(pictured: Carla & Phi Lee)
In its inaugural year, La Nuestra Tango Festival will take place August 5th-7th across multiple venues in Downtown Brooklyn including BRIC Arts Media and Roulette Intermedium. Not only is it the first tango festival to take place in Brooklyn, but is led by an all-women team on a mission to transform the culture of tango by creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for all genders, sexualities, races, ages and body types.
“From the time I started organizing tango events in New York City, it has been my mission to raise awareness and bring visibility to the marginalized and to build diverse and inclusive events.”, stated Phi Lee Lam, Festival Director.
What springs to mind when you think of tango? Do you see a man in a black suit embracing a slender woman in a tight red dress and heels? Maybe she has a rose in her teeth? News flash: Tango can be so much more than this. La Nuestra Tango Festival is conceived as an inspired act of resistance against the patriarchal traditions and oppressive norms that are still alive and well in the culture of tango. Festival director, Phi Lee Lam, has assembled an all-female international team of teachers, musicians, performers and organizers working together to transform the culture of tango towards a more humanistic, embodied form which reflects gender equality, equity and empowerment and welcomes each and every person to experience the beauty and magic of Argentine Tango.
“Milongas (tango social gatherings) are not immune to the sexism, racism, and homophobia that permeate our society, but that doesn’t mean we cannot create new spaces that value our uniqueness”, stated Amanda DiGarli and Mary Carmel, La Nuestra Tango Festival’s DJs.
The festival has something for everyone. For New York’s vibrant community of tango aficionados, there are workshops designed to expand skills and deepen connection. Free intro classes offer “tango newbies” a chance to try out both leader and follower roles regardless of their gender. Anyone (including those choosing not to dance) can enjoy tango music concerts, an experiential class exploring personal boundaries, “tangueoke” (tango karaoke), and the festival’s main event, a concert and milonga featuring Orquesta Solidaridad, North America’s only all-female tango orchestra on Saturday August 6th 8pm at Roulette Intermedium. Among the festival’s distinguished presenters are Carla Marano, renowned dancer from Buenos Aires and Aparna Halpé, Sri Lankan-Canadian violinist, composer and founder of Orquesta Solidaridad.
Festival events begin in the afternoon and continue into the late night Friday August 5th – Sunday August 7th. All venues are located in Downtown Brooklyn within walking distance from Atlantic Ave. / Barclays Center. Locations are listed by day below.
Friday Aug. 5: BRIC Arts Media, 647 Fulton St. and Eastville Comedy Club, 487 Atlantic Ave.
Saturday Aug. 7: A.R.T. South Oxford 138 South Oxford St., and Roulette Intermedium, 509 Atlantic Ave.
Sunday Aug. 8: BRIC Arts Media, 647 Fulton St.
For more information and to purchase festival passes or individual tickets, visit https://www.lanuestratango.com/program