I want to bring to your attention a young tango professional that I've never shown you, though she blows me away for several reasons.
I'm talking about Noelia Hurtado. She is a beautiful young woman with great skill, who dresses elegantly like a "Rose Vine Tango" lady (Villa Urquiza style). But there's something about her that I don't find very elegant. With her refined appearance and her high level of skill, she could easily be elegant, but it's clear that something else is more important to her. Noelia also chooses partners who give her something OTHER than elegance.
Probably because I missed the elegance, I had mentally classified Noelia and her partners as "good-but-second-rung" performers. It was as if I were waiting for them to mature. She had always impressed me as incredibly talented, but I put her on the back burner of my attention.
Lately something keeps drawing me to watch Noelia dance. In fact, I'm suddenly so intrigued by her, I could watch her videos for hours on end!
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Here is a weekend video for you with Noelia Hurtado and her current partner Carlitos Espinoza. (I hope it will be a treat to my Tango Improvisation Mastery musicality members that they're dancing to Juan D'Arienzo's "Mandria", with Alberto Echague singing, the version we know so well.)
Watch as many times as you like, of course, but at some point I'd like you to focus on how Noelia is interpreting the music, even though she's following Carlitos' improvisation. His musical interpretation is a statement in itself, but for me it becomes the canvas on which Noelia paints her picture of Mandria!
This girl loves tango music like few performers I know. The way she expresses her passion for the music is visceral and earthy, sometimes at the expense of precision and elegance.
It occurs to me that Noelia selects partners with whom she can totally express herself, because in their improvisation they make the most of her gifts of passionality and very marked musical sensibility . . . rather than choosing to dominate.
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To give you another illustration of this, here is a video from 2 years ago in which she's dancing Pablo Rodriguez, her earlier partner - since 2003, when they met in classes with Carlos Perez and Rosa Forte - Surprise! - the famous Villa Urquiza style teachers at Club Sunderland in Buenos Aires. Yes, they had Villa Urquiza origins, but Noelia and Pablo had gone on to study contemporary tango, and developed their own stylistic fusion.
The tango is Francisco Canaro's "Invierno", sung by Roberto Maida.
At first I interpreted her tearful hugs at the end of the performance as her appreciation of Pablo's communication with her through the music. Then it occurred to me that perhaps there was something personal going on, apart from the performance.
My readers know that I love Villa Urquiza style tango. But what I love even more than elegance and refined, precise musicality is the expression of the dancers' feelings. Watch Noelia's and Pablo's faces as they dance. You don't have to watch Noelia's face. Just watch her body.
I'll be writing again with more videos of Noelia and Carlitos. I'm noticing some more interesting things about their musicality that I want to share with you!