Project Tango.

  Flyer for Daniel's Bay Area Workshops

More About Daniel in Southern California, May 2009:


Daniel's visit to Ojai is being presented in collaboration with our friends at Tango Mar Vista —
where May is the Month of Co-Creation, and where there will be several other:


Tango Workshops & Events with Daniel in Los Angeles : May 14 - 17


For information about these and other intriguing happenings at Tango Mar Vista — including their superb "Oxygen Milonga" every 3rd Saturday Night of the month, please visit their website.

Past Quantum Tango Workshops with Visiting Dancers:


•    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: "Nuevo" — February 2006


Bandoneon - graphic

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