7:30 to 9:00 PM, followed by supervised practica until 9:30.
1703 Highland Dr. Silver Spring, MD 20910.
Plenty of street parking, 10 minute walk from Silver Spring Metro.
Pre-registration (recommended) by emailing Eugenia or calling her at 301-346-5079.
Tuesday, June 25, 2019
Punch that Ocho!
$90 per hour. Studio location close to downtown Silver Spring and Red line Metro stop.
We teach a strictly social form of Argentine tango—the style that you can find on any dance floor in Buenos Aires and on dance floors around the world. It emphasizes the connection between partners and their expression together of the music. Unlike performance tango, which is danced to be watched by others, social tango is danced for the pleasure of the dancers themselves.
We focus our students on tango's fundamentals: posture, balance, walking steps, musicality and connection with your partner. We provide a foundation vocabulary of movements from which you can improvise to find your own unique expression of the music. Our aim is to get you on the dance floor to enjoy yourselves as soon as possible.
Barbara was first bitten by the tango bug in 1988 in Buenos Aires. On a gray winter day, an old man was creating a tiny spectacle as he danced for tips on the sidewalk of a nearly empty street in the colonial section of San Telmo. She was drawn to watch a dance she had never seen, as his dilapidated tape machine tinkled with music she had never heard. She was captivated, and followed him for two days, talking to him at length of tango lore and imprinting those movements and rhythms. Even today, in her mind's eye she can remember those first dances she witnessed—simple yet elegant, with stranger (he invited women of his generation passing by on the street), yet intimate.
Since the mid-1990s, Barbara has had the privilege to spend significant amounts of time in Buenos Aires dancing and learning. She has studied with a variety of master teachers there, including most prominently Susana Miller, but also Lorena Ermocida, Aurora Lubiz, Cacho Dante, Carlos Gavito, Tete, and Jorge Firpo, among others. She also had the good fortune to experience the full swing of tango's revival in the 1990s through the early aughts. At that time, many of the older generation of dancers, those who had learned to dance in the golden age of tango, returned to the milongas, and they have been her touchstones. Her other tango muses are Brigitta Winkler, of Berlin, and Eric Jorissen, of Holland, whose own tango roots go back to the 1980s in Buenos Aires.
Barbara resided in Atlanta from 1992 to 2010, and was a well established teacher there, teaching with a succession of partners, including Angel Montero and April Parker, who continue the Atlanta Tango school. Barbara taught and performed at the University of Georgia. She has also taught on her own, with Cacho Dante or with Robert Hauk across the US, including a variety of city visits and festivals such as Denver, Portland, and San Diego, and in her home festival of Atlanta. She moved to the DC area in 2010, and after a lengthy and somewhat painful housing transition, she has restarted her tango life.
Eugenia is known for her elegance, simplicity, musicality and grace when dancing with any partner. She believes that inspiration for tango dancers comes from the music, the embrace, and the elegance of the dance itself. Interpretation of the music by each couple is crucial in creating a unique experience for every tango. She believes in teaching a solid foundation for social dancing, in which connection and musicality are more important than steps that may not work on a social dance floor.
Eugenia has been an integral part of Tango Zen since its inception. Chan Park and Eugenia have presented tango workshops in many tango communities of the United States, and in Canada, England, the Netherlands, Russia, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Argentina, China, Korea, and India. Tango Zen workshops have been a part of the meditation class offerings at the Omega Institute, Kripalu Center in the US and Rancho La Puerta in Mexico.
An accomplished dancer, a follower and a leader, Eugenia studied Argentine tango initially with local DC teachers. Her very first visit of Buenos Aires made a profound impression, and inspired her to protect and cherish true Argentine tango as a social dance. A variety of teachers, performers and social dancers, including Mora Godoy, Oswaldo Zotto, Miguel Zotto, Carolina and Diego, Tete, Alicia Pons, Monica Paz, and Susana Miller, etc. have been teachers and colleagues in classes organized by Tango Zen.
Her watchwords are: Surrender, yet stay focused; Command, yet stay humble; Lead, yet follow! Such are the challenges of tango. Embrace, Connect, Dance.
"The Tango Zen Workshop really was one of the best weeks of my life and I appreciate the constant care and attention you gave us, a very good example of zen in practice!"
"Barbara is a fabulous and experienced teacher. She loves the dance and pays a lot of attention to students which makes learning a truly amazing and enjoyable experience. I met Barbara at the moment when I wanted to quit dancing, frustrated, and lost. She made me believe in myself and gain confidence as a dancer. My only regret: my life in Atlanta does not allow me to be a part of her class."
Katya Vladimirov, Ph.D.
Professor, History and Philosophy Department, Kennesaw State University
"Barbara Durr has been an inspiration to me ever since I started dancing tango 9 years ago. She brought the refined skills of the old Milongueros of Bs As to Atlanta – the connection, energy and musicality which create the most intimate and powerful tango. She is the one who had the relationships in Argentina, along with the communication skills, to translate the subtleties of their social milongas, to classes here. It is from Barbara that I learned the foundations of the tango I do today."
"Barbara Durr is an inspiring and talented teacher. She is responsible for putting an enormous number of happy dancers on the floor in Atlanta over the years. Her unique gift is the ability to clearly explain and demonstrate the information needed to dance tango but always remembers that this is supposed to be fun! Barbara has been an enormous influence on my dance and is one of the reasons tango will continue to be a lifelong pursuit for me."
"Thank you Chan and Eugenia for a relaxing and enlightening Tango Zen workshop. I left feeling limp as a wet noodle and very content. A most interesting experience--the people who were there for the meditation--who did not know tango--they were so focused on the connection--I found dancing with them to be far more pleasant than dancing with partners who know a lot of moves but seem to forget that they are holding another person. They seemed to enjoy the process of experimenting--rather than get caught up in the perfection of a move-a far more delightful way to learn."
Atlanta Tango: Angel and April offer you the experience of tango as it is commonly danced in Buenos Aires and around the world.
Capital Tangueros: We are a group of volunteers who have joined together to support Argentine Tango in the greater Washington, DC area by listing events that occur within approximately a 45-mile radius of the city.
Siempre Milonguero: We seek to connect dancers and organizers within the Milonguero Style tango communities in North America. We support dancers committed to good navigational skills, traditional music, and the codes of the dance, by listing venues and events that share these interests.
Susana Miller: Susana Miller is the most prominent teacher in the world of the "milonguero" style of tango or what Argentines call "apilado." This style is danced in the crowded clubs of central Buenos Aires. It is strictly a social style that emphasizes musicality and the connection between partners.
Tango Barrio: a meeting place in the ether of this electronic world for people who enjoy tango. There are articles to explore personal insights of observations and histories. Photographs that capture the beauty of friends and experiences. And a forum to exchange ideas and thoughts.
Tango Zen: Tango Zen is Walking Meditation, which is based on zen principles and basic tango movements. Tango Zen is known to help establish balance, calmness, groundedness, centering, and harmony in mind and body.
Two Moon Tango: Two Moon Tango is a dance studio devoted entirely to Argentine tango and is located in La Cieneguilla, a rural area on the south side of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Liz Haight and Masami Hirokawa conceived and built our studio with an aim to develop a friendly, open, and diverse tango community.
Tango emerged as a dance in the latter 1800s, largely in the poor neighborhoods of Buenos Aires where a vast wave of immigrants had come in search of new lives. While the origin of the dance is not well documented, what is known is that it was danced in bars and brothels, and was regarded as a steamy risque dance that was frowned upon by respectable middle class Argentines. At the start of the 20th century, tango made its way to Paris where it became a fashionable sensation. From there--and now with a touch of Parisian glamour--tango bounced back to Buenos Aires where it became massively popular, with dance clubs in every neighborhood and large ballrooms devoted to it in the city's thriving downtown.
From the 1920s through the early 1950s, tango orchestras experimented with many musical variations, some meant just for listening, such as the music of world-renowned tango singer Carlos Gardel, some explicitly for dancing. During those years, celebrated tango orchestras played live for throngs of dancers, recorded prolifically and became the standard for tango dancing. Their music, particularly from the 1930s and 1940s, is what is still primarily danced today, and is called the golden age of tango. In those decades, tango also spread throughout Europe, often with slightly varying forms (e.g. the Continental tango in the film "Last Tango in Paris", or Finnish tango, which is Finland's national dance), and came to the United States in the variation of ballroom tango.
In Argentina, tango had a rather long hiatus as a popular dance from the late 1950s to the mid-1980s, and went virtually underground. Its revival was sparked by the show "Tango Argentino," which toured the world, and was facilitated by the restoration of democracy in Argentina. Today it is danced around the world, with Buenos Aires still considered its Mecca.