There are some tango teaching couples that are so fun, artistic, talented and sweet that you just want to follow them everywhere. Erin and Doruk are one such couple.
Erin and Doruk moved to the Bay Area from New York over five years ago and quickly become popular in the tango community as they are both lovely dancers and good at both leading and following. It was only more recently that they decided to make Tango more of a priority in their lives and have become involved in multiple facets of the Bay Area Tango scene. Not only do they teach regular classes and host practicas at both La Pista and Studio 210 in San Francisco, they are also offering an upcoming 4-week beginners workshop at ODC Dance Commons. Both Erin and Doruk are performers with Debbie Goodwin Dance Company and have a show coming up at the end of May, plus Erin is also a team member of the all woman tango company, Tango Con*Fusion. All this and they still maintain time (and energy) for their other artistic activities. Outside of Tango, or perhaps I should say, along side Tango, Erin is also a dance film and video artist. Check out her work here: erinmalley.com. And Doruk is quite an amazing illustrator specializing in concept art and character design: dorukart.blogspot.com.
Their dancing is clean, musical and delightful. Here’s a clip of their performance from November 2014, so you may see for yourself.
As usual, for a SF Loves Tango interview, I asked them about how tango found them, how it influenced their art and life and what plans they have for the future.
SF Loves Tango: How did Tango find you?
Doruk: I was quite intrigued and inspired by Tango through Carlos Saura’s film, Tango, which came out the year I finished high school. However, at the time it came out, it wasn’t quite enough to get me started as I was focusing on learning fencing instead. A few years down the line, a lady friend of mine, whom I had a huge crush on, started taking lessons, which tipped the balance for me. I ended up getting an even bigger crush on Tango very soon after.
Erin: I was a junior in college pursuing my BFA in Dance and French at Western Michigan University. Both a close friend and my choreographic mentor suggested that I make a piece to Astor Piazzolla’s Preludio Para El Año 3001 (Rinasceró). Since the recommendation came from two strong influences, I thought I’d better do it! In retrospect, the resulting piece, Poem for a Woman, (View here) incorporated far more Tango than I knew at the time (which was none). Making this piece got me curious about Tango. A few years later, I moved to NYC, began auditioning for shows, and promptly got injured. But, I figured I could still manage walking, so I used that break from contemporary dance to learn Tango.
SF Loves Tango: How did you two meet? Did you meet dancing Tango or did Tango come along later?
Doruk & Erin: It was while dancing Tango, at the All Night Milonga of NYC. Doruk likes pointing out that the first time he asked Erin to dance, she refused him (in her defense, it was 4 am).
SF Loves Tango: You both are artistic people, Erin with your dance and film and Doruk…. an illustrator (wow!) Do you ever integrate your artistic passions with Tango?
Doruk: So far the most I did was paint us as Tango-dancing superheroes for a flier. However, I wasn’t quite as confident in my painting skills back then, so the Tango-dancing aspect doesn’t come through as well as I liked. This all means that I will tackle a similar subject again soon, probably, to do a better job.
Erin: Obviously, I got into Tango through my other artistic pursuits in the first place. While my current work in dance and film doesn’t have the look of Tango, my underlying thematic interest is the space within us and between us. I suppose you could say that to some extent, all of my work is a Tango.
SF Loves Tango: You have an upcoming Workshop Series for Beginners at ODC plus a show with Alma del Tango, any other performances, workshops or news that you’ like to share?
Doruk & Erin: The thing we are most excited about right now is a “mini-tour” we have coming up early in the summer where we will be teaching and performing in England, Ireland, and Turkey. We are hoping to travel more as tango teachers in the coming year. We are also hosting the great Carolina Del Rivero and Donato Juarez in SF at the end of May, and are quite looking forward to that.
Intrigued? Learn more about Doruk and Erin and their upcoming events here: www.erinanddoruktango.com
When: Thurs May 7 – 28, 2015 8:15-9:45PM
Cost: $54 Full series , $16 Drop-in, Register online or call 415-549-8519
About: Erin & Doruk offer a 4-week accelerated course to jumpstart your journey into Argentine Tango. If you’ve ever been curious to give tango a try, this is the workshop for you! It’s a great way to explore this intricate and sensual dance form that has captured the imagination of millions worldwide. Erin & Doruk will teach fundamental vocabulary, the structure of the dance, proper leading and following, and musicality over the course of 4 weeks. Each class will build upon material covered in previous weeks, so it is recommended to take all classes in the workshop!
Me Llamo Tango (My Name is Tango,World Premiere)
When: Friday, May 22 9:30pm
Where: San Francisco International Arts Festival – Festival Central, Bldg A, Fort Mason Center
Tickets: $15-$30 Reserved Seating & General Admission
About: Me Llamo Tango explores the soul of tango, not simply a lover’s tryst, but a venerable embrace of cultural solidarity and self-expression. This is the premier performance of the Debbie Goodwin Dance Company (DGDC), sponsored by the long-running, successful non-profit arts organization, Alma del Tango. Guest artist Eduardo Saucedo (Buenos Aires, Argentina) brings the cultural heritage of Argentina to the presentation through both drama and dance. Seth Asarnow y Su Sexteto Tipico are one of the premiere tango orchestras in the United States, dedicated to preserving the authentic style of Golden Age tango. Learn more here.