The Philadelphia Argentine Tango School presents
CARLOS PEREZ & ROSA FORTE:
An Intensive Seminar in Villa Urquiza-Style Tango
Philadelphia: March 22-25, 2013
Arguably the most important teaching couple in the tango world, Carlos Perez & Rosa Forte have trained 6 of the last 7 couples to win the World Tango Championship in the Salon Category. They are sought out by professionals, aspiring professionals and amateurs alike for their unparalleled knowledge of Villa Urquiza-style tango. Villa Urquiza style holds tango's guarded secrets about how to make the dance look seamless, elegant and harmonious. By studying Villa Urquiza style in general, and by studying with Carlos & Rosa in particular, students gain the knowledge and technique necessary to imbue their dance with elegance and grace, no matter what style of tango they prefer.
Carlos & Rosa have been dancing for over 50 years, have taught all over Europe and Asia, and are among the most highly respected teachers in their home city of Buenos Aires, but they have never before taught in the United States. We are extremely honored to have helped to organize their first tour to the US and to be able to bring them to Philadelphia. Please find their full bio below, and follow links at the right for more information.
Carlos Perez started dancing tango 60 years ago at the age of 13 and was fortunate enough to be taken under the wing of some of the most influential milongueros of that time, and indeed of all time, in his youth. His early influences included Alberto Villarrazo, José Vásquez “Lampazo,” and Gerardo Portalea. Starting in 1955, Carlos performed throughout the Buenos Aires milonga circuit, including all of the important clubs of the time: Club Pinocho, Viento Norte, Sin Rumbo, Pedro Echagüe, and Glorias Argentinas.
Rosa Forte began dancing as a child in her family home, taught by her older brothers and occasionally going out to milongas under their supervision. She met Carlos a few years later and danced with him until they left tango in 1964 to dedicate themselves to raising a family. Their retirement from tango coincided with tango’s decline from its great popularity during the “Golden Age” of the 1950s to virtual obscurity in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
In 1994, as tango began to reemerge in Buenos Aires, Carlos & Rosa dropped by a class given by their old friend José Vásquez “Lampazo,” just to say hi. There were hardly any students that night, but legendary tango figures like Maria Nieves were in the room, and there Carlos & Rosa danced some of their first tangos in 30 years. Maria Nieves (famed partner of Juan Carlos Copes) recalled having danced often with Carlos at milongas in the 1950s, when she was just a child.
Not long after Carlos & Rosa’s first re-encounter with tango in 1994, “Lampazo’s” health declined abruptly and he asked Carlos & Rosa to take over his classes in Club Sin Rumbo. Carlos & Rosa returned to teaching with direct access to a world of tango (that of the 1950s) that had nearly been lost. The specific steps and sequences, the musicality and the adornments that had been in common use in the 1950s, seemed impossibly distant and nearly inaccessible to a new generation of tango dancers, striving to master tango in the 1990s. Carlos & Rosa soon were recognized as a unique and invaluable resource – a means of accessing and mastering a style of tango that had nearly been lost. Carlos & Rosa have been teaching tango ever since, becoming one of the most important pedagogic influences during tango’s resurgence over the past 19 years.
Carlos & Rosa's dance typifies Villa Urquiza style, which is renowned for its elegant lines, seamless transitions, exquisite adornments, poignant musicality, and complex figures executed within a very close embrace.
Since 1994, Carlos & Rosa have performed throughout the Buenos Aires milonga circuit, including in Porteño y Bailarín, Niño Bien, Salón Canning , La Nacional, Glorias Argentinas, La Viruta, La Baldosa and Club Sin Rumbo, among many, many others. They have performed throughout Europe, including at the Palacio Gavidia (Madrid, Spain), Milonga de Augusto (Paris, France) and at Il Giardino (Roma, Italy). On a very special night at Club Sunderland in 1994, Carlos & Rosa performed alongside Carlos Gavito & Maria Plazaiola, and Javier Rodriguez & Geraldine Rojas. More than 800 people paid entrance to Club Sunderland that night! Another very special performance took place at the Legislative Palace of the City of Buenos Aires when 100-year-old Carmencita Calderon (partner of the legendary El Cachafaz) was named an “Illustrious Citizen.” Carlos performed with the 100-year-old Carmencita that day.
In the past 15 years, dancers from every corner of the world have sought out Mr. and Mrs. Perez’s expertise, taking workshops with them during their various tours of Europe and Asia, or coming to Buenos Aires to take twice weekly classes that the Perezes give in the famed Club Sunderland. The list of influential couples who have trained intensively with Carlos & Rosa includes Pablo Rodríguez and Noelia Hurtado, Francisco Forquera and Natalia Hills, Sebastián Achaval and Ximena Galliccio, and Fabián Peralta and Natacha Poveraj, among many others. Amazingly, Carlos & Rosa have trained 6 of the last 7 couples to win the World Tango Championship in the salon category.
On each of the three tango tours to Buenos Aires that I have offered, Carlos & Rosa have been one of two featured teaching couples (the other being Nito & Elba Garcia). Each time we have worked with Carlos & Rosa, I have been blown away by the commitment and care that they bring to their teaching. Although they have been teaching for decades and have undoubtedly encountered tens of thousands of students in that time, they continue to invest in each individual student and care deeply about his/her progress.
The Perezes have never before taught in the US, and we are very pleased that, working with Guillermo Elkouss and Vittoria Natale, we have been able to secure visas for them, and arrange a tour for them to teach in New Jersey, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. Carlos & Rosa have all the work they can handle in Buenos Aires, as well as family obligations and grandchildren that keep them tied to home. It took a great deal of persuading to bring them to the US this time, and we believe that it is unlikely to happen again. This may well be a once-ever chance to study with legendary teachers who have an unparalleled depth of knowledge about tango.
Please see this link for many more resources including videos, photos, interviews with Carlos & Rosa, and a complete curriculum vitae.