Award-winning Argentine Tango dancers Diego Blanco and Ana Padron are one of the top performing young couples in the world today. Their tango style is energetic, rhythmical, and innovative, and through their fluid moves they fuse nuevo tango with the close embrace look of traditional tango.
They command a wide range of dance disciplines from which they tap inspiration for their movements. In addition to Argentine Tango, these include Classical Ballet, Jazz, African, and Jose Limon, Martha Graham, and Jennifer Muller techniques. These techniques and skills they have honed since their paths first crossed at the New World School of the Arts High School in Miami, Florida a hotbed of new artistic talent. They continued throughout their educations, culminating in Bachelor in Fine Arts degrees from the University of Florida, from which they both were graduated with Honors.
When dancing on stage, Diego and Ana say their work becomes an outlet, expressing their own selves and sharing that with those watching them perform.
Ana describes it this way: “When I dance tango on stage, it’s a different sensation, especially dancing with Diego. Depending on the choreography, I might bring out the love I feel at the moment, or portray various happy moments. My goal as a performer is to have the audience experience these moments with me. This is why I love to perform tango. I am able to be myself, and also create for others to enjoy.”
Diego finds that “on stage, tango involves an introverted energy that must reach out to the audience. What I feel is displayed on stage in what I do. Depending on the tango, I will dance with passionate powerful movement, and to other songs, I will dance romantic and lighter. Tango allows me to express the feelings that are with me that day, and therefore I learn a little more about myself each time I perform. This is true when I am dancing both on and off the stage.”
Some of their most memorable moments in there performing careers where:
When Diego burst into the world of competition with a bang. Surviving the rigorous selection process that began with the screening of nearly 7,500 applicants aspiring to be a part of the unique event, Diego won first place in the Dance/Tango and the Choreography categories for the 2001 Arts Recognition & Talent Search week, which is held every year by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts located in Miami, Florida. Also being selected into the highly competitive event, Ana was awarded Honorable Mention in the Dance/Tango category.
Diego and Ana were awarded a scholarship from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts to attend the Alvin Ailey intensive summer course of dance in 2002 in New York City.
At the 2002 International Dance Organization (IDO) USA Professional Argentine Tango Championships, Diego and Ana were named Reserve Champions.
The next summer, they received full scholarship awards from the Dance Theater of Harlem to participate in its 2003 intensive summer course in New York City.
Their tango dancing careers continued to blossom when they performed with the company Argentine Tango Productions in Tango Fever nationally and in South Florida.In the cast of Tango Fever, Diego and Ana danced on a Caribbean tour as part of a show aboard Celebrity Cruises, and they danced in the Dominican Republic and the Cajon Islands, doing private events and fundraisers to help underprivileged children with medical needs.
In 2004, Diego and Ana were active in the Miami Contemporary Dance Company that performs for Miami audiences, and represents the city by touring nationally and throughout the world. They had started with the group in 2003, and became original cast member dancers in Tango Undressed, when this show premiered that year in the Jackie Gleason Theater in Miami Beach, Florida.When they performed again in the show the following fall, The Miami New Times declared the Company the “Best Dance Company 2004,” and The Miami Herald named the Company among the “Top Ten in Dance 2004.”
2006 - Noche de Passion in the Dicapo Opera Theatre, in New York City, where Diego was the Assistant Choreographer, and danced in the show, which was Produced by Jennifer Muller/The Works, and Directed by Jennifer Muller. Diego recalls “At one moment or the choreographic process I realized that in my arms I had one of the pioneers of dance in my arms, what an honor!”
Also in 2006, they performed in the Off-Broadway show Gardel TheMusical, at Repertorio Espanol. They choreographed, danced and acted. About the show, New York Times columnist Jason Zinoman wrote: The Musical had “an ensemble of superb dancers.” In the August 6, 2006 issue of El Diario. Juan Fernando Merino wrote: “Para los solistas de tango Ana Padron y Diego Blanco, que relizan un par de luminosos solos que dejan al publico con ganas de mas.” Translation: Diego Blanco and Ana Padron, who performed luminous solos, left the audience eager for more.
2007- The Off Broadway musical Lets Speak Tango presented at the American Theater of Actors in New York City, produced by Valetango, and directed by Carlo Magetti. “This was a particularly interesting process where tango and acting was mixed this experience surely impacted us” Ana and Diego said.
In January 2008, they travled to Italy to participate in the 2nd International Tango festival in Alessandria, where they performed and taught Argentine Tango. They continued on to Milan where they performed in Milonga Mariposa.
In Kuala Lumpur, they were honored in May 2008 with an award for their “dedication to Argentine Tango as a form of expression through dance, and for expanding knowledge of the dance through teaching.” They were performing in The Four Seasons tango show, directed by Fernanda Ghi and Guillermo Merlo.
Diego and Ana’s verve and disciplined energy wowed audiences throughout that spring 2008 Asian tour. They performed at the Singapore Tango Festival, the Bali Tango Festival, the Kuala Lumpur Tango Festival, the Jakarta Tango Festival, and the Bangkok Tango Festival. The show’s performers were called “the world’s hottest dancers” by Bangkok’s Daily Xpress’ columnist Pawit Mahasarinand. At each festival, Diego and Ana conducted tango seminars throughout the day, and performed at night. Fernanda and Guillermo where gave us indirectly the vision to look at tango as a performing art they “they saw the tango could be turned to other things and we shared that vision” In the spring, before these two major tours, Diego and Ana performed at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida on April 5 to benefit The Shimmy Club. Their students also performed. Diego and Ana staged and choreographed the pieces for the visually impaired children. The program was featured on the cover of The Miami Herald’s Metro and State section.
Diego became Program Director of The Shimmy Club’s You Move Me Tango program in 2007. In 2008, Ana joined the Club as a Head Instructor. In this organization, they work along side Silvina Vals, and Forever Tango dance star Jorge Torres.
The Shimmy Club provides, preserves, and promotes music, art and dance traditions from around the world throughout South Florida and other communities. The organization’s goals are -- via music, art, and dance -- to unite families within their respective cultural heritage, and to strengthen community interactions.
Ana explains: “You Move Me Tango teaches the social style of the art of Argentine Tango to youth of varying abilities. It empowers the youth, served by the sponsoring organization, with improved health and fitness, feelings of self-worth, and increased self-confidence to engage socially with a broadening circle of peers and adults, with and without disabilities.”
In the fall of 2008, Diego and Ana choreographed and staged for the students of the You Move Me Tango program the Club’s production for The Children’s Trust 4th Annual Champions for Children award ceremony.
The name of their dance company evolved out of their work with these children. Ana says “the reason we chose Tango For All was we wanted tango to be for all cultures and nationalities. So, when The Shimmy Club Presidents Dianne Castro and Carol Durban approached us to teach the visually impaired teens, we immediately joined this noble effort. Our silent goal was realized with the start of this work with these young people.”