Buenos Aires In the Vales Tango Festival 2012


Artistic Directors & Producers: Andrew & Adrienne Gill

2012 International Guest Artists: Fancisco Forquera & Carolina Bonaventura

2012 Guest Artists: Fabian & Karina Conca, William Jarman & Chandra Lennie, Richard & Pamela Jarvis, David & Michelle Wheaton, Leonie Berger.

2012 Guest Musicians: Tango Caliente, Cherie Boogaart & Yvonne Williams



2012 Buenos Aires in the Vales Testimonials

‘Your skills are world class, as was the event’ – M Daniel

‘Wonderful, wonderful Tango concert last night. Couldn’t have been a soul there who didn’t adore it. Thank you all for giving such pleasure’ – K Bickford

‘It has been inspirational not just to learn from such accomplished teachers, see choreography that has taken my breath away, but to also see the product of both your vision, passion & exceptional organisation’ – M Evans

‘I had a great time at the festival … I’m looking forward to the next one, though I have to say that I loved South Australia and will be back possibly before the next Tango in the Vales. I was particularly struck by the variety and beauty of the landscape, the quality of the produce, and (obviously) the wine’ – Queensland dancer

‘Congratulations on a great festival. I’ve been to quite a few by now and this was right up there with the best, topped off by the wonderful setting in the Vales. I heard lots of positive comments from visitors. Well done’ – G Menzel

‘What a great weekend, production, opportunity. Thankyou for bringing the range of teachers together for this event, the exposure to different ways of thinking about movement was greatly appreciated’ - D Dempsey

‘The festival feels like a landmark in our efforts to get to grips with the tango thing, and has somehow been a real eye-opener in terms of attitude, approach, commitment and method’ – K&D Olds

‘Loved the stage show - you all danced superbly, and really enjoyed the workshops - we enrolled at just the right level so were not intimidated but learnt heaps - and most of all to enjoy ourselves when we dance’ - D & V Aldridge  

Thank you to the sponsors & supporters of Buenos Aires in the Vales 2012:

Tango Arts Supporters: Friends of Buenos Aires at the Beach Inc

Tango Supporters: Minko; Coriole; Ralph & Patsy Poppenbeek; Pam & Richard Jarvis; Alexandrina Cheese Company

International Artist Supporters: Southern Cross Tango; Sydney Tango Salon Festival

Product & Services: Rough Website Design; Aaron Charlton Graphics & Printing; Organic Motion Massage; Ekhidna Wines; Bracegirdles; Russells Pizza; Our Place at Willunga Hill; Australian Happy Foods; Austere Tango Shoes

Accommodation for Festival Artists: Winnies Cottage; McLaren Vale Motel & Apartments

Accommodation Supporters: Bindarah Valley Bed & Breakfast; Kenwood Cottage; Linger Longer Bed & Breakfast; Minko Farmstay

Supporters: South Australia Tourism; City of Onkaparinga; McLaren Vale & Fleurieu Visitor Centre; Southern Theatre & Arts Supporters; Community Tango in Geelong; Tango Australia; Tango Adelaide; Siempre Tango; Life & More; Tango Club NZ  

2012 Buenos Aires in the Vales - Wrap Up

(Excerpt from ‘Tango Australis’ Australian Tango Journal May 2012)

What made this Buenos Aires in the Vales Tango Festival so good? Brilliant show performances, excellent classes and good social dancing certainly – but there was more with the inclusion of other tango arts: painting, live music recitals, and poetry.

It was a fulfilling and balanced tango experience. We didn’t just go to dance socially. We went to learn and grow together. We danced in wonderful places and brought home memories that will be treasured. We were encouraged and inspired by generosity, brilliance, dedication, tango expertise, teaching skills, organisational ability, hard work, and friendliness. Importantly, we the tango dancers of Australia (and New Zealand) were treated with respect.

We had social dancing to enjoy with new partners, and spectacular stage performances to marvel at from Argentine & Australian stars (in every sense), Francisco & Carolina, Adrienne & Andrew, Bill & Chandra, and Fabian & Karina, and inspiring performances from SCT Dance Ensemble, and Siempre Tango’s Mark & Kellie at the final Milonga.

We had music recitals enabled by Tango Friends Inc sponsorships: Geelong soprano Yvonne Williams and SA Opera’s Cherie Boogaart and hot band Tango Caliente. We had excellent technical workshops from international guests Carolina Bonaventura & Francisco Forquera, Australia’s Andrew & Adrienne Gill, Bill Jarman & Chandra Lennie, Fabian & Karina Conca, and nurturing support from David & Michelle Wheaton. Leonie Berger’s Pilates sessions kept the toes of milongueros twinkling, and Kristen Durdin’s pain-relieving massages were a treat. Pam & Richard’s empowering seminar presented little-known aspects of tango history, and sent people out to ‘claim tango for themselves’.

Here’s a rundown of social events. On festival eve we danced at a mini Milonga in a regional arts venue surrounded by paintings of tango, then went to Ekhidna Winery restaurant for a late dinner. Next afternoon we were at Port Willunga beach, a stretch of cliffs and white sand steeped with local history, where we sipped sponsor Minko’s delicious ‘bubbles’, heard tango poems, got to know festival visitors and locals who knew nothing about tango, and danced on the sandbank with waves lapping around our feet. That night we were at a farm on top of Willunga hill, with the sea gleaming in the distance, dancing inside on a custom-built dance floor or outside beneath the stars on the top of a giant water tank, and being fed fantastic food (including baked ‘capretto’) prepared by Italian chef-host, Andy Clappis. Next morning we were into the workshops, but not before visiting the excellent Willunga Farmers’ Market. At lunchtime another free event put tango into a public space with a picnic lunch with dancing and readings from local poets in McLaren Vale’s outdoor Piazza della Valle.

The festival had warm sunshine, then heavy rain and power blackouts. Francisco sang for one workshop until local expertise hooked up inverters to car batteries to power the music systems. Meanwhile Andrew was sourcing generators so the night’s show could go on.

At the Vintage Tango Show stage performances from the Argentine guests and Australian stars dazzled the capacity audience – and then, inspired, we danced the night away, with the help of refreshments from the Minko Bar set up for the night. South Australia’s Tango Caliente band brought energy and excitement to the stage in their performance of old tango favourites and newer works. This line-up, with the possible addition of a flute, will be one to watch as they expand their repertoire for social dancing.

Sunday’s middle of the day treat was lunch in the courtyard at Coriole winery sandwiched between more excellent workshops. And that night, we celebrated it all at a mellow and marvellous Farewell to the Vales Milonga, where we sampled delicious Alexandrina Cheeses (look for the label in your cheese shop), were treated to more lovely performances, and had room to dance. At other festival events, sung tango from the incomparable mezzo-soprano Cherie Boogaart and soprano Yvonne Williams was presented in delightfully different ways.

People travelled from across Australia and from New Zealand, as well as Adelaide and regional South Australia. Tango visitors stayed, for a long weekend and some for close to a week in B & Bs, motel, apartments, rented holiday houses, and at the camping ground. They wined and dined in style, sampling and purchasing fine regional produce. They visited the Farmers’ Market and cellar doors. They drove and flew, hired cars, bought fuel, and used public transport. Many will ship wines, olives, and oils they have enjoyed, home. The visitors loved the district – the scenery, ambience, and friendliness of locals. They will come back to tango there again.

The whole event was a carefully planned and meticulously put-together package created by Adrienne & Andrew for the tango & wider community to enjoy.  

Buenos Aires at the Beach (1999 – 2011)

“Buenos Aires at the Beach” is unique in international tango festivals, proudly putting Australian performers and teachers alongside Argentina’s worlds best.

Since “Buenos Aires at the Beach” began in 1999, dancers from across Australia & overseas have converged on the small seaside town of Anglesea on Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, to enjoy the tango passion in community facilities transformed for the weekend, into dance studios, a theatre and genuine social milongas. The festival fuses performance, educational and social Tango streams – you see one form on stage, social styles on the dance floor, and you can learn how to tango yourself. Getting started is surprisingly easy. Truly, it is a vibrant expression of accessible community Arts.

Past Festivals have featured international performers & teachers such as the world renowned Milena Plebs, Demian Garcia & Alejandra Mantinan (Argentina) & the virtuoso Italian accordionist Mirko Satto, brilliant Italian Guitarist Massimo Scattolin & sublime concert pianist Anthony Halliday. Featured Australian tango professionals include Adrienne & Andrew Gill, Bill Jarman & Chandra Lennie, Jairo Sanchez Rivera & Amy Teuchert, Alberto & Natalia Cortez, Fabian & Karina Conca, David Backler & Dianne Heywood Smith, Pedro & Sophia Alvarez, Serkan & Dana Alasya, Sarah Bonnar, Pedro Arandia & Laura Groombridge, plus creative dance legend Merle James, Pam Jarvis, & specialist teachers of Tai Chi/Aikijujitsu, Yoga, Pilates & Somatic movement.

Audiences have been delighted by spectacular festival Tango stage shows & gala events with live music by Australian tango ensembles such as Colectivo29 & Ruth Roshan & Tango Noir, Argentine folkloric singer Viviana Blanco, pianist Maria Sciammarella, & blues guitarist Brian Paulusz. Buenos Aires at the Beach has launched many original interactive tango concepts such as Tango Dominoes, the Great Tango Debate, Tango Games & Tango Jam & screened art house tango film “Take Photographs, leave footprints”.

2011 Festival Wrap

Creative spirits converged in a joyful, intense celebration of Australian Tango on the Great Ocean Road at ‘Buenos Aires at the Beach’ festival. An exquisite hand-made wave-inspired backdrop set the scene for the Tango Azul Show, shimmering like water in the stage lighting one moment, the next transforming to elegant Renaissance scrolls. Hard-working students of the days’ workshops transformed to suave and glamorous creatures of the Tango night.

Efficient direction and organization from Adrienne & Andrew, with volunteer support made it all flow, allowing the sweetness, elegance and distinctive styles of our professional dancers to shine in performance. What class! Students had plentiful opportunity to learn effectively and dance freely. Fabulous décor transformed the main venue each night. Thoughtful themes, superb music performances, crazy circus entertainment, tasteful dressing and exuberant ‘Wonderland’ costuming were icing on the ‘eat me’ cake. It was a wonderful tango festival experience – the best ever, two regular attendees wrote.

In Geelong, Thursday night was warm for Community Tango’s pre-festival Summer Milonga del Sur – but not too hot for dancing. Geelong welcomed over 60 people to their milonga, including some very good visiting dancers and special guests, festival Directors Adrienne & Andrew, who got members of their interstate community tango group and friends up and dancing with a mini-workshop. Thanks to the gracious visitors who helped make the night. Nice dance experiences help new dancers develop confidence and skills. An experienced Tanguera (an interstater) thought the numbers were perfect and advocated a ‘lock-out’ policy to prevent overcrowding on milonga floors. Geelong can boast that rare tango phenomenon: extra leaders. After the milonga, dancers drifted off for drinks at a local club, or the respite of sleep in preparation for the festival weekend ahead.

Next day dancers were on the road to the festival, driving to the ‘far horizons’ and ‘jewel sea’ of the Surf Coast. Travellers called in for the beautiful Moongate Galleries art experience on the way. It stayed hot for Friday night’s excellent ‘Tango Azul Show’ at the Memorial Hall Theatre, A refreshing cool change blew through on Saturday, keeping things pleasant for classes and the Tango in Wonderland Gala Milonga, until the festival’s end, late on Sunday night, after the closing party at the Anglesea pub.


Celebrating our 10th Anniversary

Romancing the Tango, Milonga after the show

In January 2009, Buenos Aires at the Beach celebrated its tenth anniversary – and what a party was had over a fabulous tango weekend at Anglesea. Dancers came from all over Australia, from New Zealand, and as far away as Norway and Belgium. Undoubtedly word of this event will spread farther and wider as happy dancers return home and tell their tango friends.

The tango fraternity was joined by enthusiastic non-dancers, some of whom love the whole festival spectacle so much they keep coming year after year – proving that you don’t have to dance to appreciate Tango – and that you might not embrace the whole tango thing, but you can still enjoy a good tango show.

Milena Plebs & Demian Garcia
performing in “Romancing the Tango” Show

The aptly-named show, ‘Romancing the Tango’, with Milena and Demian and the professional Australian dance couples of the teaching faculty, David & Dianne, Bill & Chandra, Jairo & Amy, and Adrienne and Andrew, presented an enticing range of historic tango and creative performance styles on stage, from Tango’s earthy origins, evoking the wild ‘Apache’ tango with lifts and throws as described in texts by dance historians and social commentators from the early years of the 20th century, through the ages to elegant contemporary and Nuevo interpretations. A group of Southern Cross Tango dance students performed too in the show – and did a great job, showing what can be achieved with hard work. The show offered delights for all, but importantly it was a presentation of skill and refinement that an audience of knowledgeable tango dancers expects.

In the middle, sandwiched between tango dance performance numbers was something new for Buenos Aires at the Beach, and indeed any Australian tango event – made possible by the generous support of the new Friends group. Renowned classical and international concert pianist and organist, Anthony Halliday, gave a breathtaking recital of works that included works inspired by the rhythms of Spanish dances and colours of Spain, and Argentine compositions and tangos. The finale for the show was beautiful, with dance couples whirling onto the stage to improvise as Anthony played Piazzolla’s moving Adios Nonino.

Anthony Halliday performing his
Recital in “Romancing the Tango’ Show

Anthony is a rare creative musical genius. He’s open and receptive to new influences, and fronted up with Marilyn for Adrienne and Andrew’s Tango Basics workshop the next morning. I told him how I love the piece Oblivion, and I reckon it will be on the list for his next tango concert.

The spectacle continued after the show as dancers in the audience took confidently to the floor to improvise and interpret the social form of the dance. Melbourne tango quintet Colectivo29 played excellent live music for the divinely decadent dress-up milonga the following night. Tango dancers are such a clever creative lot! The spirit of enjoyment and a touch of spice were in the air all weekend – as in past years – but this year, thankfully, the air was not nearly as hot as it had been the previous year!

Photo: Gala Milonga “Glamour with a touch of decadence”

Photo: Bill Jarman & Chandra Lennie

Jairo Sanchez Rivera & Amy Teuchert

David Backler & Dianne Heywood Smith

Adrienne & Andrew Gill

Southern Cross Tango performance group

The weekend’s workshops were excellent – offering challenge and reward for participants, and hands-on assistance from the faculty in class and at practicas. Students worked hard too, making the most of the learning opportunities afforded by the weekend’s line-up. The Tai Chi sessions with Dante were enjoyable and helpful in centring and preparing the body to dance.

Adrienne and Andrew are to be congratulated for their efficient organization and diligence in assembling an interesting range of highly competent Australian professionals, for their event management, production and show direction, and also for being able to channel exhaustion into superb personal performances and lucid, vibrant workshops. Milena Plebs and Demian Garcia’s presence was a measure of their respect for Adrienne and Andrew’s professionalism and competence. Milena and Demian were the icing on what was a very good slab of Aussie tango cake.

It was all so lovely that it has been hard to get back to reality. One of the nice things about ‘Buenos Aires at the Beach’ is that it provides an occasion for the tango dancers of Australia and, increasingly, overseas to come together and enjoy an intense and beautiful spiritual, emotional and physical tango experience in a unique location.

Heartfelt thanks to Innovation Engineering Pty Ltd for the generous support that made the event possible and the visit of Milena and Demian a reality. Thanks to the prize donors, and numerous supporters in Adelaide who worked so hard with fund-raising – and to our new tango support group, the Friends of Buenos Aires at the Beach, whose generous contributions sponsored Anthony Halliday’s recital and the piano hire.