Diego Blanco, born in Colombia, came to the U.S. at the age of nine and quickly embraced dance. Dance became for him a means of expression and integration into a new culture. He trained in traditional Argentinian Tango, filtered through the multicultural influences of Miami. Diego has been performing tango since the age of 11, winning awards and gaining recognition as a skilled performer, as well as a choreographer with a highly personal, evocative style. In 2001, Mr. Blanco received first place in choreography from the ARTS program of the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. After graduating from Miami’s New World School of the Arts in 2004, Mr. Blanco became an apprentice of the Jennifer Muller/The Works International Contemporary Dance Company.
Ana Padron, born in Miami to Cuban parents, has been studying ballet since the age of four. She is well acquainted with the rigorous training required by both classical studios and Cuban-influenced classical dance, with its emphasis on virtuosity and high physical skill. The daughter of a professional musician, she has embraced musicality as part of her training since the earliest years. Upon graduating from Miami’s New World School of the Arts in 2004, Ms. Padron became a company member of the Martha Graham 2nd company.
Sarita Apel was born in Wiesbaden, Germany. She received her Bachelor of the Arts in 2011, at Codarts, Rotterdam Dance Academy. Recently she successfully completed three years of training as a scholarship student at The Ailey School in New York City. In 2011 she received scholarships from the Prins Bernhard Foundation and the Genootschap Noorthey, of the Netherlands. In New York, she performed with Dansgroep Amsterdam (Itzik Galili) at the New Island Festival (2009), with Bodystories/Teresa Fellion Dance, Buglisi Dance Theatre, Creative Time/Nick Cave, at the Dance Gallery Festival with Omar Roman de Jesus (2013) and with The Ailey School and Company in the Ailey Spirit Gala at Lincoln Center. Sarita has also danced in works by numerous choreographers, including Norbert De La Cruz III, Marcus Willis, Matthew Rushing, Manuel Vignoulle, Sonia Dawkins, Loni Landon, Nia Love and Samantha Speis, among others.
Andres Bravo began dancing Argentine Tango at 11 years of age. He became part of the Tango company Una cita con el Tango, directed by Alexander Giraldo in the city of Pereira, Colombia. In 2002, he joined the cast of Argentine Tango Show, touring the United Emirates and performing for six consecutive months at the prestigious Jumeirath Beach Hotel in Dubai. Throughout the years he has been part of several well-recognized world Tango competitions and festivals. In 2006 he was named National Stage Tango Champion in Tangovia, a Tango competition held in Manizales, and in 2009 he won the National Stage Tango Competition in the city of Bogota. He continued on to represent Colombia at the eighth World Tango Summit held in San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina.
Dannys Gonzalez, a native of Cuba, trained and graduated from the prestigious Cuban National Ballet School in Havana. There he took master classes with Mikhail Baryshnikov and Royal Danish Ballet dancer and artistic director Frank Andersen. He began his professional career in the Cuban National Ballet directed by Alicia Alonso. There he participated in the International Ballet Festival in Havana. In 2009 Gonzalez became a soloist in Ballet de Cuba Company. His classical repertoire includes major roles in Swan Lake, Coppelia, Don Quixote, La Bayadére, La Sylphide, La Fille Mal Gardée, Paquita and The Nutcracker. Gonzalez has toured the world with the show “Ballet Revolucion“.
Lucia Jackson began her dance training in Madrid, Spain. She attended the Professional Dance Conservatory of Madrid, where she learned ballet and flamenco. At the age of 18, she returned to her birthplace New York, after being accepted into The Ailey School where she completed a Certificate in Dance and was also awarded a Scholarship Level 1 for one more year. Lucia has had the opportunity to perform Memoria at City Center and Revelations Cast of 50 at Lincoln Center with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. She currently dances professionally with FJKDance and in 2017 she joined Tango For All.
Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Michelle Lamb took her first steps in dance at the age of 6 at the world-renowned San Francisco School of Ballet. She continued her studies with greats such as David Howard in NYC, and modern dance with Eric Hawkins, eventually performing with the ensemble. Her dance experience can only be described as eclectic, ranging from modern, jazz, flamenco, hula and theatre dance. Michelle spent many years touring with famous Musical Artists such as Liza Minelli in prestigious venues like Prince Albert Royal Hall in London, Off-Broadway theatres in NYC, Stadiums and Arenas in Europe, South America and the US. Her interest in partner dancing led her to competitive ballroom dancing and the more acrobatic style of theatrical dancing in which she garnered many awards including a North American Championship. Michelle has also been reviewed well by the NY Times as a choreographer for off-broadway productions and has assisted with choreography for the Live Televised shows Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA. Michelle has appeared on major network TV as well as movies, commercials, magazine fashion spreads, nightclub shows and theatrical productions nationally and internationally.
Mariana Parma received her BA in dance from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. She is widely known and admired for her masterful expertise in Argentine Tango. Mariana’s approach to teaching and performing is to transmit the essence of each dance style through the musicality and movement. Her experience in the realm of Argentine Tango is vast and she has spun in stilettos, as a Russian Tango dancer in NBC’s hit series “The Blacklist,” in national commercials, and in theatrical venues such as NYC Town Hall, Lincoln Center, and abroad. Beyond her own performing experiences, as an instructor she has also trained legendaries in the fundamentals of Argentine Tango, including Chita Rivera and Tommy Tune. She was on staff at the prestigious Dance Manhattan Ballroom school in NYC for more than 10 years, and continues to teach as a guest instructor at various dance studios, and at festivals in the US and abroad. As a choreographer, she has created works for commercials and for well-revered composers and orchestras, including a recent China tour of the production “Glamour Tango”, an all female Tango Company. She is the recipient of the HOLA award for outstanding achievement for choreography for the premiere production of “Tango Fever,” and the 2008 USA Tango Champion.
Nick Danielson enjoys a versatile career as both a classical and tango musician. He is featured in multiple Grammy and Latin Grammy winning recordings, and has performed and recorded with luminaries like Paquito D’Rivera, Pablo Ziegler and Wynton Marsalis, among many others.
Nick is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with the legendary Ivan Galamian. During this time he won a number of awards, including a competition held by the Philadelphia Orchestra which led to his solo appearance with the orchestra at the age of 15. Since 1992, Nick has served as Assistant Concertmaster of the NYC Ballet Orchestra, with which he performs frequently as solo violinist. Among his many recordings, he has made two solo albums: “Tango and Obsession,” and “Sur: Violin music of Argentina.”
Pablo Estigarribia was born in El Chaco, Resistencia, Argentina and started studying piano at the National Conservatory of Music in Buenos Aires when he was only 8 years old. His journey began with Classical Music, which had its culmination when he was awarded the 1st Prize of the “Bienal Juvenil” National Competition (sponsored by Shell, in 2005). After a brief detour through jazz, he discovered Tango in 2005 when he was awarded the Orquesta Escuela de Tango scholarship for joining the ensemble under the directorship of Maestro Emilio Balcarce, with whom he had his first European tour. He continued the path as a Tango performer through Germany, France, Belgium, Japan, Russia, Finland, Canada, USA and Cuba, in over 1000 concerts, with elite Argentine tango orchestras as follows, Victor Lavallen Orchestra, Tango Pasión, Lisandro Adrover Quintet and as a solo artist.
Argentinean violinist Jeremias Sergiani-Velazquez has been hailed as “accomplished in mechanism and style” by the Buenos Aires Herald). Jeremías was awarded First Prize at the Argentinean Hebrew Foundation Competition and has toured with the renowned Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Recently, he performed in a string quartet with violinist Midori, touring Japan and Nepal.
Emilio Teubal, Argentinian pianist and composer, has performances and recorded with the Pan American Symphonic Orchestra, The Astoria Tango Orchestra, Adam Tully Trio, Los Chantas, Martha Gomez Group, Grammy Award-winners Raul Jaurena and Fernando Otero, and Astor Piazzolla’s violinist Fernando Suarez Paz. Emilio’s latest album,“Música Para Un Dragon Dormido,” was chosen in 2013 for best album by several specialized media.
Born in Mendoza, Rodolfo Marcelo Zanetti dedicated himself to playing tango. Under the auspices of the Astor Piazzolla Foundation, in 2003 he was named the musical director of Piazzolla’s “operita” “Maria de Bueno Aires.” Zanetti has performed solo at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Lisner Auditorium of George Washington University, the Embassy of Argentina, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Carnegie Hall and other venues.
Originally from Córdoba, Argentina, Pedro Giraudo moved to New York City in 1996. Since then he has become a highly versatile bassist, composer and arranger, performing in a wide variety of musical projects, both his own award winning Pedro Giraudo Jazz Orchestra, his Pedro Giraudo Tango Ensemble, and as a member of numerous prominent groups, ranging from tango to jazz.
Pedro Giraudo has collaborated with Grammy Award-winner Pablo Ziegler, nine time Grammy award winner Paquito D’Rivera, and Dizzy Gillespie’s protégé William Cepeda, as well as “Tango meets Jazz” guests Branford Marsalis, Kenny Garret, Regina Carter, Nestor Torres, and Miguel Zenon, among many others. He recorded bass on Ruben Blades’ CD “Tangos,” which won two Grammys Awards (Best Tango Album & Best Latin Pop) in 2014. Pedro Giraudo has also been the musical director of Tango for All’s “BLIND” and Mariela Franganillo Company’s “Tango Connection” and “Tango Recuerdo”, and hasperformed with the U.S.’s most prominent tango ensembles, including Forever Tango, Hector Del Curto’s Eternal Tango, Fernando Otero’s X-Tango and Daniel Binelli’s Tango Metropolis. He has participated in numerous jazz and music festivals throughout the North America, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia, and performed in venues such as The Blue Note (Japan & USA), Birdland (Austria), Queen Elizabeth Hall (London), Jazz Festival Royale (Thailand), Kennedy Center (Washington DC), Iridium, Jazz Standard, The Blue Note, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall (New York City).
As a composer and arranger, Giraudo leads three ensembles (Pedro Giraudo Sextet, Pedro Giraudo Jazz Orchestra and Pedro Giraudo Expansions Big Band), and has been hailed by critics as one of the most creative and daring bandleaders on the scene today. His compositions combine his love of classical forms, Argentine Tango and folk music, and the spontaneity of jazz improvisation. The band, which boasts some of New York’s finest jazz musicians, has performed regularly in the most prestigious jazz clubs in the New York City area, including the Jazz Standard, Birdland, The Jazz Gallery, Blue Note, Joe’s Pub, as well as abroad. John Murph of Downbeat described Giraudo’s music as “an opulent listening experience of modern, orchestral jazz, brimming with passionate improvisations, deliberate contrapuntal melodies and plush harmonies.” Pedro Giraudo has also conducted the world renown WDR Big Band and Cologne Contemporary Jazz Orchestra.
His discography includes “Córdoba” (Zoho Music, 2011), “El Viaje” (2009) , “Desconsuelo” (2005), “Mr Vivo” (2002) and “Destiny of Flowers” (2000). “Córdoba ”won 2011 Latin Jazz Corner’s Latin Jazz Large Ensemble Album of the Year, Latin Jazz Boundary Breaking Album of the Year, South American Jazz Album of the Year and Latin Jazz Composition Of The Year. “El Viaje” won 2010 Best Latin Jazz Album of the Year and Best Latin Jazz Large Ensemble Album of the Year, as well as Best Latin Jazz Composition.
In 2013 Pedro Giraudo was commissioned by Música de Cámara to create a piece for string orchestra, presented in May 2014. He recently finished pieces for members of the San Diego Symphony and for Japanese clarinetist Sawako Yoshida. In 2008, Giraudo was awarded a composer’s commission through the Jazz Gallery in New York for a new work for his large ensemble, and in 2010 he was commissioned by the JazzReach initiative to compose a new work for their Big Drum/Small World main-stage program.
He has played bass on dozens of recordings for the world’s leading labels, including Sony, Warner, Nonesuch, Naxos and Harmonia Mundi, as well as for independent projects, and in movies including Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street II”. He is the principal bassist of the Hudson Symphony Orchestra and the Música de Cámara String Ensemble. Pedro Giraudo is endorsed by the gold standard in string makers, D’Addario, and the outstanding Keeley Electronics.
He began to collaborate with the Tango For All’s Diego Blanco in 2016 during the creation of Blind-Strength in Vulnerability.
Jimmy Lawlor is a freelance lighting designer based in New York City, with clients in theater, opera, dance, and corporate media. New York projects include work for Hedwig & The Angry Inch on Broadway, The Joyce, Epic Theatre Ensemble, The Vineyard Theatre, CBS/MTV, Atlantic Theatre Company, Ars Nova, HERE Arts Center, Classic Stage Company, Cherry Lane Theatre, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Theatre Row, Bushwick Star, La MaMa ETC, PS 122, New York University, and many others.
US and international projects include productions with The Smithsonian, Shakespeare Theatre, Signature Theatre, Arena Stage, Bristol Riverside Theatre, Opera Tampa, Baltimore Center Stage, Spoleto Festival USA, Opera Naples, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Hartford Stage, The Watermill Center, Hub Theatre Co, Lively Productions, Theatre Mitu, Opera Roanoke, Edmonton Fringe Festival, Infinity Theatre Company, multiple sites of HBO’s Game Of Thrones Experience, and many others.
Jimmy is the resident Lighting Designer for The Ashley Bouder Project, Animus Theatre Company, Infinity Theatre Company, and Lively Productions. He is affiliated with Ch’i Design Studio and Chromatic Light.
Jimmy was the original designer for “BLIND-Strength in Vulnerabilty,” and has worked as lighting designer for choreographers and founders Diego Blanco and Ana Padron’s previous collaborative work, “The Tango Zone.”
Jimmy holds an MFA in Design for Stage and Film from New York University, where he was a graduate assistant. He also holds a BA from James Madison University in Theatre.
Member of United Scenic Artists Local 829
Member of Wingspace Design Collective
Renata Zhigulina, Acting Coach/Creative Director, has worked with the company on two works for Tango For All: BLIND –Strength in Vulnerability and Immersive Performance series. Born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Renata is an actor and dancer who currently lives in New York City. She was introduced to the profession of acting at the age of 10 when she was accepted into the Acting Studio for Children. From age 13-17, she performed in the Theatre of Youthful Creativity (TUT) in St. Petersburg, Russia. Renata embarked upon six years of intensive conservatory acting training starting in Saint Petersburg and continuing in London at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) and in New York at the New York Film Academy and the Stella Adler Studio of Acting. She continues to deepen her work in English classical text and Shakespeare with British voice coach, author, and theater director Patsy Rodenburg.
Since 2010, Renata has performed in various theater, film and dance productions in New York City. She appeared in the festival-circulated avant-garde short film “Vergo” (2010), directed by Lily Johnson, and “Laundromat” directed by festival winner Lanre Olabisi. Renata recently joined the international experimental theater ensemble Dzieci, which utilizes techniques garnered from Jerzy Grotowski and the Polish Theater Laboratory, Eugenio Barba and Peter Brook. In 2013 and 2014, she was a guest performer in Punchdrunk’s “Sleep No More.”
Renata is especially interested in all kinds of physical/dance/movement theater. She is currently exploring various forms of physical theater such as mime, Lecoq mask work and immersive site-specific theater.