The 6th London International Tango Festival



Porchester Hall, November 18, 19 and 20th, 2011

We had one of our best festivals so far, with wonderful performances from our outstanding maestros who taught and performed at the Festival:

Carlos and Maria Rivarola
Gabriel Angel and Natalia Games
Gustavo Rosas and Gisela Natoli
Junior Cervila and Natalia Royo
Fernando Jorge and Alexandra Baldaque
Diego Converti and Graciela Gamba
Takis Kalogroulis and Amalia Gatos
Introducing Mert Moran and Beliz Zorlu

With live music provided by the famous
Silencio Tango Orchestra

DJs: Emre Or and Lalie Tout Tango

Presenters: Paul Bottomer and Pinar Or

See below for full details and biographies of them all.

This festival was organised to give attendees plenty of opportunity to dance as well as watching some of the best dancers in the world perform in the grand but intimate setting of Porchester Hall.There were many master classes given by all the attending maestros, mainly on Friday and Saturday.

There were several classes every day for absolute and continuing beginners, costing £20.

"Host Dancers":
We were abilly assisted by many volunteers, experienced dancers who attended the classes for free in return for acting as dance partners. They were an essential part of the success of the Festival, many travelling long distances to be there, and they danced and danced. A great time was had by everybody, and nearly all students were successfully paired up. The Academia would like to thank all those who took part.

Before each evening performance we had a milonga in the main hall at Porchester Hall, starting at 18:00 and running till 20:00. The Milongas were DJ'd by Emre Or and Lalie Tout Tango. At 19:30 they were succeeded by the famous Silencio Tango Orchestra who provided live music for the last 30 minutes before the break. Then we had the show.

The entrance cost was included in the tickets for the Grand Ball and performance which followed.


We had an amazing line-up of artists to delight and inspire the festival goers. As you can see below we engaged some of the best dancers from Argentina, both well established maestros and fast rising stars of the next generation. We also had a very young couple from Turkey who we believe are going to be great stars.

The two hour shows were brilliantly presented by Paul Bottomer and Pinar Or. Following the show we had the Grand Ball where Silencio Tango Orchestra provided thirty minutes of glorious live tango before the DJs took the Ball through to 01:00hrs.

We were proud to present some of the greatest Argentine Tango dancers in the world at this, our sixth festival.

We had an amazing line-up: Carlos & Maria Rivarola, one of the great tango couples, but who rarely appear in the UK; our old friends Gabriel Angie & Natalia Games, world renowned dancers, here for the third time; Junior Cervila & Natalia Royo, he is the lead dancer in Tanguera and one of the best male tango dancers in the world; rising stars and fabulous teachers Gustavo Rosas & Gisela Natoli; Fernando Jorge and Alexandra Baldaque, 2011 European Tango Salon Champions; Diego Converti & Graciela Gamba great teachers and another rising couple from Buenos Aires, and finally introducing teenage sensations from Turkey Mert Moran and Beliz Zorlu.

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    Carlos Rivarola and Maria Rivarola are one of the most prestigious tango dance couples of recent times. Carlos Rivarola made his professional debut when he was 16 at the Mar del Plata Teatro Auditorium with Mariano Mores, Hugo del Carril and María Ester Gamas, among others. In the 70´s he performed on TV and at the most elegant Buenos Aires cabarets, sharing stage with artists of the stature of Roberto Goyeneche, Armando Pontier, Carlos Acuña, Oscar Aleman, Panchito Cao, Roberto Rufino, Alberto Castillo, Roberto Grela, Tania, Juan Carlos Copes, Elvira and Virulazo, Sexteto Tango and Virginia Luque and Humero Esposito. He was also Beba Bidart´s dancing partner at theatres and on TV.

    Maria Rivarola began her classic and Spanish dance studies at the age of 12. When she was 18, she started her professional career performing in a show led by Leopoldo Federico and Julio Sosa at the Teatro Avenida. In the early 70´s she was a member of various Flamenco companies and appeared at the most prestigious Central and South American theatres. She formed her partnership with Carlos, and in 1975 they went on a tour around Peru, Colombia and Venezuela performing in Nélida and Nelson´s show. In the 1980´s Bergara Leumann invited them to appear on her TV show ´La Botica del Tango´. They were summoned to join the cast of Tango Argentino in 1983, making their debut at the Chatelet Theatre in Paris and touring through France, Italy, and Canada. In 1985 the show opened on Broadway to huge acclaim, gaining a Tony Nomination.

    They have been travelling extensively to Japan, alternating Tango dance seminars with performances with the orchestras of Mariano Mores, Sexteto Tango, José Colangelo and Leopoldo Federico. In 1986 Carlos Rivarola staged and directed the first show formed exclusively by Japanese dancers, musicians and singers. In 1996, María and Carlos presented and directed Los Grandes del Tango Argentino, a show produced specially for Japan, with the appearance of Juan Carlos Copes, María Nieves, Nélida and Nelson, Mayoral and Elsa María, Roberto and Vanina, Carlos and Inés Borquez and the Color Tango Orchestra, among others.

    In Argentina, they published the book Así se baila el Tango Argentino written by the couple and distinguished journalist and Tango researcher Yoyi Kanematz. Furthermore they are the patrons and founders of several clubs and Tango academies in Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya and Osaka.

    The couple choreographed the films Tango Bar and Naked Tango and performed in both pictures. Carlos Rivarola also appeared in Tango, by Carlos Saura, a film nominated for the Academy Award in 1998, and thanks to which he received the American Choreographic Award in 1999 from the American Academy of Dance in Film. He also visited Italy, Greece, Spain, England and Argentina with Eleonora Cassano, staging Ana María Stekelman´s Tangokinesis and was invited by the Teatro Massimo de Palermo to be the choreographer and perform in the operetta María de Buenos Aires, by Piazzola and Ferrer. He has held conferences in Japan, Italy, Spain and New Zealand. He was Tango master and a choreographer for the Ballet Folclórico Nacional in Buenos Aires from 1990 to 1996. He is currently a professor at the Dramatic Arts Department of the Instituto Universitario Nacional de Arte, and artistic director of the tango theatre-restaurant El Querendi. Today, María and Carlos Rivarola are members of the Academia Nacional del Tango intermediate generation, and give performances and classes all over the world.

    For more information see their website:




    Natalia Games and Gabriel Angió have danced together since June 1991. They studied with many of the great masters of tango, such as Mingo Pugliese, Antonio Todaro, Pepito Avellaneda, Jose Vazques (Lampazo), Raúl Bravo, etc. At the end of 1991 they won the famous Buenos Aires tango competition: Hugo del Carril, and their career took off. They were invited as guest artists to give exhibitions in the most popular tango salons, such as: Sunderland, Akarense, Club Almagro, Salón Canning, Mariano Acosta, Glorias Argentinas, amongst others.

    They were asked to join the company Tango X 2 in 1992, to participate in three shows over five years. Homenaje a Gardel, Perfumes de Tango and Una noche de Tango. These three shows were presented in various Buenos Aires theatres: Municipal Theatre, General San Martín, Avenida Theatre, Alvear Theatre, Astral Theatre, and Miquelangelo.

    Internationally they have worked in Moscow, Hong Kong, and many cities in Japan, USA, Mexico, Canada, Australia and Europe. They have participated in the most important tango festivals of Europe, coming three times to the London International Tango Festival, and USA: Sitges, (Barcelona), Lausanne (Switzerland), Bologna (Italy), Miami (USA),Oslo (Norway), Paris (France) London (England), Tel Aviv (Israel), Berlin (Germany), Dinos (Greece), Zurich (Switzerland), and Istanbul (Turkey) among others.

    They have worked with the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Loire Region in France (2000) and with the Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg in Berlin (2002). They also performed solo on the cruise ship SS Symphony during the crossing from Buenos Aires to Venice in 2008.

    They were invited to dance at the Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires, in the tribute show for Carmencita Calderón (2002), and in 2003 gave a demonstration of Tango to Mikhail Baryshnikov at Yale University, USA. That year they also performed in the presence of 10,000 people at the World Dance Festival in Japan. This event is a world-wide competition of ballroom which takes place in the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo.

    As teachers they disseminate the tango worldwide by giving workshops in Europe and United States. In Buenos Aires they have established the New Generation Tango school with weekly classes at the Salons Gricel and Canning as well as special seminars in venues like the Parakultural, Galería del Tango, Theater Arlequines, Club Almagro, Centro Cultural Ricardo Rojas, Salon Salamanca, and many more.

    For more information see their website:


    Gustavo and Gisela are a young couple who make an excellent combination of the Traditional Tango with the New Elements (Tango Nuevo). Their versatility and sensuality in combination with their elegance, sympathy and plasticity produce their very personal style.

    Gustavo Rosas is a Dancer, a Choreographer and a Master of Argentine Tango. He has studied with Gloria and Eduardo, Carlos Gavito, Raul Bravo, and Gustavo Naveira among others. He has performed as Argentinean Tango Master in The United States, France, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Germany, Luxemburg, Holland, and many other countries.
    He has participated as a Dancer of Tango in: the International Congress of Tango Argentino (C.I.T.A), Paris Tango Festival (France), Nora´s Tango Week (USA), Brussels Tango Festival (Belgium), Buenos Aires Tango Festival (Argentine). He was part of the cast of the Tango Shows: Tango Metrópolis, Tango Historias Breves, Tangos de la Cábala, and Piazzolla Tango. He has taken part in the film Vientos el cambio and the TV series for the Spanish and American Television.
    Gustavo also performs as a Tango DJ Dj Gus in Milongas of Buenos Aires and many Tango Festivals around the World. He plays Tango Music with VINILOS.

    Gisela Natoli is a Master Choreographer and Dancer of Tango with background in Classical and Modern Dance. She has graduated from the Teatro General San Martin (Taller de Danza Contemporanea).
    She has taken part as a Dancer in the famous Contemporary Ballet of San Martin´s Theatre (Buenos Aires) and later in the Company Tangokinesis, managed by Ana Maria Stekelman.

    She has performed within Argentina and abroad (Mexico, Colombia, United States, Canada, Italia, France, Greece, Germany) and in the following Tango Festivals: La Biennal de Lyon(France), Festival Americartes in Washington D.C (Kennedy Centre) (USA), Festival El Tango se tomo Bogota (Colombia), Festival Herren Hansen (Hannover, Germany), Festival de Tango de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires (Argentina).
    She has taken part in the movie Tango Desire directed by Edgardo Kozarinsky.

    Gustavo and Gisela as Masters of Argentine Tango have participated in many Tango Festivals: Buenos Aires Tango Festival (Argentina), 8th Cumbre Mundial de Tango in Bariloche (Argentina), Sitges Tango Festival (Spain), Zurich Tango Festival (Switzerland), New Zealand Tango Festival, Couleur Tango Festival (Paris), Firenze Tango Festival (Italy), Lucerne Tango Festival (Switzerland), Alghero Tango Festival (Italy), Nice Tango Festival (France), Belgrade Tango Festival (Serbia),Hamburg Tango Festival (Germany), Aix-Les-Bains Tango Festival (France), Kerallic Tango Festival (France), Granada Tango Festival, Almeria Tango Festival, Palma de Mallorca Tango Festival (Spain), Catania Tango Festival(Italy), Oulu Tango Festival(Finland), Nimes Tango Festival(France), International Meeting of Tango in Torino (Italy), Tango Fantasy (Belgium), Prayssac Tango Festival (France), Paestum Internationally Congress of Tango (Italy), Ettlingen and Karlsruhe Tango Festival (Germany),

    Ludwigsburg Tango Festival (Germany), Pulpo´s Tango Week (Buenos Aires), 1st International Tango Festival at the Sea (Egypt, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Tunisia).

    They have given Tango Workshops in: Copenhagen (Denmark), Sweden, Brussels, Ghent, Leuven (Belgium), Sofia (Bulgaria),Geneva (Switzerland),Valetta (Malta), Lisbon (Portugal), Stuttgart, Karlsruhe, Ludwinsburg (Germany), Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, Nimes, Corcega (France), Naples, Rome, Turin, Sicily, Milan, Cerdeña, Viareggio (Italy), Amsterdam (Holland), England, U.S.A, and many more. They have choreographed and conducted the show El Tango y la sombre in the Maipo Theatre in Buenos Aires (Argentina) and as part of the Tango Buenos Aires Show and they have choreographed and performed 67 times all over the U.S.A. Also they have performed together with The Color Tango Orchestra, Sexteto Milonguero, and many others.

    They have produced 3 DVD´s of Tango Lessons

    Colgadas & Volcadas Vol 1

    (Basic-Intermediate Level),

    Colgadas y Volcadas Vol 2

    (Intermediate-Advanced Level) and

    Milonguero Nuevo Vol 1

    (Beginner-Intermediate - Advanced levels), showing their own style of Teaching Tango. They give Tango Workshops and Private Lessons in Buenos Aires.

    They perform in the main Milongas in Buenos Aires: Salon Canning, Sunderland, Club Gricel, La Viruta, Glorias Argentinas, Cachirulo, La Ideal, Club Fulgor, etc.

    For more information see their website:




    Junior Cervila is an internationally renowned tango dancer, teacher and choreographer from Argentina who is noted for his creative style, intricate footwork and versatility. He was born in Sao Paulo in Brazil where he learnt to dance. He went to Buenos Aires in 1992 intending to stay for three months to learn Tango, but fell in love with the city and the Tango got under his skin, so he is still there. Junior is often referred to as the Gene Kelly of Latin Dance, and has won world wide acclaim for his leading roles in the shows Tango Argentino on Broadway, and in every major Tango show in Buenos Aires including Tanguera, El Pelele, Tango Station, Tango Emotion, Tango Rama, Tango Venus, Tango O Disea, and Tango y Fuga by Ana Maria Steckleman. Last year he was the lead in Tanguera at Saddlers Wells, and this year he is taking the show to Paris. He has hosted and judged numerous World Tango Championships in Buenos Aires and the United States. He has also performed in all the major Tango Festivals and milongas around the world and is sought after by many professional dancers for his teaching abilities.


    Junior Cervila has collaborated with the Tango Orchestras of Jorge Fragone, Baffa Berlingieri, Jose Colengelo, Walter Rios, Color Tango, Osvaldo Requena, Julian Plaza and Ariel Ramirez. He has appeared on many TV shows and was the principal dancer in Carlos Saura´s film Tango which received an Academy Award Nomination for Best Foreign Film in 1998. In 2007 he performed in a BBC documentary, partnered with Deborah Bull, prima ballerina of the Royal Ballet.

    See a clip here:
    Deborah Bull & Junior Cervila

    Natalia Royo´s background in Artistic Gymnastics has given her a versatility which she has applied to many dances such as tango, jazz, classical ballet, samba, salsa, and zouk. It also gave her the flexibility to work as a double in dangerous movie and TV scenes! She joined Junior Cervila´s Latin Dance Company in 2006 and since then has toured with them to Japan, USA, Brazil, Russia and Greece as well as performing in Argentina, and since 2007 has assisted Junior with his choreography for the company. She is a member of the cast of Tanguera and has performed in front of 15,000 people at the Obelisk in Buenos Aires, and toured to London (Saddlers Wells), Munich and Amsterdam.
    She is a renowned teacher, and is currently teaching at the Salon Canning and La Escuela Argentina de Tango de Buenos Aires at Centro Cultural Borges in Buenos Aires, and has taught at the Salon Gricel with Demian Garcia in Buenos Aires, Dance Manhattan Studio and New York Summer Festival in the USA, and in Sao Paolo Brazil. She has also filmed a DVD series teaching Tango.


    European Tango Salon Champions 2011 at the 2nd Eupropean Tango Championships


    They believe that the truth of their dance is in the authenticity and simplicity with which they improve their movements and walk their soul.
    Followers of Villa Urquiza style, their Tango is intense and elegant.

    Originally they started dancing in modern and Latin styles, but they have been dancing and learning Tango since 1995. Their passion for Tango was fired up when they studied with the most important Tango teachers of recent times, including Pablo Verón, Gustavo Naveira, Osvaldo Zotto, Guillermina Quiroga, Carlos Gavito, Geraldine Rojas, Javier Rodriguez, Julio Balmaceda, Corina de la Rosa, Lorena Ermocida, Carlitos Perez, Jorge Dispari and Maria del Carmen Romero, among many others.

    They have won several International awards, and have just become the European Tango Salón Champions at the 2nd European Tango Championships held in Turin June 28th – July 3rd 2011. They also were European Vice-Champions of Tango Salón in 2010 and represented Portugal in 6 World Championships Finals in Buenos Aires, in the last 9 years.
    1º place at European Tango Championship 2011 – Turin, Italy
    2º place at European Tango Championship 2010 - Turin, Italy

    They have been invited to dance at the most prestigious Milongas of Buenos Aires like Salón Canning, Sunderland, Círculo Trovador, Vida Mia, and Flor de Milonga. They have 16 years of experience in Argentine Tango, 11 years of experience teaching Argentine Tango and they are the owners of the Argentine Tango School in Oporto “Tango Lesson”. They are members of “IDO - International Dancing Organization”, founder members of “Argentine Tango International Academy” and pioneers in the organization of International Tango Festivals in Portugal. Post-Graduate in “Tango, Genealogia Política e Histórica” by Buenos Aires University - UBA.

    For more information see:



    Takis Kalogroulis is the organiser of the London International Tango Festival and Managing Director of the Academia Nacional del Tango (UK), and he started to dance Tango from the age of 20 as a young Greek seaman in the ports of Buenos Aires, Genoa, and Livorno in various places of questionable repute with ladies of a similar disposition. After he left the sea as a Sea Captain, he settled in London, and in 1993 he opened his own Tango School, Las Estrellas, teaching traditional Argentine Tango. He was one of the small group of founders of the Argentine Tango movement in London. In Las Estrellas he introduced the estilo apilado (close embrace) in 1994.

    Over the years he has taken masterclasses with Eduardo Arquimbau, Pepito Avellaneda, Nito & Elba Garcia, Mora Godoy, Hector Villalba, Lorena Ermocida and others. He also took masterclasses from his friend and legendary dancer Carlos Gavito when Carlos was teaching in Las Estrellas for several months in the past.

    Takis performed on the BBC, Channel 5, ITV and in the Dorchester, Claridges, the Sheraton and the Hilton hotels with his partner Jane. Now he concentrates only on teaching. Takis is a member of the UNESCO International Dance Council (CID). This year he is performing with his student Amalia Gatos.


    Graciela Gamba and Diego Converti are from Buenos Aires and started dancing together in 2001. They studied Tango with various teachers including Osvaldo Guevara "Valdi", and Francisco Forquera & Carolina Bonaventura. Since 2005 they have been teaching in various halls and in their own very successful studio in Buenos Aires. In 2008 they took part in the ballet Mariposita de San Telmo, and produced and choreographed the show Amor y Tango. They convey the passion of Tango Salon through their musicality and elegance.

    They are currently performing in all the most important milongas in Buenos Aires: Sunderland, Salon Canning, the tile, the Taso, and Club Grisel amongst others, but this is their first trip to Europe, and we are delighted to be able to bring them to you, courtesy of Brigitte of Paris-Tango. They will only be performing with us on the Saturday and Sunday as they are already booked into Carablanca on Friday night, however they will be teaching classes on both Friday and Saturday.


    This year we are introducing two exciting new dancers from Turkey. They have been dancing at the Salons in Buenos Aires and at the Anatolia Tango Festival in Turkey. They are very young and passionate about Tango.

    Mert Moran is 17 years old. He started dancing doing Latin Dance Sport when he was 7 years old. Then in 2008 when he was 14 he started dancing tango at Akademitango Ankara. He has participated in lots of festivals, taken private classes for his tango training and has performed in Turkey and Cyprus. He also performed in famous milongas such as Villa Malcolm, Loca and with Orquesta El Afronte in Buenos Aires in 2009.

    Beliz Zorlu is 16 years old. She started dancing first with Latin Dance Sport when she was 6 years old and then she started dancing tango at Akademitango Ankara in January 2010.

    Mert Moran & Beliz Zorlu are the youngest couple dancing tango salon in Turkey. Their priority is musicality, originality and passion in their dance. They have been invited to festivals, workshops and milongas as performers since summer 2010. Today, they continue to improve their tango with their trainers Servet & Figen Moran in Akademitango Ankara.

    See a video here:
    Mert & Beliz – D’Arienzo – La Espuela



        Silencio was founded in 2001, by a group of musicians from Argentina, Uruguay, Europe and America. Over the next few years, they played in tango festivals all over Europe and became one of the most renowned tango-orchestras based on this continent.

    They worked with the bandoneonist Alfredo Marcucci, on music inspired in the glorious epoch of tango, the 1950´s. Nowadays, Silencio´s playing has developed into a new sound, while keeping the quality of the original orquesta tipica, its sound... and its power.

    The musicians who will be playing in the Festival are:
    Roger Helou (Argentina) - Piano and Arrangements
    Wini Holzenkamp (Germany) - Double Bass
    Jose-Luis Betancor (Uruguay) - Bandoneon
    Guillermo Destaillats (Argentina) - Bandoneon
    Irma Gross (Switzerland) - Violin
    Dario Viri (Italy) - Violin
    Michael Gneist (Switzerland) - Viola

    Silencio presents its 3rd CD SILENCIO en las almas, and in 2011 celebrates ten years playing Tango all over Europe!

    For more information see their website:



    Paul was one of the first dancers in the UK to learn Tango in Buenos Aires with such maestros as Juan Carlos Copes, Maria Nieves, and Pepito Avellaneda. He is the four times undefeated IDO World & European Tango Champion, winning the Grand Slam of Tango competitions and retaining them from 1990-1994 before retiring undefeated. Subsequent winners of the World Championships included Carlos Gavito, Fernando Ghi and Guillermo Merlo. Paul has performed and taught all over the world. He is a Tango Fellow of the UKA and recognised by the World and British Dance Councils as a Championship Adjudicator.

    He is now a Director of The Dance Matrix and runs Tango After Dark in North London as well as Essex Tango. This is Paul´s fifth time as compère of the London International Tango Festival.


    Lalie (with Pierre) publishes Tout Tango magazine in France, Paris Tout Tango magazine and their website www.toutango.com
    For the past 11 years, Lalie has been immersed in the tango, at first as dancer, then splitting her time between magazine publishing and programming rather musically traditional milongas. She has been a DJ for several years at the regular milongas and festivals in Europe, and in 2011 she DJ´d at many Festivals including: Venice, Italy; Mèze, Caromb, Gap, Strasbourg, Menton, and Tarbes in France; and at the Rossofestival, Sardinia. She is delighted to be working for the first time at the London International Tango Festival.



    Emre Or was born in Ankara in 1968, and after studying music and starting a rock radio show in 1999 he became interested in Tango, at the insistence of Pinar, his wife. He was taught by Figen and Servet Moran (parents of Mert) and fell in love with the dance and the music. He started a Tango radio programme, and at that time he began DJing at milongas around Ankara.

    In 2005 he started Tangoport, his website dedicated to Tango music and videos, and later added a radio station to it. In 2009 he started DJing at Festivals and large milongas. Some of the festivals which Emre has played are: 3rd International Ankara Tango Festival, 2nd Bursa Tango and Ski Festival, 2nd Antalya Tango Meeting. On July he will be DJing at Lesvos Tango Meeting (Greece).

    Listen to Tangoport here.
    For further information see www.emrekorkutor.com



    Pinar Or will be co-presenting the Festival this year. Pinar was born in 1975 in Ankara, Turkey, and married Emre in 2001, and then she started the full time job of persuading her husband to take up tango. This took 2 years. They finally started Tango in 2003. Pinar had begun to work with Servet and Figen Moran who are the founders of AkademiTango which is one of the leading dance schools in Turkey. She took a two year break from 2005 after the birth of her daughter and had to suspend the tango lessons and milongas. Since then she has been back dancing Tango.

    She has also attended workshops by Julio Balmaceda & Corina de La Rosa, Matias Facio & Claduia Rogowski, Sebastian Achaval & Roxana Suarez, Donato Juarez & Carolina Del Rivero, Geraldine Rojas and Ines Muzzopappa.

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