I met Jose and Vicky about 4 years ago when I was hired to co - DJ at the Bariloche Tango Festival. They were teaching classes, performing, judging the tango competition, and coordinating all the performances which included Melina Brufman and Claudio Gonzalez. With so much to do, they still managed to be personable and accessible which deeply impressed me. I believe that the following year, I interviewed them but then proceeded to lose the interview. Every time I have seen them I have apologized profusely and it was only this summer (BA winter) that we were able to sit down and revisit their story.
Q: First, let's start with some history.
Jose: I began dancing because Vicky danced. I was only interested in Tango so that I could be her. I liked tango music, but I never danced before. She started before me when she was 18 years old and she studied with Miguel Zotto and Virulazzo in Buenos Aires. Virginia was my first teacher!!
Vicky: Yes... I danced for some years, stopped for awhile, and then started again but with Jose.
Jose: We started being together in 1995 and left Buenos Aires in 1997 because I was interested in ice / rock climbing. So we went to Bariloche in Patagonia.
Q: Rock climbing? Cool.... I have a friend that climbs. What is the highest grade that you have climbed?
Jose: The hardest grade I have climbed in the mountains, not in a gym, is 7A. Now I am 3 kilos smaller - less muscle. I still love to climb but I can't climb and do Tango. My dream was to go to Yosemite or Red Rocks. Now I would need a guide. jejjje!
It was in Bariloche that I started Tango. We both took classes with teachers visiting from Buenos Aires. We were married in 1998 and probably have the longest relationship in Tango in Buenos Aires. (much laughter)
Vicky: People ask me how I can live life, travel, train and work with the same person. We can and we do. That is our strength. *smile*
Q: When did you start to teach?
Jose: We started to teach in 2001 in Bariloche. We would visit Buenos Aires to study but we worked in Bariloche.
Vicky: To teach was always easy for us. We understand movement and can explain it.
Q: Who did you study with at that time?
Jose: Sergio Natario, Alejandra Arrue, Adrien Veredice and Alejandra Hobert.
We then showed a video to a tour producer and he invited us to join a tour in 2004 to Francia called "O Tango".
Before, in Bariloche, we gave tango lessons, but we also worked in the schools giving gym lessons. But our focus changed after "O Tango" . After the tour we returned to Buenos Aires and decided to become professional. We studied, performed at milongas, gave lessons, and went to many auditions. It was difficult at the beginning but it is always difficult at the begining. We were searching.
Vicky: We wanted to dance in a way that would represent us in a very deep way. Just for this we must be very focused.
Q: ...and who were the couples that you studied with then?
Jose: Ramiro Nievas from La Plata, Pablo and Dana , Adrian y Alejandra, Julio y Corina, a lot .
After 2004, we started traveling to Europe each year. Smaller workshops at first and then we started doing festivals. Since 2004, we have been to Europe 10 times.
Q: Who do you think influenced you the most?
Jose: Adrien Veredice y Alejandra Hobert were the most important couple because they showed us how to search the new style without forgetting the old styles.
We studied the technique of the new style with Pablo y Dana, who were also influential. We also wanted to develop our own style. Personally, I try to be closer to the old style. I prefer traditional music but hey, the older folks will say we dance new style. (laughter)
Vicky: Our dance must fit the essence of who we are. The technique just gives us the possibilities.
Jose: And when we teach, we try to do things that are available to everyone.. not something that only a circus star can do. :-)
Q: What do you think the trends are in Tango?
Jose: Many people are returning to social dance and I am seeing young people who are choosing to dance in a softer way. I like funny things and will rehearse and perform with them but I don't use them for social dance.
I remember 3 years ago in each lesson the magic words were colgada and volcada. Now the dancers are asking for something else. The topics are more about....
How can I walk softly? or
the quality of the movement.
Recently we taught some workshops and all the advanced students were in the basic technique lesson and all the beginners were in the advanced class.
Q: And what does the future hold for you?
Jose: Now we traveling less. Before we would be gone for 6 months. Now we will travel 4 times a year but for only 1 month. For example, this November we will be in Rome in a show with Esteban Morgado. Of course, in the future, we would like to go to the US.
Also we are the new directors for Tango Brujo, which will reopen in September. We want to open the school to all styles. For instance, young people doing traditional styles and new techniques with a traditional style. I really think this is the future of Tango... using new techniques with a traditional style. We are excited about developing a school where the instructors are knowledgeable and also are strongly motivated to teach.
We also plan to have a social area to create a friendly environment for our students and teachers. Come visit us in September or when you can. I am sure you will love it.
Contact us at: Jose y Vicky