Coming to Ojai ...
Sabá & María Olivera
— from Buenos Aires
How Our Touch Creates the Dance
A 90-Minute Workshop + Supervised
Monday - March 19,
2018 — in the Gallery at the Ojai Art Center
with Gustavo & María: "The
The story ...
is told of a younger dancer, eager to make his way deeper into
the mysteries of Tango, who asks an older milonguero about
his favorite part of the dance:
Was it a particular situation or idea, like a special turn
or certain boleo ... or was it more about the quality
of the movement itself, "how" we walk ... or maybe
something about the music, and all the many memories and feelings
"No," says the older man:
"For me, the high point of our dance is that moment when
we finally reach out and touch for the very first time. Everything
that follows all the music and the wonderful movements
we make together? All of that is just delicious aftermath ..."
"Connection" vs. Embrace
Often referred to as "the connection," it turns out
that this slender mechanical word scarcely begins to describe
the richness, subtlety and nuance of Tango's embrace.
As the old milonguero suggested, mere physical contact
alone is not enough: What matters is the threshold we cross
together and, in turn, the deeper and far more resonant
layers of what this choice implies and allows:
In the moment of our touch, we go from being two separate people
to becoming partners in a whole new entity, The Couple
Old barriers fall and familiar boundaries begin to blur as
we open ourselves to trust and relationship ... agree to engage,
interact, explore ... lean forward into possibiltiies ... then
step together toward the unknown.
By way of metaphor, a plug that's "connected" to a wall
socket is meaningless ... unless there is also a current present,
that vital ebb and flow of electricity and
something on the other end of the wire a lamp, a
fan, a radio which can not only accept this unseen power,
but transform it in ways that are at once tangible, useful, elegant,
Likewise in Tango: The key to our touch is how
such a simple gesture allows this "divine spark" to
rise and leap between two bodies to animate the relationship,
turn us into partners, and conjure The Couple into being.
The Workshop: "The Dynamic
On March 19 in Ojai, guest artists Gustavo Benzecry
Sabá & María Olivera invite us deeper into
these mysteries by helping us consider + explore a range of topics
+ issues related to Tango's "Dynamic
Embrace," such as:
- how to send and receive / give and take on the bi-directional,
"two-way" channel of the embrace ...
- how our embrace can move, shift, breathe and hinge
elegantly adapting our touch to Tango's ever-changing
possibilities and circumstances ...
- how various inefficiencies and distortions can arise
how we can notice what's happening, understand the consequences,
then adjust and respond to the developing situation ...
- how to organize and make use of the many ways we can touch
and make contact with our partner hand, arm, back, chest,
head, cheek, chin, temple ...
- how to manage the different ways we might "fit together"
with a variety of partners including those that are taller,
shorter, wider, slender, more flexible, and less so ...
- how best to keep our Tango embrace tender, supple and alive
... rather than becoming stiff, rigid or awkward, like ballroom's
notorious "frame" ...
- how we can let our embrace flow between closer and more open
relationships to create a more flexible and responsive "elastic
- how to approach and incorporate the idea of entrega
as we explore ever deeper layers of surrender and expressiveness
with our partner, with the music, and with Tango's myriad
After "The Dynamic Embrace"
workshop, please stay on as Gustavo & María supervise
the Guided Práctica, and then join us for a special extended
edition of our long-running Monday Night milonga, Ojai's "Tango
It's not the pen; it's
the words that flow from poet
to the open page ...
with Gustavo & María
Monday March 19, 2018
Ojai Art Center - in the Gallery - 113 S. Montgomery, Ojai
7:00 - 8:30 p.m. - an Extended 90-minute Session
8:30 - 9:00 p.m. following the Workshop ...
9:00 - 10:30 p.m. Ojai's renowned milonga
$25 / Dancer for this Special Workshop + Práctica
2-for-1 / Students
with I.D. ...
only by donation
Newer + More Experienced
Dancers Both Welcome
Click here for Driving
Directions - and - more about Monday
Night Tango in Ojai ...
Coming to Ojai for an overnight
...? Click here for info
on local accommodations.
About Gustavo & María
& María - on the social dance floor
Celebrated social dancers and teachers, Gustavo Benzecry
Sabá & María Olivera are from Buenos
Gustavo started dancing in the late 90s, studying with
both milongueros and stage performers. In 2003 he met María
and they started teaching together at the famous Salón
Canning, in Buenos Aires.*
Their teaching method is both precise and gradual. Because
of this, theyre among the most popular teachers. They
regularly teach workshops in their home town and at international
festival and events. Their kindness and good sense of humor
make the learning very effective for students. Gustavo is
patient and reflective, and María brings dynamism and
clarity in the concepts they present and explore.
As teachers and dancers theyve been touring Europe
and America since 2006, taking part in many international
events. Gustavo stands out for his elegance, creativity and
musicality, and María for her quick adornments and
her musical precision.
Together they also work hard on promoting the Tango as a
culture. Gustavo has written several books including
Embracing Tango, Tango FAQs, a
New Glossary of tango terms (with a DVD to illustrate),
and most recently, a history of the dance, Quest for
the Embrace: 1800 - 1983. With María theyve
also produced instructional DVDs on technique for leaders
and followers, as well as a documentary film on the history
of the dance in the 1940s and 50s that they screen
for educational purposes.
|* Salón Canning
in Palermo is one of the most iconic Tango venues in Buenos
Aires. Read more about it here: in English
Links to More About Gustavo &
& María's Website
More background, bio, links, video,
books, DVDs ...
in San Pedro
Gustavo & María will also be
in residence in the L.A.
area March 13 - 24 at Tango San
Pedro, offering a
series of workshops & events ...
Aires Tango Immersion
Gustavo & María's annual
tour to "Tango Mecca"
and their hometown Buenos
Aires ... 10 days
of intensive workshops, milonga outings,
excursions & more next
tour: December 2018
Video of their Dancing
at Salón Canning, Buenos Aires, 2016
at ValenTango in Portland, 2018
in Saarbrücken, Germany, 2017
+ Driving Directions
For the "Dynamic Embrace"
Workshop with Gustavo & María in Ojai:
to Ojai Art Center 113 South Montgomery, Ojai
from Google Maps ...
- From US 101 in Ventura, take CA 33 north toward Ojai.
- Keep going straight as CA 150 joins CA 33, then swings east to
take you into Ojai. Stay on CA 150.
- The "center of town" is the stop light at Signal Street
you'll see the Post Office on the SE corner, with its iconic
- For the Art Center: Continue east approximately 0.1
miles, past Libbey Park, and turn right/south onto South Montgomery
the Art Center is half a block down, on your right ...
- Come in the front door and follow the music we will be
in the Gallery at the end of the hall ... 1,400 square feet,
with a recently refinished maple floor from the 1930s
Exterior Ojai Art Center 113
South Montgomery, Ojai
Interior Dance Space in the Gallery
at the Ojai Art Center
Quantum Tango Workshops & Events with Visiting Dancers
Tango Playing "Live" for Dancers at Grapes &
Hops June 2017
Winkler "Polarity + Presence" April 2017
Valle Rosada" - Ojai Women's Tango Weekend with Brigitta &
Deb March 2017
Amenábar "Melody as a Rhythmic Element" +
"Syncopation in Tango" July 2016
Tango "Rhythmic Structures" - Riding the
Waves in the Music June 2016
Corbalán + Yamila Ivonne Tango Lab: "Dynamics"
+ "Silence" May 2016
Winkler Tango Lab: "Intimacy" March 2016
Valino Tango Lab: "La Esencia" of Ricardo Vidort
Amenábar "Essential Units of Tango Rhythm"
+ "Melody in Tango" July 2015
Pandolfi Tango Lab: "Follower's Technique"
Tango "Mapping the Tango" - Phrase Structure + Form
Winkler "Flirty Vals" March 2015
Smitt "Clean, Clear, Crisp, Rhythmic" + "Hold
Me Tight, Let Me Go" May 2014
Trenner Tango Lab: "Principles of Letting + Flowing"
Winkler "INTER: Act / Sect / Weave / Relate"
Chen + Florencia Han "Milonga: Fast + Small"
Daniel Trenner Tango Lab:
"Iconic Roles - The Lead + Follow Dynamic" March
Martinez "Cross-System Gems" September
Fabiano "Close Embrace of the Third Kind"
Tango Quartet & Avik Basu "Tango Music: Its
Secrets Revealed" August 2010
Trenner "Milonga: Traditional Perspectives &
Tráspie" May 2009
Zubarik "Milonga for Beginners" April
Amarilla + Meredith Klein Mulitple Workshops October
Amarilla : Extended Residency January / February / March
Andrés Amarilla + Meredith
Klein Tango Lab: "Alternative Embrace"
Amarilla + Meredith Klein Multiple Workshops May
/ June 2006 (pdf)
Andrés Amarilla + Meredith
Klein Tango Lab Intensive: "Nuevo" February