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Gaby Mataloni is a tango dancer from Buenos Aires, known around the world as a teacher, performer and producer. Photo Courtesy of the Philadelphia Tango Festival.
Gaby Mataloni is a tango dancer from Buenos Aires, known around the world as a teacher, performer and producer. Photo Courtesy of the Philadelphia Tango Festival.

The Philadelphia Tango Festival is back, and will highlight achievements in tango music

The festival will celebrate the many achievements of women in tango.

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The romantic dance of Argentinian tango will be celebrated in Philly on Thursday, June 2 through late night on Sunday, June 5 at the Philadelphia Tango Festival.

Part of the festival is dedicated to the women who have brought tango to the city and who have spent many years introducing the dance to Philly locals. 

The venue is the Lithuanian Music Hall in Port Richmond and offers a sprawling 5,500 sq. ft. ballroom perfect for dancing the tango.

In addition to dancing performances, the four day event will also have live music, 20 workshop classes taught by all women instructors, and a panel discussion on “Women in Tango” (where we’ve come from, and where we’re going). The discussion will be moderated by Philadelphia anthropologist, Carolyn Merritt.

Argentinian filmmaker Yael Szmulewicz will present her newest feature, Amar Amando, and lead a post-screening discussion afterwards.

The first day of the four day event will have Argentinian-born vocalists and guitarists, Juan Villarreal and Patricio Crom. They will give an 8 p.m. seated concert and will also perform a dance. This will be the first performance for them in the U.S.

Other artists such as tango enthusiast Winnie Cheung, will feature a first-ever female tango quartet.

On Saturday, June 4, Horacio Romo, will perform in an all-star trio, including violinist Pablo Agri and pianist Emiliano Messiez. Other artists include Romio-Aghri-Messiez Trio and Tipica Messiez.

The event will be covered by Telemundo anchor Belén Smole, who was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The Lithuanian Music Hall ballroom will also feature six large artworks that will go on sale. The portraits are from Fausta Designs in Buenos Aires. Each piece celebrates a female tango artist of the last 100 years.

One dancer in particular that is featured in an art piece is Paquita Bernado. She was a tango composer and the first professional woman bandoneon player of tango at a time when tango was considered sinful and featured no women.

Ahead of the Philadelphia Tango Festival, there will be a special preview event between noon and 1 p.m. on Tuesday, May 31 in Comcast Plaza. The event will be sponsored by NBC10/Telemundo62 and Jacobs Music Company.

The Philadelphia Tango Festival will take place from June 2-5. Photo Courtesy of the Philadelphia Tango Festival.
The Philadelphia Tango Festival will take place from June 2-5. Photo Courtesy of the Philadelphia Tango Festival. 

The sultry dance of Argentinian tango was born during the 19th century in Río de la Plata, Argentina.

Tango simply defined the sadness of South American immigrants that came from many parts of Europe. The dance that was originally for “unprivileged” immigrants will now forever be known as a romantic style of dance all over the world. 

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