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Seminar Encuentro Compañeros TangoForge 2017

TangoForge Seminar


The Seminar Compañeros TangoForge included dancers from 8 countries. By the end of the week 5 women marked for the first time in milongas. The final day of the seminar, we reviewed the material for the week and learned to coach one another, so that everyone can go home and build practice groups. Everyone was surprised to realize how much new material was in their dance. Every student had two private lessons, one with me and one with Apprentice Swan who was the co-teacher during the week. The local students joined in by loaning camping mats, joining the seminar, and contributing to the much-needed celebrations.

We had 14 dancers in our show, “The Tradition is Transgressive” with DJ and Saxman Michael Rühl at the Berlin Hauptbahnhof as part of the Contemporary Tango Festival 2017. In the show we linked tango to its diasporic brethren, hiphop and jazz. We created a show to empower 6 dancers to make their first performances successfully (including the TangoForge apprentices, Stefan, Swan, and Yoko, and one student dancing only 6 months), by using our improvisation drills as the base for short dances. We used characters and costumes to impart courage and a shared story. Through this process we created a new style for TangoForge, hip hop artists working together in community, with a bit of gangsta bravado and plenty of gold chains. Our show was modeled on breakdance crew practices, in which everyone encourages the other dancers, who enter the circle when moved by music and spirit to share their art. I was supported in my second performance as a Mark by the gorgeous and patient Jessica Förster. We had an amazing camera team, including Pez, Fritz, Franz, and Anders wielding our new GoPro. In the final moment, a new friend, Carlos Libedinsky, joined our show…

Just a few days after the Seminar ended, Germain “Mano” Cascales arrived from Paris for two truly Extreme Impro shows on Carlos’ new musical projects, Duo Libedinsky & Castro and #Fueye. In these dances, our 5th production together, our remarkable artistic collaboration continued to evolve. The intensity and commitment to risk is such a tight connection to one another and the music that many observers simply could not believe it was not choreographed. In fact we drew on all of 90 minutes of practice in the last 6 months and preparation of a few movements that we didn’t use in the show. The songs were too new to have names, “and anyway”, said Carlos “we’re gonna improvise.” And we did.

Here are some photos from the preparations, rehearsals, and seminar. Show videos coming soon.

In focus photos by Pez, out of focus by Vio, costume check by Sofya.

TangoForge Seminar Program and Schedule

You are warmly welcome to the Second Annual TangoForge Seminar Encuentro Compañeros in Berlin from 28 August – 2 September, 2017.

We invite you to join us for a 10-day period with six days of seminar, 28.Aug-2.Sept and two weekends of dancing. 24-27 August are the last three nights of the Contemporary Tango Festival, with live music every night in the Hauptbahnhof (free and no registration required). 24.August is TangoForge’s artistic evening at the Festival, entitled “The Tradition is Transgressive“.

See our detailed guide to food, transport, and milongas to make your trip easy and delicious.

Seminar Routine

Monday 28.August-Saturday 2.August

11:00-12:00 Yoga & Private Lessons

12:30-14:00 Biomechanics

14:00-15:30 Lunch Break Practica

15:30-18:00 Seminar
with 30 minute Break

18:00-19:30 Practica de la Tarde
& Private Lessons

Tuesday-Sunday 22-27.August Play with us at the Contemporary Tango Festival
Dormitory open

Monday 28.August THEME The two hardest moves in tango 
Change of foot and ochos, intensive for perfect technique in close and open embrace.

Tuesday 29.August THEME Sacadas Everywhere!
Intensive on sacadas, including back sacadas, in the line of dance and in close and open embrace.

Wednesday 30.August THEME Trusting Tango 
Understanding tango pathways and change of embrace.

Thursday 31.August THEME Maximizing Pleasure 
Extending projection to voleos and leaning movements (volcada colgada)

At the convenience of the students, private lessons will also be scheduled on the weekend prior to the seminar and the Sunday concluding the seminar.

Friday 1.September THEME Sweet Ganchos
and how to find all 76 of them, in the line of dance, [mostly] in close embrace

Saturday 2.September THEME TBA
based on our ongoing research in the coming months.

Sunday 3.September Farewell dances
at the outdoor Monbijoux Park Milonga and Tangoloft.


The seminar welcomes all levels except absolute beginners. We make friends doing basic exercises across levels, then we cluster by level for dancing.

Our students dance every exercise in both roles. With our teaching techniques, Women quickly get over their anxiety about marking and Men enjoy a new world of tango experience.

We create an atmosphere of healthy and liberated tango, in which dancers have gentle, kind, and dialogic relations and discover more pleasure with more partners.

Every student will receive a 45 minute private lesson with Vio and a 45 minute private practice with one of the TangoForge Apprentices.

Three TangoForge Apprentices have been training all year and they are now confident and experienced teachers to assist you: Stefan, Yoko, and Maren-Swan.

On-site massage with Jaina Hirai Healing Massage.

You can use the kitchen to prepare your own food if you want to.

Daily yoga and practicas!

All classes will be translated to Deutsch. Japanese and Castellano translation is also available. If you need Italiano or Français, please let us know in advance.

For those who were with us in 2016, click here for what we’re doing differently this year.

There are a number of hotels and hostels nearby. Use googlemaps to explore the Mitte area. There are some suggestions in my Guide.

  • Private room for sessions with Jaina Hirai Healing Massage.
  • This year’s Seminar will be fewer students than last year, maximum enrollment is 26.
  • Vio will teach the Biomechanics class and all classes will be TangoForge technique.
  • We have only one Seminar theme each day, but with more time to explore it + Biomechanics as before + 2 Practicas per day.
  • Longer breaks – with really delicious protein shakes this time.
  • No lunch service on site, so we will not be distracted by preparing your lunch/table
  • This year we will not be preparing a performance during the week of the TangoForge Seminar! Our performance is several days before the seminar, on 24.August.
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