Vail dance: The root of all tango |

Vail dance: The root of all tango

Natalia Hills and Gabriel Misse in New York's East Village, October 21, 2008, as part of The Masters of Tango Workshop Series produced by Mariela Franganillo
Keith Widyolar |

VAIL, Colorado – Last year, passionate tango artists (tangueros in Spanish) Natalia Hills and Gabriel Misse wowed the crowd during the festival. This year, they’re hosting a full evening of the Argentine dance. Sunday marks the world premiere of “Romper el Piso,” a storied production encompassing dancers and musicians on stage.

“It’s completely overwhelming and crowd pleasing, with such subtlety and musicality,” Woetzel says. “It’s so sophisticated without being off-putting. They are dance – they’re really something.”

The dance company – Tangueros del Sur – is directed by Hills.

“It’s not just a series of dances, there’s a storyline that goes through it,” Woetzel says. “There are highs and lows and different moods that are evoked. Tango digs in at the darker moments, with that feeling of sultriness. Much is driven by the music.”

Within “Romper el Piso” (literally translated as “Break the Floor”) there are dances performed by men and women, groups and same-sex couples.

“Some of it is playful, some romantic and some aggressive at times,” Woetzel explains. “There are all kinds of themes that go on in this piece.”

Tangueros del Sur seeks to inspire young dancers by making them go back to “the fountain” of tango – what could be translated as the roots. “Romper el Piso” is a staged production, but it’s meant to capture the way tango is actually danced throughout Argentina. Tango is the country’s most popular artistic expression, and it’s able to convey both modernity and tradition.

“We want to pay homage through the music to the great authorities and musicians of tango,” says the group.

Hills and the rest of the 20-person company will also participate in an UpClose event scheduled for today at 2 p.m., where they’ll help educate the audience (and give sneak peaks) about the art of tango. Part of their mission is to encourage up and coming dancers to embrace the art form – and to regale and inspire audiences like the one in Vail.

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