Yale Tango Festival to be held this weekend
The festival will feature beginner lessons, celebrity performances and live music.
The first Yale Tango Festival in six years will be held across multiple venues this weekend.
The event, which is organized by the Yale Tango Club, will be attended by students from several other universities, including Harvard University, Princeton University, Columbia University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Jonathan Sun GRD ’23, a club member and one of the coordinators of the festival, explained that the festival will involve three events taking place on April 1 and 2.
A “beginner’s bootcamp” will be held from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Gryphon’s Pub on Saturday, led by a professional instructor who will introduce attendees to tango and teach them basic moves. The bootcamp will be followed by a formal dance party called “Milonga” at 8 p.m the same evening. The event will be held in ES Harkness Hall and feature a performance by Lorena Tarantino and Gianpiero Gialdi, celebrity dancers from Italy whose tangos have been viewed millions of times online. Finally, the festival will conclude on Sunday evening with a dance to live music at the Slifka Center, beginning at 7 p.m.
“People who are absolutely new are obviously welcome and we’re doing our best to make sure they feel included at the festival and we’ll have lots of activities for them to do,” Sun said. We’re hoping for it to be a melting pot between people of different experiences.”
Refreshments and non-alcoholic drinks will be provided throughout the festival. Altogether, Sun said, the festival is designed to introduce members of the Yale community to tango, deepen the Yale Tango Club’s ties to other universities’ tango groups and celebrate the club’s growth over the past two years.
Sun emphasized that the club and the festival are meant to be beginner-friendly. He added that most members of the Yale Tango Club had only been dancing for between a few months and two years, and that there was no competitive aspect to the festival.
“Argentine tango is more of a social dance. It’s more about meeting people, sharing a hobby with someone else,” he said.
Overall, Sun said he expected around 150 attendees at the festival.
Rafael Dai Pra Da Luz GRD ’25, a member of the Yale Tango Club’s leadership team, also described the festival as a welcoming, fun event. He said that one of the main goals of the festival is “to inspire Yale students to join tango.”
“We are very happy with our community and would like to keep inspiring young people, to show them what tango is about and how beautiful this dance is,” Dai Prai Da Luz said.
Dai Pra Da Luz singled out Tarantino and Gialdi’s performance as the part of the event he was most looking forward to, explaining, “if you type in Tango on YouTube, they’re in one of the first videos that comes up … it’s kind of mind blowing … that they’re going to be coming to Yale.”
Viktor Feketa, an associate research scientist at the medical school who is planning to attend the festival, also said the part of the event he was most excited about was the performance by Tarantino and Gialdi. Feketa encouraged prospective attendees to take part in the festival.
“Tango is a unique confluence of art, sports, and human connection, so if it sounds like something you might enjoy, I encourage you to explore this hobby,” Feketa wrote in an email to the News.
The festival is open to Yale faculty, postgraduates, graduate students and undergraduates, and costs $20 to attend. No experience or partner is required. Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing to the “beginner bootcamp” and semi-formal attire to the “Milonga” and live music events. Anyone looking to register can do so through this Google form.