Lab in Ojai: October 2015
Celebrated Milonguera + Teacher
— from Buenos Aires
Monday - October 12, 2015
at a private home in Ojai
Lab with Muma Valino: "La Esencia"
Muma & Ricardo Vidort, dancing in 2001
at the opening of "Bien Jaileife,"
her milonga in Buenos Aires
A classic milonguera and celebrated teacher, Muma Valino
visits Southern California + Ojai for the first time ... on what
may be her last ever tour to North America.
Muma is a master of dancing tango in the intimate "close
embrace" of the milongas and dance floors of Buenos
Aires, where she grew up and still lives today. The daughter of
a well-established tango family, the likes of Alberto Castillo
and Ricardo Tanturi were frequent visitors to her childhood home,
and her mother was a singer with the orchestra of Francisco Lomuto.
In her own time, Muma has been a cherished dance partner of several
of the most renowned + influential social dancers of her generation
among them, Osvaldo Natucci, Fernando Hector Iturrieta,
and Dani "El Flaco" García and with these
and others, Muma has helped create a vital "living bridge"
between the Golden Age of tango's storied past, and the dance
we continue to explore, create and enjoy together today.
In this regard, , Muma is perhaps most widely known for her
many years of dancing and teaching with the legendary milonguero
Ricardo Vidort, who began as a teenager in Buenos Aires
in the 1940s, and passed away in 2006, after more than 60 years
Like Muma, Ricardo was a consummate social dancer whose philosophy
and approach centered on the nuanced interactions and subtle
pleasures of the milonga, where we gather not to "perform"
tango for the benefit of any onlooker, but to share and celebrate
the pleasure of being with each other, moving together in the
company of friends and the music that we love.
As a key figure in the "Tango Renaissance" that
began in the 1980s, Ricardo was also famous for his views
on teaching and tango pedagogy especially for his push
back against those who sought to make tbe dance seem much more
complex, rarefied and esoteric than he felt it needed to be
in order for us to enjoy ourselves on the social dance floor.
Rather than taking an endless series classes in the vain
pursuit of ever more challenging "steps" or an elusive
and hypothetical "perfection," Ricardo suggested that
dancers could find more value and pleasure in focusing on just
a few key concepts, ideas, principles and techniques
a solid foundation that would enable them to enjoy and expand
on a lifetime of tango dancing, learning, exploring and
One well-known expression of Ricardo's philosophy was his claim
that he could convey all that one needed to know all the
essentials of tango in just a few brief lessons ... after
which he would send the newly minted dancer out into the world
of social dancing and the milongas, to apply and refine
these insights over time as they discovered and created their
own unique and personal "style" one of the milongueros'
... Alas, Ricardo never took time out to document and record
the many details of this "esencia" approach to
But to our great good fortune, Muma was there
dancing with Ricardo for more than 20 years, and teaching right
alongside him during the height of his influence and activity,
from the 1990s into the early 2000s ...
In Ojai, Muma has generously offered to share and pass
on some of her unique insights into the ideas, concepts and
material that she and Ricardo developed, danced and explored
together through their decades as one of Tango's richest + most
Most of Muma's recent visits to North America have focused on
Tango communities in the Pacific Northwest Vancouver, Seattle,
Portland, Eugene where she is a cherished presence.
Muma has a reputation as a warm and easy-going teacher, able
to convey tango's nuances with clarity and grace, and who embodies
the pleasure and confidence that she brings to the dance floor.
Muma's teaching has been described as "hands on" rather
than analytical less about the mechanics of any given movement
or situation, and more about how we can each find and express
the deeper, richer and more resonant "emotional core"
of our own personal tango.
Please join us in Ojai for this rare opportunity
to spend a little time with Muma Valino
and her "La Esencia" of
Ricado Vidort an invaluable window onto
rich history, and a welcome inspiration both for our ongoing
+ the unfolding future that lies ahead ...
Valino + "La Esencia"
Monday, October 12, 2015
in a private home in Ojai
7:00 - 10:00 p.m. - a Two-Hour Seminar on
plus supervised práctica time with Muma
$30 / Dancer *
... (= $60 / couple)
this edition of "Tango Lab" ...
Active Social Dancers
This edition of Tango Lab is aimed at active social
dancers in our local and neighboring communities.
To join us with confidence on Monday evening, you should be
familiar and comfortable with dancing in a closer embrace
improvising tango in varying floor conditions, to a range
of music, with a variety of partners ...
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
Thank you for your understanding that, because of the size
of the room, we will only be able to accommodate a limited number
of dancers for this intimate seminar in a private home with
Questions + Registration please contact:
Stephen Bauer ...
About Muma Valino
A lifelong milonguera, Muma Valino lives and
breathes the most prominent social form of Argentine Tango
as danced in a "close embrace" in the crowded
clubs and salons of her native Buenos Aires.
The daughter of a well-connected tango family, Muma grew
up steeped in the music, ethos, and traditions of the dance.
As tango reemerged in the "Renaissance" of the
late 1980s and 1990s, Muma became one of the most preferred
partners for a generation of older milongueros who
began dancing back in tango's "Golden Age." Not
only was Muma a welcome presence on the everyday social dance
floors of the milongas, she was also a highly valued
colleague in countless demonstrations and lessons.
Over the years of teaching with her fellow milongueros,
Muma has emerged as a gifted and celebrated teacher in her
own right widely acknowledged as a master of milonga
tráspie, the lively "tango picado,"
and the philosophy + approach of her long-time friend, partner
and collaborator, the renowned Ricardo Vidort.
More Links for Muma Valino + Ricardo Vidort
Muma on Ricardo Vidort
reminiscing about dancing + teaching with her friend, the
late Ricardo Vidort.
Muma's Dancing in Buenos Aires
Vidort, at the opening of her milonga, "Bien Jaileife"
Demo with Dani
"El Flaco" García, milonga tráspie
at "Sunderland" (2001) ...
On the social dance floor, dancing vals
Natucci at "El Beso" (2000) ...
On the social dance floor, with Fernando
Hector Iturrieta at "Lo de Celia" ...
A video collage of Muma
teaching in Vancouver, BC, (2009) ... and an overview of
her upcoming workshops, later this month in Eugene,
(1929-2006) was a colleague and inspiration to generations
of social dancers ,
and has been described by his fellow milongueros as
"The Great Architect of Tango." 
Famed for his precise footwork, astounding musicality,
impressive walk, and the emotional resonance that he consistently
brought to his dancing, Ricardo is perhaps even more influential
as an embodiment of the deeper "spirit" of the
His moving presence and enviable grace on the floor was
often surpassed by his generosity, kindness, and the sheer
pleasure he took in being among dancers, contributing his
measure to the larger world of Tango that we all create
"If you dance, you must give
If you cannot do that, do not dance."
Interviews with Ricardo
on video with dancer + writer Janis Kenyon in 2001,
Ricardo profiles his philosophy + approach to tango as a
social art form.
Transcripts of later interviews on his
life in tango ... on learning
+ feeling ... and his last
interview, looking back when he was in hospice.
You can lose yourself for hours among the hundreds of reflections,
discussions and examples of Ricardo's dancing on the internet,
but this undated video is a classic
where, appropriately, the music is Fresedo's "Tigre
Viejo" (Old Tiger) ...
For a deeper look, delve into this series is from Rome
dated "2006" but most likely filmed in
the early 2000s, before he fell ill ...
More Reflections on Ricardo's Impact on Tango
The conclusion of a longer article, "The
Last Compadrito," by friend, tanguero
+ blogger Rick McGarry, from his website Tango and
Chaos. Earlier in the article, Rick also shares
his views on Ricardo's dancing as profiled in several imbedded
video clips ...
More writings on the idea of "Simplicity"
in tango and Ricardo's famous "esencia"
approach to the dance ...
And, beginning at 00:34, a video
collage of Ricardo dancing, teaching, chatting, and
having fun in the homes, cafes, studios and milongas of Buenos