Special Seminars

This year, we are offering four multi-workshop special seminars, offering you the chance to study a range of topics in-depth during the festival. None of the workshops conflict with one another so you could actually take ALL of these seminars, if you liked.

In-Depth Close Embrace Seminar

Maja Petrović and Marko Miljević have become known over the past few years for their beautiful style of close embrace tango, complete with lovely musicality and gorgeous adornments. We are very happy to be able to present a four-workshop In-Depth Close Embrace Seminar during the 2020 tango festival.

Initially, we will open the seminar only to couples who can commit to all workshops. If it does not fill up, we will add the possibility of registering for individual workshops.

This seminar is for intermediate/advanced/professional dancers and requires a partner to attend.

Friday, May 22 | 7-8:15 pm
Couples Technique 1 - Presence and Communication

Saturday, May 23 | 3:15-4:30 pm
Walking and/in the Close Embrace

Sunday, May 24 | 3:15-4:30 pm
Couples Technique 2 - Rolling Close Embrace

Monday, May 25 | 3:15-4:30 pm
Playing with the Embrace

Tango History, Music & Dance Seminar

Taught by Gustavo Rember, dancer, and Emiliano Messiez & Leandro Ragusa, musicians

One of the signature features of Argentine tango in our time is the increasing collaboration between tango musicians and tango dancers. Whereas it was still rare to hear live tango music in a milonga 15 years ago, now it is becoming increasingly common.

This presents a challenge to both musicians and dancers. Musicians are bringing tango back from the concert hall stage to the milonga and re-focusing on the needs of dancers. Dancers are learning to be comfortable again with dancing to live music, learning to go with the flow and interpret the music in an instant, even when they don’t know what is going to happen in advance.

The aim of this seminar is to help tango dancers understand where tango music has come from, where it is now, and potentially, where it is going. On the way, we will develop many tools to interpret the music more convincingly, and to enjoy the music and musical interactions with our partners, even more. As such, we will spend time DANCING in the seminar, as well as LISTENING. The seminar is open to all levels. Dancers with significant experience social dancing and listening to tango music will get the most out of it.

The Instructors

  • Gustavo Rember, a tango dancer, as well as Economics and Statistics Professor
  • Leandro Ragusa, a bandoneon player, composer, and Professor of Tango History
  • Emiliano Messiez, a pianist and composer

The Workshops

Saturday, May 23 | 5-6:15 pm

  • Tango from its origins until Julio De Caro.
  • The evolution of the sound, instrumentation, orchestras.
  • The earliest version of tango dancing, the first sequences and steps, the roles of each partner at that time.

Sunday, May 24 | 6:15-7:30 pm

  • From the frenzy and hectic speed in late 1930’s to the birth of the Golden Age.
  • Testimonial tangos and romantic tangos.
  • How the dance changes with changes to the music and the context in which it is danced.

Monday, May 25 | 6:15-7:30 pm

  • Tango after the Golden Age.
  • Conservative and contemporary styles.
  • Evolution of teaching and learning tango dance.
  • Things borrowed from other genres and styles.

La Propuesta Seminar

Carla Marano & Octavio Fernandez created “La Propuesta” (The Proposal) in 2013 in the famous La Viruta Tango Club (Buenos Aires). The idea was to give dancers more tools to understand the endless possibilities that exist within the improvised language of tango, and to thereby empower dancers to create their own dance. In this way, La Propuesta is a seminar to end all seminars. If you can move beyond physical memory, which causes us to repeat what we are already used to doing, and train the mind to figure out new possibilities, while at the same time developing the movement and lead/follow technique necessary to actualize any possible tango movement, then you can develop the capacity to keep the dance fresh and new for yourself, and be less reliant on workshops.

This is the goal of La Propuesta. We are so happy to be able to present a three-workshop seminar on La Propuesta during the 2020 festival.

Specific goals of the seminar include:

  • To analyze and understand the structural basis of tango in order to identify all the possibilities of tango movement
  • To use this information to train the mind and body in order to develop the capacity for true improvisation (as opposed to repetition)

Each class will introduce a different set of movements as material for this exploration, as described below.

Saturday, May 23 | 1:45-3 pm
Leader & Follower Sacadas

Sunday, May 24 | 1:45-3 pm
Foward & Back Circular Boleos
All the steps that are possible before and after the boleo

Monday, May 25 | 4:45-6 pm
Leader & Follower Ganchos

La Propuesta is a partners-only seminar. Initially, we will just open registration to those who can commit to the entire seminar. If it does not fill up, we will add the possibility to register for individual seminar workshop (though always with a partner).

On & Off Axis Seminar: Fabian & Lola

One of the most used terms in tango, and one that generates issues for every dancer, from beginner through professional, is “The Axis.” In this three-workshop seminar, Fabian Salas & Lola Diaz will guide you toward an in-depth understanding of “axis” in tango, including studying it from both leader’s and follower’s perspectives, and in the context of on-axis and off-axis movements.

The seminar is partners-only.

Saturday, May 23 | 6:30-7:45 pm
How to adapt your embrace to manage the axis

Sunday, May 24 | 12:15-1:30 pm
Fundamentals of out-of-axis

Monday, May 25 | 1:45-3 pm
Combining elements out-of-axis


Registration is now open for the 10th Anniversary Philly Tango Festival | May 22-25, 2020.

There are more ways to enjoy our festival than ever before, including - for the first time - day passes!

Check out the offerings and register while all choices are still available!

Register now...