Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Andres Amarilla began dancing tango in 1987 at age 11. While still a child, he studied with and performed in the dance companies of three of the greatest tangueros of all time: Gustavo Naveira, Juan Carlos Copes, and Rodolfo Dinzel. After 10 years of intensive immersion in the music, culture and movement of traditional Argentine Tango, Andres became part of a small group of young people seeking to push the limits of the traditional art form. Together, they anaylzed and codified the movements, sequences and rules of traditional tango and began to play with the “grammar” of the tango language, thereby developing uncounted new sequences of movements, and giving birth to a new means of teaching, dancing and thinking about tango. This way of analyzing tango has become the basis of most good tango pedagogy in the world today.
Andres’s dance is characterized by the rich variety of material that he accesses in improvisation due both to an extraordinarily efficient lead and to an extreme precision of movement. Years of close analysis of the dance have yielded a working vocabulary of tango steps that is perhaps unmatched in the tango world. Rather than seeking simple technical brilliance, Andres puts all of this technique and vocabulary to use to create a dance that possesses musical richness, responding to the subtleties of each orchestra with great understanding and feeling.
A greatly sought-after teacher, Andres has taught in more than 70 cities worldwide, including Istanbul, Beirut, Warsaw, Gdansk, Moscow, Sydney, Brisbane, Belo Horizonte, Buenos Aires, San Francisco, Vancouver, Montreal, and New York, among many others. In 2008, Andres and his dance partner, Meredith Klein, founded the Philadelphia Argentine Tango School. These days, Andres splits his year between Philadelphia and the world, as he continues to travel worldwide to teach & perform.
Meredith Klein began dancing tango in 1999 in Massachusetts and, little by little, it took over her life. In 2005, she left her work as a grant writing consultant to move to Buenos Aires, where she lived for three years. In 2006, she began working with Andres Amarilla, and for the past 10 years they have traveled throughout the world, teaching and performing in Australia, Turkey, Lebanon, Poland, Cyprus, Brazil, Argentina, and Canada, as well as in 30 different cities in the United States.
In 2008, Andres & Meredith moved to Philadelphia and established the Philadelphia Argentine Tango School, of which Meredith is now Director. Meredith continues to travel nationally and internationally to teach and perform. She guides a Tango Tour to Buenos Aires, organizes innumerable events (practicas, milongas, seminars, and The Philadelphia International Tango Festival), and teaches group classes & private lessons.
Recent performance highlights include:
** Performing with the Allentown Symphony Orchestra (with Andres Amarilla, March 2015)
** Performing a new choreography of Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah” in Poland, Cyprus, and New York City (with Andres Amarilla, July through December, 2015).
** Performing at Independence Hall during the World Meeting of Families, shortly before Pope Francis spoke (with Geoffrey Dominessy, September 2015).
** Dancing on the field (yes, on grass!) at halftime during a Philadelphia Union soccer game (with Pablo Garcia Gomez, September 2015).
Despite having danced tango for over 17 years, Meredith continues a daily quest to dance, teach & perform tango better. As part of that quest, she studies Classical Ballet intensively with Alexei Borovik (Former Principal Dancer with the Pennsylvania Ballet).