Oberlin's Year of the Queer Hosts International Queer Tango Festival
Oberlin College’s Year of the Queer, in conjunction with the International Center for Languages and Literatures and the Mary Goetze World Music Fund, will be hosting the International Queer Tango Festival on April 12 and 13.
The events will feature visiting master teachers Ana Maria Schapira from Buenos Aires and Astrid Weiske from Berlin, as well as special guest musicians Daniel Binelli on the bandonéon and Polly Ferman at the piano.
The tango workshops will take place on Friday, April 12, from 7 to 10 p.m. and Saturday, April 13, from 1 to 4 p.m. in Wilder Main Space at 135 West Lorain Street. The workshops are free and open to the public; no previous tango experience is necessary.
The workshops will culminate in a queer milonga on Saturday at 9 p.m. in Wilder Main Space. This event is a result of a semester-long collaboration between Professor of Dance Ann Cooper Albright’s “Queer Acts” class and Professor of Hispanic Studies Ana Cara’s course entitled “Tango: The Politics and Poetics of a National Icon,” and benefits from the involvement of conservatory students and faculty under the direction of Daniel Binelli, one of the world’s foremost bandoneón players.
Guest teachers and performers bios:
For more than 17 years, Astrid Weiske has been dancing tango argentino and is well known and respected in the tango communities worldwide as an excellent leading woman. She has developed strong sensitivity in leading, great creativity in improvising, and playful musicality that stand out as key elements in her dancing. Since 2005, she has been teaching in Berlin at PHYNIXtanzt Studio and traveling as a guest teacher to locations in Germany, the United Kingdom, Paris, Montreal, and Buenos Aires. Weiske is the founder of the international Queertango festival in Berlin.
A dancer, instructor, and choreographer for more than 20 years, Ana María Schapira has received international acclaim as a tango professor. Schapira’s knowledge of tango and its tradition runs deep, having learned about the tango world first-hand from early milongueros still dancing today. Scores of Argentine and foreign students, as well as established instructors, attend her classes weekly in Buenos Aires, aiming to perfect their dancing style and skills. An expert leader and follower, Schapira is equally conversant teaching both roles. She spends several months per year as an invited guest tango teacher in Europe, most notably in Italy, France, Denmark, and Germany, where she has a strong following.
Internationally renowned composer, arranger and master of the bandonéon, Argentine Daniel Binelli is also widely acclaimed as the foremost exponent and torchbearer of the music of Astor Piazzolla. In 1989, Binelli joined Astor Piazzolla´s New Tango Sextet, touring internationally. A seasoned composer in his own right, Binelli has created and arranged music for solo instruments, quintet, chamber and symphonic orchestras, and both dance and film music. He is versatile in traditional tango styles and contemporary tango idioms.
Pianist Polly Ferman is creator and director of GlamourTango, a multimedia music and dance performance celebrating women in tango. Ferman has been a featured soloist with numerous internationally known symphonies and her recordings constitute one of the world’s most extensive collections of Latin American repertoire. She is the founder and CEO of New York-based Pan American Musical Art Research, Inc., a not-for-profit organization whose purpose is to promote better understanding among the various countries and cultures of the Americas.