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2018 Day of Tango Performers

Claudio Villagra and Helena Fernandez

Claudio Villagra belongs to a new generation of professional dancers in Argentina, continuously exhibiting his versatility and virtuosity. He studied dance at the Teatro Colon’s School of Arts in Buenos Aires, with teachers ranging from his grandfather, Hector Contrera to Aurelio Juan, Juan Carlos Copes, Virulazo, Antonio Todaro, Pepito Avellaneda, Gloria y Eduardo, the Dinzels, and N. Guichanduc. Claudio has appeared on major stages across the world—including Broadway, the Olympia in Paris, Luna Park, Astral and Cervantes in Buenos Aires, as well as the Auditorio Nacional and the Teatro Bellas Artes in Mexico. He has represented the government of Argentina in diverse events both nationally and internationally, touring throughout the U.S., Brazil, Central and South America, Switzerland, China and Japan. Claudio has worked with renowned orchestras, including Osvaldo Pugliese, Mariano Mores, El Arranque, and Color Tango. Claudio was also the featured dancer in Luis Bravo’s “Forever Tango” (1997) and “Malambo” (2008), as well as “Tango Seduccion”, “Tango Argentino” and “Tanguera”. Claudio directed and choreographed his own show, “Latin Tango”, and he is now choreographing and directing his new show—”Tango’s Heart”.

Helena Fernandez graduated from the Royal Academy of Dance in London with a degree in Classical Ballet, and has performed with major companies and orchestras—including Forever Tango, Color Tango, Sexteto Mayor and Sexteto de Carla Algeri. She has become an international artist after many years of experience, dedication and preparation with legendary Tango maestros, including Carlos Gavito, Turco José, Julio Balmaceda, Roberto Herrera, Jorge Dispari, Facundo Posadas, Gustavo Naveira, Jorge Torres, and Jorge Firpo. She has extensively toured Asia, Europe, North and South America teaching, performing, and judging competitions. Helena has participated in television programs and danced in many prestigious theaters around the world, including Leicester Square Theater, Royal Albert Hall, Opera Garnier in Paris, and the Lotte World Theater in Korea. In addition to her extensive experience with different dance genres, Helena also holds a degree in Physiotherapy, specializing in neurological patients. She applies these techniques and concepts in teaching the Tango—creating a singular approach in her classes, and in particular, with dance techniques for women.

Hugo Patyn and Celina Rotundo

Hugo Patyn and Celina Rotundo are Argentine Tango dancers, masters, and choreographers who have dazzled audiences around the world—performing in challenging, intense and sensual choreographies. Both have had extensive artistic training from an early age in Ballet, Argentine Folklore, Flamenco and Figure Skating. When the Argentine Tango entered their lives, they had the influence of great mentors such as Osvaldo Zotto, Gloria & Eduardo Arquimbau, Nito & Elba and Pedro Monteleones, among others. As a result of these valuable experiences, they possess a special connection and style together—making them world-class dancers with an extensive professional background of more than 20 years. They have danced in and choreographed a multitude of famous shows, including “Tango and Fire”, “Tango Buenos Aires”, “Cabaret Tango”, “Tango Joven”, “Evolution Tango”, “Forever Tango”, “Follies Bergere”, “Alma de Tango”, “Pasion de Tango”, “Tango Dreams”, and “Fusion Tango”, to name a few.

Hugo and Celina also lead an Argentine Tango Company that has participated in grand events around the globe, receiving the best ratings after each presentation. With its own character and of an incomparable aesthetic, the Company recreates fantastic scenes and moments of Argentine Tango history. Using fantastic costumes and unique skills, the dance performances embody musicality and include choreographies that captivate audiences with each presentation. From 2010 to 2017, their Company has appeared in various shows across the globe, including “Emporio Tango”, “Gricel, Stories of a Love”, “Carlos Gardel, The Other History”, and “Shades of Tango”, among others. Their passion for sharing the beauty of the Argentine Tango has taken them to diverse locations across the world—including the United States, Canada, Greece, Taiwan, Israel, Japan, Peru, Spain, Italy, Bermuda, Chile, Indonesia, Korea, and Portugal. Hugo and Celina are also fantastic instructors of the Argentine Tango, having initiated and inspired hundreds of students around the world in both dance classes and intensive seminars. They have traveled on their annual tours to different cities, helping initiate new communities and collaborating in the evolution of the Argentine Tango. Hugo and Celina also run a dance school together in Argentina, in which they teach social and stage Tango to children from the age of 5, as well as adults of all ages.

Fabián and Roxana Belmonte

Fabián and Roxana Belmonte were both born in Buenos Aires, Argentina – the birthplace of the Tango. Since their childhood, their hearts have beaten to the rhythm of the tango, and they were raised from a very tender age to live and breathe the Tango culture. Roxana & Fabián have performed and taught internationally over the past 30 years, thrilling audiences in venues ranging from “Luna Park” in Buenos Aires, “Roy Thompson Hall” in Toronto to the “Royal Theatre Carré” in Amsterdam or “Shiba Mel-Park Hall” in Tokyo. The couple have appeared in many of the fabled and legendary dance halls of their native Buenos Aires, including Palais De Glace, Astral Theatre, La Confiteria Del Molino, Club Almagro, Glorias Argentinas, Esquina Anibal Troilo, Esquina Homero Manzi” and the Buenos Aires most legendariest stadium Luna Park. Fabián & Roxana have shared the stage with international and national scene’s celebrities and distinctive tango personalities and orchestras as Color Tango-Roberto Alvarez, Leopoldo Federico, Ruben Juarez, Alberto Podesta, Argentino Ledesma, Orquesta del Tango de Buenos Aires-Raul Garello – Carlos Garcia, Sexteto Canyengue, Quartango among others.

Besides being a Tango dancer, Fabián distinguished himself as a multi-faceted artist / performer who has appeared on scene not only as a dancer, but also as vocal singer and bandoneon player, in line with his lifetime passions that cover dance, music and history. They were chosen as one of Argentina’s tango ambassadors to the world and invited to judge the First (’05), Second (’06) and Fourth (’08) World Tango Competitions in Tokyo, Japan where they also performed in the show Tango Libertad among other selected tango dancers as Miguel Angel Zotto. They have performed as soloist couple with many major Symphony Orchestras as as the Kalamazoo, Washington DC, Laval, Sudbury, Buffalo, Windsor, Billings & San Francisco. In ‘05 the couple was engaged as choreographers and dancers in “The Emotional Brain-Love”, a Freddiee award winner TV documentary for Best Documentary Series, hosted by David Suzuki and co-produced by CBC-TV Canada and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

They have received international accolades as 2003 Latin American Achievement Award for “Best Latin Folklore Presence in Canada ” . Winners of the international dance competition: ”Stars of the future 1998″, Miami Univision TV. Sabado Gigante.

Miguel Arrabal

Miguel Arrabal is best known for his performances with some of the major orchestras of the “Golden Era” of Tango, including Armando Calo, Domingo Federico, Miguel Montero, Rodolfo Lezica, Roberto Goyeneche, Horacio Deval, Alberto Echague, Roberto Florio and others. Mr. Arrabal also toured in the United States for one year with another Tango Master, Astor Piazzolla, in a famous performance entitled “Dangerous Games”.

We are very excited to welcome the Miguel Arrabal Tango Quartet to the festival again this year! Don’t miss their Live Music performances at our Milonga on Friday, December 14 and at the Day of Tango Festival Show on Saturday, December 15, 2018.