Archive for the ‘Orlando Paiva’ Tag

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The Guest List

Early in 1996 we dropped out of the corporate and high tech worlds to pursue our new found love affair with each other and the tango. Looking into the future we reckoned that we had at least twenty years of strong legs on which to dance our way around the world. Unknowingly we become the first full time couple teaching across the USA for a span of ten years on a continuous basis.

With still a few years left on that twenty year investment of good legs, we still dance and teach, but have become more grounded in our adopted city in the South, New Orleans. Unexpected events of life have made us stop, and look back, realizing that we had never set aside the time to rekindle the memories embedded in dozens of photo albums, VHS tapes, Digital 8 and Mini DV cassettes.

One photo in particular brought back memories of an aspect of our lives that we seldom talk about, or arguably brag about. The photo was of a sign that hung on the front gate of our Silicon Valley home. It was the first sign that welcomed those who entered our Planet Tango.

From 1996 to 2000, we served as the gateway into the Bay Area tango community for many well known and a few unknown artists… We promoted, translated for, and provided work opportunities to the initial wave of visiting dancers from Argentina. We were also innkeepers and house hosts to many of them.

Name Housed Provided work Comments
Orlando Paiva Yes Yes Deceased
Rodolfo Cieri Yes Yes Deceased
Maria Cieri Yes Yes
Pablo Ojeda Yes Yes
Beatriz Ojeda Yes Yes
Andrea Misse Yes Yes Deceased
Leandro Palou Yes Yes
Pablo Pugliese Yes Yes
Esther Pugliese Yes Yes Deceased
Jorge Nel Yes
Facundo Posadas Yes Yes
Kely Landam Yes Yes Deceased
Armando Orzuza Yes Yes
Daniella Arcuri Yes Yes
Marcos Cuestas Yes Yes
Guillermo Merlo Yes Yes
Fernanda Ghi Yes Yes
Nestor Ray Yes Deceased
Carlos Gavito Yes Deceased
Pupi Castello First and only exhibition ever in the USA
Graciela Gonzalez with Graciela Gonzalez

After our relocation to New Orleans in 2000, we continued the tradition of hosting well known artists at our House of Tango and yearly Tango Fests, until 2005…

Name Housed Provided work Comments
Nestor Ray Yes Yes Deceased
Patricia Garcia Yes Yes
Guillermina Quiroga Yes
Alberto Catala Yes
Armando Orzuza Yes
Daniella Arcuri Yes
Miriam Larici Yes Yes
Hugo Patyn Yes Yes
Orlando Paiva, Jr. Yes

Those were wonderful years of non-stop tango life, a period in time when we didn’t realize how important it was to help so many artists to break into the new world that the USA was to become for tango… With a few exceptions, we have never heard from most of them again. So we don’t know if they ever felt the love, dedication and generosity that was gifted to them.

For us, their walking through our doors and in and out of our lives constitutes a collage of experiences we’ll never forget for as long as we live…


August 10, 1997

The greater community of greater Los Angeles received an invitation to a birthday party for Japanese dancer Shizue Endoh. Planet Tango organized the evening of tango at the Westmor Dance Studio. The main attraction of the evening was a performance by the stars of the Japanese show Tango Libertad Tahei Kobayasi and Yuko Eguchi. Shizue Endoh, is a student of Kobayashi and Eguchi.

Westmor’s owner John Morton, an internationally known ballroom dancer and instructor, was the Master of Ceremonies. A large number of ballroom dancers attended for the first time to an Argentine tango parry and show.

Invitations and announcements for the event began to be sent as early as last March in order to allow everybody’s schedule to be accommodated so the entire tango community, teachers, promoters and dancers alike could join in the celebration. The response was overwhelming as the ample ballroom, decorated especially for the evening, was graced by the presence of Award winning actr and tango enthusiast Robert Duval, his new girlfriend Luciana Pedraza, master Orlando Paiva and wife Susana, singer Martin de Leon, Yolanda Rossi, Michael Espinoza, Mark Celaya and Joan Yarfitz, Felix Chavez and Marilyn Hall, Zita Gonzalez and Marcos Cuestas, Raul Perotto and Johanna, Maurice Schwartz, Bill Forget, Allen and Holy Adel, owners of Pasion Supper Club, Norma Gil, owner of Empanada’s Place, Alicia and Luis Sanchez of Alicia’s Travel, and many more who on a weekly basis, constitute the core of a fun seeking, tango loving community.

The lively crowd enjoyed the excellent music of the Miami based Tango Trio led by bandoneonist Miguel Arrabal, Miguel Pineda on bass, and Frank Valente in piano. A succulent Argentine style buffet was catered by Mercado Buenos Aires, located in Van Ness. For many, it was the first time to taste the classic empanadas, the aromatic matambre, the delicious Russian salad and the variety of red and white meat plates and vegetables served with elegant decor on the ample buffet table.

The main feature of the night was a floor show that began with a birthday dance fort Shizue Endoh with Tahei Kobayashi. Next to dance were hosts and organizers Valorie Hart and Alberto Paz. They were followed by first time Argentine visitors Facundo and Kely Posadas. Finally Tahei Kobayashi and Yuko Eguchi from Tokyo, Japan, gave an impeccable sample of what people are expected to see next year when Tango Libertad premieres in Los Angeles.

The main feature of the evening

Long into into the night, the milonga continued with the live music of Miguel Arrabal and his trio and recorded sets from the Golden era.

Party time