Claudio Villagra & Helena Fernandez
CLAUDIO VILLAGRA Over 4 decades of Tango can barely sum up the fact that Claudio Villagra belongs to what can be referred to as the “golden” generation of tango dancers in Argentina. He studied dance at the famous Teatro Colon School of Art in Buenos Aires and in the Dance School Jose Neglia in Moron. He also developed his abilities with teachers ranging from his grandfather Hector Contrera at the age of five years old to great renowned milongueros as Aurelio Juan, Juan Carlos Copes, Virulazo, Antonio Todaro, Pepito Avellaneda, Gloria y Eduardo, the Dinzels, N. Guichanduc among others. Extensively touring throughout all the United States, Central and South America, Europe and Asia, Claudio has appeared on major stages like Broadway Theaters in New York City such as Walter Kerr Theatre and Marquis Theatre, the Olympia in Paris, Luna Park, the Astral Theater and Cervantes National Theater in Buenos Aires, the Auditorio Nacional and the Teatro Bellas Artes in Mexico. He has been the featured as main dancer in shows like Forever Tango, Malambo, Tango Seduccion, Tango Argentino and Tanguera. Claudio has also directed and choreographed his own show, Latin Tango and is now again creating his new show “Tango's Heart”. He has worked with the renowned orchestras of Boston Pop, Osvaldo Pugliese, Mariano Mores, El Arranque, Color Tango, Sexteto Sur, El Arranque, Sexteto Mayor, Sexteto Milonguero, Los Solistas de D'Arienzo, La Juan D'Arienzo and others. Claudio won first place at the most important competition of Argentina and Latin America in the 90’s the Cosquin Festival as best tango dancer and the Forever Tango Show was nominated for a Tony Awards for Best Choreography which included choreography made by him. One of the most memorable moments of his career was to dance on the show of the Boston Pops in 1998 being announced by Leslie Caron at the legendary Symphony Hall. Claudio has participated in many events both Nationally and Internationally, as well as representing the Argentine government on many occasions. He was invited to be part of many Tango Festivals and events throughout the world as an artist and also as the main judge in prestigious competitions of Tango in several countries including the final rounds of the International World Tango Championship in Buenos Aires. Now Claudio has a ten-year partnership with the internationally known Tango dancer Helena Fernandez who has developed a particular method of teaching coaching thousands of students all over the world. Claudio and Helena are known artistically as Los Villagra. HELENA FERNANDEZ Helena began classical dance training at the age of three. She graduated from the Royal Academy of Dance in London and also trained at the renowned Maria Oleneva Ballet School. After a brief experience with Contemporary Ballet, Flamenco Dance and Latin Rhythms, Helena spent many years training in Buenos Aires with international tango masters as Turco José, Carlos Gavito, Julio Balmaceda, Roberto Herrera, Jorge Dispari, Facundo Posadas, Gustavo Naveira, Jorge Torres, Jorge Firpo among others. She has worked around the world performing with other tango dancers with gave her many experience and a distinguished way of dance. She has danced with performing companies such as: Forever Tango, Tango Seducción, Tango and Passion including performances with live orchestras such as Color Tango, La Juan D'Arienzo and Quinteto Carla Algeri. She has performed internationally in many of the famous theaters like Leicester Square Theater, Lotte World Theater in South Korea, Amazon Theater, Olympia Theater, Scala Theater and the Royal Albert Hall. She has also done exhibitions at traditional and well-known milongas in Buenos Aires as Canning, Sunderland, Confiteria Ideal, Manufatura Papelera, Si Sos Brujo Milonga, La Marshal and Gricel. She has television experience choreographing and coaching well-known actors and actresses. She, herself, has performed as a special guest on Dancing with the Stars in Belarus and Brazil. Helena has been a judge at international Tango competitions in Europe, Asia, U.S. and South America. The most important of which was the semifinals of the International World Tango Championship. In addition, Helena graduated from the University as a Physical Therapist specializing in neurological rehabilitation. She uses this knowledge of human anatomy in her teachings of Tango techniques. Helena has been in a partnership that spans over a decade with the international well-known tango dancer Claudio Villagra and together they perform and teach all over the world. They are artistically known as Los Villagra.
Their dance careers started long before meeting, then Claudio asked Helena to dance with him and, well the rest is history. Claudio says "After that, love blossomed." Now they are one of the most sought after couples to perform, teach and Judge at International Festivals, Events and Important Competitions Worldwide. Los Villagra have been touring extensively in all America, Europe and Asia since 2014. They are known not only for their elegance, precision and musicality, but also for their unique signature method “The Spiral Technique” created and developed by them. Every year more and more followers show respect and admiration for their amazing pedagogy that stems from their passion, dedication and respect to all the traditions of Argentine Tango. Although Tango has evolved through the years, Los Villagra remain dedicated to the Tango they know and come to love - the Tango that emphasizes embrace, walk, musicality, feeling and the traditional milongueros codes.