Isabella Szymonowicz is a music educator who has been dancing tango in Toronto since 2003. She recently spent nine months in Buenos Aires and since returning to Toronto has established a weekly class and Practica El Beso with teaching partner Nicolai. From March 1 – 8, Isabella has organised the first-time visit of maestra Alicia Pons. Here Isabella answers my question “Why should Toronto dancers experience Alicia Pons?”
Have you ever had an incredibly wonderful teacher while in school and they encouraged you in every way humanly possible? They ask you questions, listen to your responses, delicately correct you with every kind of enthusiasm in the world, give you every ounce of information they can from their vast repertoire, inspire you on a spiral upwards that is limitless, and always have more information to share but the only constraint is never having enough time?
To me this is Alicia Pons. Last year when I was in Argentina for nine months there was never enough time to study with her. Each class opened up my mind to new ideas, concepts and applications. Yes, I am the kind of person that likes to delve into things wholeheartedly (one of my other consuming passions was studying vocal music for more than 15 years).
The experience of spending time with someone as talented and generous as Alicia is rewarding. Each class we usually begin dancing together to some incredible tango music, afterward she often asks me what I would like to work on or I suggest where I would like the class to go. Watching her move is such a beautiful mesmerizing fluid wave for the visual learners out there.
We talk about movements, we try new things and what I really like best is when we “create” something original, fresh, beautiful to the profound music of the orchestra.Tango is something very special to me and being around someone who has been in it longer than myself and knows much more than me is very stimulating.
She understands what “tango” is to her within the context of being from Buenos Aires and living with the music around her all her life. Dancing in the milongas there, being a part of the whole social scene, being connected to all the incredibly talented teachers,and dancers, this is a very attractive package. Add to all this a lovely gentle personality and the experience becomes even greater.
Video: Isabella assisting Alicia Pons in a class at La Miloguita in Buenos Aires