Julia Auzmendi is a founder of the Reno Tango Collective, which is holding a fundraising Tango Gala at Craft Wine and Beer, 22 Martin St., on Aug. 23 to raise money for a dance floor. The next weekend, the group will host dance lessons, also at Craft. Learn more at bit.ly /33GXKnw.
You and I have had the opportunity to discuss the beauty of tango a few times now over the years.
Yes, I’m so happy that we’re growing and doing more things and bringing more dancers and doing more events. We’re more involved with the city’s arts and culture department—and also with Artown, which makes me happy because we’re not only growing as a group, as Reno Tango Collective, but also growing in general with the community.
Tell me about this upcoming event. It’s a fundraiser, and you’re bringing in tango—
Dancers from Buenos Aires!
That’s really cool.
Yes, I know. So, ever since we started doing our tango evenings at Craft, we loved the wine bar. We loved the atmosphere, and the people that work there are wonderful, the owner—everything. The only thing we were missing was a proper dance floor for the dancers to feel comfortable … like a good, hardwood dance floor. We’ve been thinking about that for a year and a half, more or less. I was waiting until we had the opportunity to make a big party fundraiser to get people excited and enjoy it and have something in exchange for their participation and their donation. Just to make it a big social event—that was my goal. … We now have the opportunity to bring this couple that’s an amazing couple. They were part of the Argentine National Folkloric Ballet, which is like our most important dance company. Now they have their own company that is over, like, 30 dancers. … The Tango Gala is Friday the 23rd at Craft. So, Alejandra Armenti and Daniel Juárez are the dancers, and their company is called Corporación Tangos. And for the gala we will have on the 23rd—it’s from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.—we’ll have a tango show, as seen in Buenos Aires. … And we’re having a workshop the other weekend that they’ll teach.
The weekend after?
The weekend of the 31st of August.
Is the first weekend just a tango show, or will there be a chance for people to dance?
There will be. Joseph Tatum, the cellist from the Reno Phil, with which we are composing tango—he will be playing live. That will be our first artist. And then Alejandra and Dani will be doing a tango show for everyone to watch. And then Fredy [Maldonado] and I will teach a chacarera lesson. Chacarera is a folkloric dance of Argentina. … It’s like a more festive, popular—kind of like a line dance, but it’s something that rarely happens outside of Argentina.
Where is dance floor going to go?
The idea is that with this big party we’ll raise the funds to buy a portable dance floor that will stay at Craft … so we don’t have to dance on the concrete floor of the back room. … And Ty [Martin] is fine with that, and he’s fine with storing it there. And then we will have raffles, too. We’ll give away CDs and other prizes. … Our most traditional beverage apart from Malbec wine is vermouth. … And on my last trip to Buenos Aires in July, I brought back one suitcase with 12 bottles of Argentine vermouth, so we will do Argentine cocktails. And Ty will have some Argentine wine.