Ritmo Bello Interview with Tango Producer Susan Lake and TANGOCENTRIC

Saturday, July 5, 2008

As the Main organizer for the San Diego Salsa and Latin Dancing Meetup Group I have the honor of meeting dance professionals from all genres of the Latin dance world.

Here in San Diego the dance community is particularly privileged to have one such professional from the Tango world helping keep the dance alive.

Susan Lake from Susan Lake Productions recently sat down with me for an interview to discuss tango dance and music here in San Diego, California. Below is the article. Enjoy!


Ritmo Bello: Hi Susan, thanks for taking the time to address the Ritmo Bello audience. What is the focus of your organization in relation to the San Diego Dance community?

Susan Lake: My company, SUSAN LAKE PRODUCTIONS, has always been about bringing to San Diego the best information on dance. 10 years ago, I created the TANGO BALL which served as an arena for not only some of the best tango performers in the world, but became the beginning roots of dance fusion in San Diego. As the Artistic Director for TANGOCENTRIC , a performing tango dance ensemble, I have opened the door to experimental dance using tango as the dramatic center of the choreography. At present I am conducting workshops in San Diego for performers and advanced dance companies who wish to integrate tango into their own particular dance styles.

Ritmo Bello: What are the origins of your production company?

Susan Lake: I am originally from New York City, Where I attended Hartt College of Music. When I came to San Diego I became part owner of Mac Vitties Dance Studio. After selling the studio, I started a dance company called TANGO LAGO. I organized dance classes, brought guest artists to San Diego conducted educational tours to Argentina for the study of tango and eventually originated the longest running event of its kind, the TANGO BALL. At present my company is called SUSAN LAKE PRODUCTIONS and my career has led me into the areas of Producer, Director, Project Developer and lecturer.

Ritmo Bello: A question I often get from my audience deals with identifying what is and is not Tango. What is Tango? How do you know if a piece of music is tango or not?

Susan Lake: The dance tango, has its origins in Argentina. It is the result of immigrants from Europe coming together in a time in history when people were being displaced from the countries they once called home. The dance tells the stories of humanity and its stuggle for an identity.

As far as tango music is concerned, yes there is music that is considered traditional tango music and is commonly identified by the sound of the bandoneon . However, today tango is danced to everything from jazz to symphonic music and electronic sounds.

Ritmo Bello: What is the difference between American and Argentine tango?

Susan Lake: One of the most distinct differences is the use of the legs. Secondly is the embrace or what is commonly known as the dance frame. One of the unique and beautiful aspects of Argentine tango is the use of the "pause", which significantly adds to the drama or "tension" of the dance. It is very typical to watch American style tango and be able identify "set" patterns. In Argentine tango, the combinations are endless and it is common to observe that everyone is creating their own story through the dance itself!

Ritmo Bello: I heard you mention earlier that you have a new performing ensemble called TANGOCENTRIC. Could you tell me a little bit about what that is all about?

Susan Lake: Yes, I started TANGOCENTRIC a year and a half ago. It is an experimental dance ensemble that incorporates different dance styles in the choreography. They have performed locally at several different venues and we are currently working on a unique Tango program.

Ritmo Bello: Do you have contact information in case anyone from the Ritmo Bello audience wants to contact you?

Susan Lake: Yes. As I am now an organizer on the San Diego Salsa and Latin Dancing Meetup Group and will continue hosting Tango events for the group’s members. I will also be available to anyone who may have tango questions. You can e-mail me at susanlakeproductions@gmail.com and you can reach me at 888-796-9670.

Ritmo Bello: Susan Lake, Thank you so much for your time and I hope to attend some of your Tango events in the future.

Susan Lake: My pleasure John.  Hope to see you at one of my upcoming events!

John F. Bello

Meet John ;-)

Found useful information here? Please Donate to Ritmo Bello

SD Dance Venues
Live View from Pacific Beach CA in San Diego
Scan This Bar Code for Ritmo Bello Contact Info!
San Diego Salsa Bachata Festival
Advertise with Ritmo Bello
Catholic Answers
Advertise with Ritmo Bello
Jesus Christ God's son Savior