Leonel + Florencia are based in Seoul, South Korea, where
they have created an influential tango school, El Bulin,
and host two important festivals each year. In November, they are
heading back to Buenos Aires with stops along the way in
Francisco, Los Angeles, New York ... and Ojai.
Leo + Flor offer a rare blend: Not only are they elegant
stage performers and frequent guest artists who teach at festivals
+ events throughout Asia, they are also consummate social dancers
with a deep understanding of the ongoing needs, challenges and rewards
of developing our Tango over time, supported and inspired by our
fellow dancers in a vibrant local community.
In Ojai, we will tap into this rich vein by inviting Leo + Flor
to present their perspective on the music + dance of the lively,
accessible and upbeat milonga.
For more on Leo+ Flor's visit to Los Angeles on November 12-17,
Tango ... and for more background milonga
and their Ojai workshop, please scroll down or use the links below
And plan on joining us on Monday, November 18th in Ojai
for Milonga: Fast + Small
with guest artists Leonel Chen + Florencia Han ...
Workshop on "Milonga: Fast + Small" with Leonel Chen &
Florencia Han, November 2013
with Leonel + Florencia
Monday November 18th, 2013
Ojai Art Center - in the Gallery - 113 S. Montgomery, Ojai
6:00 - 7:30 p.m. - an Extended 90-minute Session
$20 / Dancer for this Special Workshop
2-for-1 / Students
7:30 - 8:00 p.m. after the workshop ...
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.
After the Workshop + Práctica, please join us for Social Dancing
The Monday Night "Tango Incident" in Ojai
8:00 - 10:00 p.m. Free
at LOS CAPORALES
- 307 East Ojai Avenue, Ojai - next to Libbey Park
More about the the Monday Night
"Tango Incident" in Ojai ...
More About Leonel + Florencia
from Hong Kong, Hung-Yut "Leonel" started tango in
the United States. He met Hwayi "Florencia" in a milonga
in Seoul in 2005. They started to build a partnership to dance and teach
tango together. They were married in 2008. In 2009 they founded their
tango studio El Bulín, and started the annual Seoul
Tango Festival, which has become the largest event of its kind in
They have been invited to teach and perform in half a dozen cities
in Korea, as well as for festivals and workshops in Beijing, Hong Kong,
Hiroshima, Los Angeles, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, and Taipei.
Hwayi studied ballet in high school and college. She worked as a professional
musical actress for 8 years. In 2004, she joined the World Tango Championship
in Buenos Aires and won second prize in the stage section. She was a
judge at the Asian Tango Championship in Japan in 2009 and 2010.
Hung-Yut grew up in Hong Kong. He won first prize at the 2002 USA Tango
Contest in Los Angeles. He speaks Cantonese, Mandarin, English, Spanish,
and more and more Korean. He is also one of the most experienced DJs
in Asia, and has played music at many international events, including
Taipei Tango Festival, Hong Kong Tango Festival, Shanghai Tango Festival,
Sydney Salon Tango Festival, Beijing Dream of Illusion Tango Weekend,
and Portland Tango Festival (USA).
Leonel + Florencia
teaching at Vida Mia in Beijing
Florencia + Leonel
at the Fringe Festival in Seoul
Bulin Florencia + Leonel's tango studio in Seoul,
Tango Festival presented by Leo + Flor every May
Deeper to Find Presence" Leonel + Florencia's
series of weekend workshops down at Oxygen Tango School
in Los Angeles on November 14, 16 & 17 ... where they will
also be performing on Saturday, 11/16 at the Oxygen Milonga.
the Mind & the Milonga interview with Leonel
+ Mitra Martin (of Oxygen)
Selected Video with Leonel + Florencia:
- Dancing tango
at the Suncheon Big Milonga (Korea) in 2013 ...
- Dancing tango
at the Hong Kong Tango Festival in 2012 ...
- Dancing milonga
in Singapore in 2011 ...
Background on "Milonga: Fast + Small"
Milonga in the Old Days Known for its Fun & Accessibility
During the "Golden Age" of the 1930s and '40s, milonga,
as both music and dance, played a distinctive role in tango culture
and helped create the overall shape of an evening of dancing.
For example: Despite its faster tempo, milonga
typically offered dancers in this era 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
tangueros brought their "Golden Age" experience 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 and beginners could
find enjoyable and readily accessible.
Milonga in our Own Time a Reputation as Fast & Challenging
As the 1990s dawned, tango was once again on the move with
innovative and progressive dancers creating new shapes + relationships,
and pushing the boundaries of the form.
Among these were milonga specialists like Pepito
O'Connell and Omar
Vega who, along with other dancers, increasingly began to experiment
with traspié literally, "stumble
foot" injecting rapid double-time steps and syncopations
into milonga's more traditional single-time interpretation,
and exponentially increasing both the potential and complexity of
|Inspired by this creativity, other open-minded dancers
picked up on the new possibilities, and milonga traspié
grew more widespread, gradually becoming a dominant form, and
something we can see unfolding on dance floors all over the world.
As a result, while offering unique challenges, opportunities and
rewards to more experienced dancers, today's milonga
can often seem dizzingly fast and daunting to newer dancers.
Milonga can even be frustrating to those dancers able
to keep pace with the tempo, but who find themselves somehow "stuck
in a groove" returning to familiar shapes and ideas much
more often than they would like perhaps without ever really
discovering their own best way(s) to bust out, to explore and revel
in the vitality, energy and sheer joy of the music ...
Ironically, difficulties and frustrations like these "too
hard, too fast, too boring" are the very opposite
of what our tango grandparents experienced with their own milonga
on the social dance floors of the 1930s and '40s.
Milonga: Fast + Small On
the Path toward Reconciling Opposites
A vexing puzzle for modern Tango dancers is:
How do we link the dynamism and creativity of today's milonga
with the effortless pleasures that so many have enjoyed in the past
In Milonga: Fast + Small,
Leo and Flor will share their insights and perspectives on how we
can reconcile these divergent aspects of milonga and
bring its two opposing poles together into a single fluid dance.
One secret to making it all work: Learning how to "go
quickly, but without hurry."
After connecting us to the distinctive rhythm, pace and energy of
milonga through a series of focused exercises, Leo +
Flor will guide us into a deeper investigation of the form by applying
these and other principles to a number of ideas, shapes and situations
that are both useful and challenging.
Of course, Tango is full of enticing opposites that meet and blend
with each other on the dance floor the mind + the body, sending
+ receiving, stillness + motion, ourselves + our partner. All of these
relationships (and more) develop and unfold through Time, the one
core dimension that is shared by both music and dance and which
creates and informs the primary ground of their richest and most enduring
In this way, the various strategies and skills we explore together
in Milonga: Fast + Small
will be universal, applying just as readily to our tango
and vals thereby enhancing the range, subtlety,
grace and power of all our dancing.
Please plan on joining us in Ojai on November 18th for an
inspiring evening with Leonel + Florencia, and Milonga:
Fast + Small ...
Links to Music + Video
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 said to be 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
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.
For links to additional samples + background, please visit our page
on Tango Music ...
Quantum Tango Workshops & Events with Visiting Dancers
Daniel Trenner Tango Lab:
"Iconic Roles - Tango's Lead & Follow Dynamic"
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 &
Traspie" 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