BYRON BAY TANGO FESTIVAL 2019
CAROLINA GIANNINI AND LEO DI COCCO
[ modified from “Milongueros All Aboard 2019”]. The dance of Carolina and Leonel combines sensuality, elegance and virtuosity. Their dance background in ballet, jazz and contemporary combines beautifully with their studies in tango with elite teachers, and results in an engaging versatility, creativity and freedom in their dance, without any loss of the precision, elegance and connection of classical tango. They’ve had illustrious professional careers with renowned companies, such as “Tango Pasión”, “Tango Fire”, “Midnight Tango”. Carolina has briefly visited Australia as lead dancer in the “Tango Inferno” tour. Leonel was principal dancer of “Tango Moderno” in the United Kingdom. Today they feature at many international festivals and have an awesome reputation as inspirational teachers and performers. Check out their many YouTube performances. Here is an example.
In addition to teaching/mentoring and performing at the Festival, Carolina and Leonel are available for private lessons. See Program page for details.
ARTIST JAN RAE
Byron Bay resident, Jan Rae, is an accomplished artist with numerous exhibitions and prizes to her credit. She is also a tango champion, teacher and doyen of the Byron Bay tango community. In recent years she has combined her two passions and devoted herself to what she describes as “Drawing the Language of Dance”. In keeping with the Festival ethos of including cultural aspects of tango, Jan will create a tango art performance that includes audience participation. This year there is a special event on the Friday evening with the launch of her book “Travel Sketches: the illustrated observations of a tango dancer in Buenos Aires”. Well-known Byron Bay artist James Guppy will launch the book.
SOPHIA DE LAUTOUR (ALVAREZ) AND PAUL WARREN (“PABLITO”)
Sophia is a national tango champion and director of Sydney-based tango school SoTango (established in 2013). Whether dancing simple or complex moves Sophia always infuses her dance with the accent and cadencia evoked by the music, dancing with deep connection, elegance and subtlety. Pablito is an instructor with SoTango and director of the Sydney based TangoWorks and Pablito's Easter Tango Festival. Pablito's approach to teaching tango is very heart centred with a strong emphasis on deepening connection with yourself, feeling your energy and how it connects with others. Together they will be offering a Saturday workshop on “Phrasing: the essential key to great tango dancing”. Free to all pass holders.
SHAN DENG (CONCERT PIANIST)
Winner of the Sydney International Piano Competition’s Best Australian Pianist Prize, Shan Deng is a well-known Australian-Chinese pianist now working in Hobart, where she holds a position of Senior Lecturer at the University of Tasmania. She has studied at the Central Conservatory of Music (Beijing) and the Queensland Conservatorium (Griffith University) and holds two Masters of Music in Performance. Her awards are prestigious and numerous, including a university medal, the ABC Young Performer award, the Australian Big Ben award for outstanding Chinese youth and Fulbright and Churchill fellowships.
Shan has performed internationally and has appeared with most of the Australian Symphony Orchestras. She is an academic with a frantic schedule of engagements, an impressive list of grants and commissions, and three CDs. Finally, Shan is a fine tango dancer with a keen interest in Argentine tango music, and it is in this capacity that she will perform at this year’s Piazzolla Concert.
THE MENDOZA QUARTET & FRIENDS
The Mendoza Tango Quartet has quickly gained a reputation as one of Australia’s leading exponents of tango. Made up of four fiery musicians from across Australia, the group specialises in the performance of traditional and contemporary Argentinian tango music. Featuring the quintessential ferocity of the bandoneon and the velvet voice of Solange Lipcin (Buenos Aires), the Mendoza Tango Quartet (with guest bandoneon and violin players) will take you on a journey through the elegant dance halls to the underground tango clubs of Buenos Aires.
With special guests, the distinguished guitarist Joe Fallon and charismatic pianist Dan Rojas, the group comes together to form Astor Piazzolla’s revered quintet. This concert explores the contemporary side of tango, from Piazzolla to the contemporary figures paving the way into the future.
Find out more about the Mendoza Tango Quartet here.