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Community Building

The Long Table Weekend

A chance to reflect on and reshape tango's past, present and future

Update 10/15: LAST MINUTE ADDITION! Pianist Sumi Lee will join Heyni Solera & Teagan Faran to play live music for dancing at the Sunday practica! Yet another reason to join this fantastic event!

Update 10/16: DJ Eli Ambron will join us at the Sunday practica. Woo hoo!

Women and LGBTQIA+ are invited to join us for a weekend of collective expression and engagement, in which we work together to re-imagine tango. Tango grew up in a specific place and time where it acquired cultural baggage - calcified gender expectations, heteronormativity - that have clung to it, even as it is now danced worldwide, in very different contexts and cultures.

We believe that tango has remarkable power to facilitate connections between individuals, to create spaces where deep listening and profound understanding can take place, and to generate egalitarian environments where all voices are heard. The Long Table Weekend will help activate these transformative qualities of tango.

The idea for a tango Long Table process followed by practice was created by Phi Lee Lam. She is the architect of the weekend’s activities, in conjunction with co-presenter Philadelphia Argentine Tango School.

What is a Long Table?

The Long Table is a dinner party structured by etiquette, where conversation is the only course.

The project combines theatricality and models for public engagement. It is at once a stylised appropriation and an open-ended, non-hierarchical format for participation. Both of these elements – theatrical craft and political commitment – are mutually supporting in this widely and internationally toured work. The (often-feminised) domestic realm here becomes a stage for public thought.

Everyone in the room has the power (and imperative, with the communal interest for a more satisfying discussion) to shift the direction of conversation, to mediate moments of tension and to make space for voices less easily heard. (Thanks to Split Britches for the use of the above text and below image.)

Long Table image 1

Where does the concept of the Long Table come from?

The Long Table concept was created by Split Britches, a theater and advocacy organization dedicated since 1980 to presenting radical performances and workshops that “facilitate communication, wellness, and social change.”

Watch the short film below to learn more about what the Long Table is, where it comes from, and how it works.

The Long Table from Claire Nolan on Vimeo.

The Tango Long Table

From Phi Lee Lam:

The Long Table Weekend features two days of Long Table discussion in which participants have the opportunity to give voice to the marginalized and engage in a non-hierarchical creative process and performance of reimagining a diversified and expansive narrative of tango - past, present and future. The first day is open to women. The second day is open to women and LGBTQIA+.

Over a century, the history, culture and narratives of tango have been euro-male centered, heteronormative and oppressive, with all “other” contributions, influences and experiences in tango being marginalized or rendered invisible.

Rather than centering our conversations on the negative spaces and consequences of what-was-and-is still present, by purposefully centering our discussion through the imagined narrative of what-was/is-not, the discussion will hopefully elicit and expose some of the inequitable experiences socially and economically.

Finally, the objective of this two-day event is to activate and expand our personal and collective imagination. To resource social courage and creativity. To facilitate self-empowerment. To cultivate intentionality and solidarity.

Event trailer

Schedule of Events

Saturday, October 16
Day 1 activities are open to women and non-binary individuals.

3-4:30 pm: Long Table Discussion | Theme: Reimagining what was in tango in Argentina and the US. Giving voice to real or imagined experiences and narratives.

6-8 pm: Workshop led by Phi Lee & Experimental Movement Practice | Theme: Re-embodiment of tango movement with the knowledge and experience of what was. Integrating with what is (now), finding continuity of the past and present narratives in our bodies and expanding our intentions into the spaces that we occupy.

Sunday, October 17
Day 2 activities are open to women, non-binary individuals, and LGBTQIA+.

1-2:30 pm: Long Table Discussion | Theme: Imagining what will be (future) in tango in the US and globally.

3-6 pm: Experiential Practice with live music by Heyni Solera (bandoneon), Teagan Faran (violin), and Sumi Lee (piano). DJ Eli Ambron will play music during the rest of the practica!| Theme: Embodiment of collaborative and generative spirit, Rediscovering the form of Tango music and dance. Finding new forms. Establish solidarity. Celebrate diversity.

Pricing

We offer regular pricing, sliding scale, and also the chance to give additional support with a donation.

Regular Pricing:
Saturday & Sunday activities: $80
Single day: $50
Link to register

Sliding Scale:
If the above pricing is prohibitive, feel free to pay any amount through this form. It is essential that you specify what you are registering if you use this method.

Extra Support
If you register through the regular pricing link above, you have the chance to give an extra donation in the checkout process. Thanks for considering providing extra support. If we cover all the expenses, Phi Lee, Heyni and Teagan will receive more.

Location

Philadelphia Argentine Tango School, 2030 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125
All activities are in-person.

Covid Protocols

All participants must provide proof in advance of full vaccination by emailing their vaxx card to meredithklein@gmail.com. If you have already submitted your card to the Philadelphia Argentine Tango School, we have it on file, and you don’t have to send it again.

Masks are optional, but encouraged during the dancing activities.

Phi Lee Lam

Phi Lee Lam is an experimental film artist, tango dancer and organizer who facilitates experiences at the intersection of artistic, somatic, civic, and reflective engagement. She is an immigrant from Singapore who has travelled and lived with sustainable-intentional communities around the globe including Argentina where she first encountered tango danced by two women switching roles. Though the experience inspired her interrogation of tango traditions in culture and form, her biggest influence comes from the Judson Dance Theater and Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen.

In 2015, she co-founded the Queer Tango Club, later the Queer Tango Collective, Inc. where she provided safe spaces for women and LGBTQIA+ dancers; facilitated roundtable discussions and seminars; collaborated with global artists, collectives, and organizers in increasing access to non-gendered/open-role/all-inclusive tango classes; and raised awareness of queer tango dancers by organizing public performances.

She is deeply grateful to have studied with female teachers who have empowered her to redefine the dance roles, and these days, she is invigorated by the possibilities of a new tango culture that is driven by women. In her workshops, she is interested in a more humanistic and embodied approach to transmitting tango. As a performer she is interested in subverting the grand narrative of tango, and challenging assumptions of tango viewership.

Listen to an interview with Phi Lee.

Heyni Solera

Praised for her “soulful bandoneon” (Washington Classical Review), Heyni Solera is a sought after bandoneonist in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. In 2019, Solera has launched her career on the international stage with her orchestra and chamber music performances in Argentina and Australia, and continues to collaborate with prominent musicians in the tango music scene.

Heyni currently actively performs in the Washington, D.C. area with the Da Capo Tango Orchestra, and her cello and bandoneon duo, Arco & Aire. Also a music scholar, she holds a Master of Music in Ethnomusicology from the University of Maryland. Her research explored the role of gesture theory in explaining how tango and bandoneon can be taught via tango festivals.

Heyni began her bandoneon studies in 2015 with Santiago Segret. In 2019, she was able to fully immerse herself in tango and bandoneon during her time in Buenos Aires, where she continued her bandoneon studies with Segret and renowned bandoneonist Ramiro Boero. During this time, she also had the privilege of performing with several of Argentina’s most prominent educational tango orchestras, such as the Orquesta de Tango de la UNA, Orquesta Escuela Orlando Goñi, Orquesta de Tango del Conservatorio Superior de Musica Manuel de Falla, and Ensemble de Tango de la UNSAM under the direction of Ariel Pirotti, Julian Peralta, Adrian Enriquez, and Ramiro Gallo, respectively.

Past projects include playing in the orchestra of the highly praised IN Series production of Le Cabaret de Carmen at Source Theatre in Washington, D.C. and at Baltimore Theatre Project in Baltimore, Maryland. During the pandemic, Heyni has produced two mini-series, Today’s Tango with Heyni and Discovering Troilo, performed in many virtual concerts, and recorded an EP with Arco & Aire, which is to be released 2021.

Teagan Faran

A native of Buffalo, NY, Teagan Faran is a multidisciplinary musician focused on enacting social change through the arts. She has recorded with the Buffalo Tango Orkestra, La Martino Orquesta Típica, and had compositions featured at the NYSSMA Conference and the Persis Vehar Competition for Excellence. Faran has recently served as concertmaster of the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra and the Ann Arbor Camerata and was a member of the Orquesta Escuela de Emilio Balcarce.

As a soloist, Faran has performed with the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Greater Buffalo Youth Orchestra (including a performance in Salsomaggiore Terme, Italy), the Ann Arbor Camerata, the Williamsville East Symphonic Orchestra, and the University of Vermont Symphony. After graduating from the University of Michigan, Faran moved to Buenos Aires on a Fulbright grant. Faran was also a Turn The Spotlight Fellow, receiving their inaugural Hedwig Holbrook Prize. An avid educator, Faran has worked with the University Musical Society, the Kennedy Center, and the Sa’Oaxaca Music Festival to increase music accessibility. She is currently attending the Manhattan School of Music, pursuing a Masters in Contemporary Performance.

Sumi Lee

Ms. Lee is a classically trained pianist and obtained a Master’s degree in Music, Piano performance, from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She has worked with many bay area opera companies, choruses, and K-8 schools in the bay area. She is also a trained tango pianist from La Orquesta Escuela de Tango Emilio Balcarce, the most prestigious tango orchestra school in Buenos Aires, where she studied and performed with living tango maestros such as Víctor Lavallén, Jose Pepe Colangelo, Osvaldo Piro, Roberto Alvarez,
Daniel Binelli, Mauricio Marceli, Nicolas Ledesma, Pablo Estigarribia, and Cristian Asato, among others.

One of the concerts at Teatro San Martin in Buenos Aires was sold out and aired live on national radio 2x4 & TV Publica Argentina. Since moving back from Argentina, she has been performing and touring the U.S. and South Korea. She was invited to perform at San
Francisco Int’l Arts Festival 2020 & 2021 with Bandoneonist Hyeni Solera as a Duo, Las Almas. Her ongoing project is not only performing traditional and contemporary tango music, but also producing her own contemporary tango music.

She is currently a pianist of the international all-woman, diversity-affirming tango orchestra, “Solidaridad” and also runs Golden Gate Int’l Artists to exposure for the performing artists of diverse cultures, especially in the fields of non-popular music such as Argentine Tango, and musicians do not receive sufficient support unless they have established a name for themselves already. She is currently serving on the Board of the non-profit organization Music Teachers’ Association of California (MTAC), San Francisco, which serves the local community of music teachers and students.