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Guillermina Quiroga: tango plus soul

February 1, 2009 | 12:00 pm


To hear Guillermina Quiroga tell it, most evening-length entertainments that showcase the tango are pretty much alike: "They're always about the history of tango and begin with the 19th century and have to show two men dancing together first."

But speaking to Susan Josephs recently for a story in Sunday's Arts & Books section, Quiroga -- a veteran of the long-running "Forever Tango" -- added that she wanted to do something different with a full-evening show of her own. That show, called "Tango, Historias Breves," will be presented by UCLA Live this week.

"My show is not really a tango show," she said. "It's more that I use the language of tango to tell a story. And I don't just tell a story for the story but for the messages behind it."

Among other sources, Quiroga said, she sought inspiration from visits to the Kabbalah Centre in Los Angeles. She even thought of naming the show "Los Tangos de la Cabala" -- Tangos of the Kabbalah -- "but people kept asking whether I was Jewish or religious."

The answer? "I believe in God, the universe and love. That's it."

-- Craig Fisher

Photo: Guillermina Quiroga. Credit: Alejandra Martin / La Milonga Argentina