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Tango Lab in Ojai:  October 2015

Celebrated Milonguera + Teacher

Muma Valino

from Buenos Aires —

"La Esencia"  

— of Ricardo Vidort —


Monday - October 12, 2015

— at a private home in Ojai —


More Information:

  Tango Lab Overview           Muma's Bio + Background

More Links to Muma + Ricardo           Past Quantum Tango Workshops

Tango 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 in tango.

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 the 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 improvising together.

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' highest values.

... Alas, Ricardo never took time out to document and record the many details of this "esencia" approach to learning tango.

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 evocative partnerships.

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 Tango's
rich history, and a welcome inspiration both for our ongoing evolution
+ the unfolding future that lies ahead ...

Overview:  Muma Valino + "La Esencia"



Monday, October 12, 2015



in a private home in Ojai

Tango Lab:


7:00 - 10:00 p.m. - a Two-Hour Seminar on  "La Esencia"
          — plus supervised práctica time with Muma



 $30 / Dancer * ... (= $60 / couple)

   *   For 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 ...

•    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 Enrollment

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 Muma Valino.

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

More 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.

Some of Muma's PartnersClockwise from top left:
Ricardo Vidort, Dani "El Flaco" García, Osvaldo Natucci,
and Fernando Hector Iturrieta.

Above:  Muma teaching, dancing and demoing in the Pacific Northwest, 2009 - 2012 ...
this will be her first visit to Southern California

More Links for Muma Valino + Ricardo Vidort

Muma on Ricardo Vidort

Muma reminiscing about dancing + teaching with her friend, the late Ricardo Vidort.

Muma's Dancing in Buenos Aires

•  With Ricardo Vidort, at the opening of her milonga, "Bien Jaileife" (2001) ...

•  Demo with Dani "El Flaco" García, milonga tráspie at "Sunderland" (2001) ...

•  On the social dance floor, dancing vals with Osvaldo Natucci at "El Beso" (2000) ...

•  On the social dance floor, with Fernando Hector Iturrieta at "Lo de Celia" ...

Muma's Teaching

A video collage of Muma teaching in Vancouver, BC, (2009) ... and an overview of her upcoming workshops, later this month in Eugene, Oregon.


Ricardo Vidort (1929-2006) was a colleague and inspiration to generations of social dancers [1], and has been described by his fellow milongueros as "The Grand Architect of Tango." [2]

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 milonga.

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 together.

"If you dance, you must give everything.
If you cannot do that, do not dance."

— Ricardo Vidort

Interviews with Ricardo

Speaking 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.

Ricardo's Dancing

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 Aires ...

Past Quantum Tango Workshops & Events with Visiting Dancers

•    Joaquín Amenábar — "Essential Units of Tango Rhythm" + "Melody in Tango" — July 2015

•    Virginia Pandolfi — Tango Lab: "Follower's Technique" — June 2015

•    Folias Tango — "Mapping the Tango" - Phrase Structure + Form — June 2015

•    Brigitta Winkler — "Flirty Vals" — March 2015

•    Momo Smitt — "Clean, Clear, Crisp, Rhythmic" + "Hold Me Tight, Let Me Go" — May 2014

•    Daniel Trenner — Tango Lab:  "Principles of Letting + Flowing" — March 2014

•    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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