For first-timers, learning the Argentine tango can feel chaotic.
“Traditionally, the tango is something that is very wild,” dancer and instructor Gustavo Naveira says. “Dancers have different ideas and concepts. So when someone wants to learn to dance tango from zero, it may become a little confusing.”
Over the past 30 years, Naveira has been developing a specific teaching method to give more structure to the dance style and make it less intimidating for those who want to learn.
He teaches this curriculum at his dance school in Colorado, the Boulder Tango Studio, which opened in January. Naveira’s partner in dance and in life, Giselle Anne, works alongside him.
The two met in Argentina in 1995 and experienced instant chemistry on the dance floor.
In 2007, Naveira and Anne moved to Boulder and, shortly thereafter, launched the Boulder Tango Festival, a weekend-long event that celebrates both the traditions and progression of the sensual Latin dance form.
Running Friday through Sunday at The Avalon Ballroom in Boulder, this year's festival includes workshops, classes for all levels, talkbacks with instructors, dancewear vendors and three nights of "milonga" -- the name given to tango dancing events that begin late in the evening and continue until dawn.
This year, three other milonguero couples join Naveira and Anne: Mariano “Chicho” Frúmboli and Juana Sepúlveda, Adrián Veredice and Alejandra Hobert, and Donato Juárez & Carolina del Rivero.
“We have evolved in the tango world together,” Naveira says of his collaborators. “To meet them here for the festival, it’s kind of a reunion.”
Earlier this week, Naveira and Anne visited the CPR Performance Studio and shared an intimate dance to the music of Argentine tango musician and composer Carlos di Sarli. Di Sarli's piece is titled “Indio Manso.”
Visit cpr.org/arts next week to catch a video of Naveira and Anne teaching CPR arts reporter and former professional ballerina Stephanie Wolf the basic steps of the Argentine tango.