Tango Lessons

"...Sharna Fabiano has a remarkably strong and well-developed choreographic voice. In her company's performance Saturday at Dance Place, it was evident that her style and movement vocabulary are clearly defined and refreshingly distinctive." -Washington Post

"Sharna Fabiano, a Washington, DC-based tango dancer with a background in modern dance, is making headway on the concert stage with an intriguing melding of these two forms. Her young Sharna Fabiano Tango Company doesn't look much like the slicked-back, tricked-up tango companies that sweep the national tour circuit every couple of years with sequins and glitter...Fabiano does something more that takes tango further a field with her contemporary perspective on realigning the dance style with what might be better understood as 'downtown' dance." -Dance View Times

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Photos by Isaac Oboka and Tanit Sakakini (bottom right)

Special thanks to Bill Caldwell & Suzanne McQueen


Sharna Fabiano Tango Company is inspired by the transformative power of connection, and explores the deep nostalgia, intimacy, and longing that characterize human relationships. Using as a foundation the particular logic of a Tango dancer's body, movement takes the shape of solos, duets, and ensemble work crafted with a contemporary sensibility. The vocabularies of Tango, classical and modern dance, and theatre intersect. Passionate embraces meet quiet moments of personal reflection, and gender roles are challenged as women and men exchange following and leading.

The company's most recent work, Abrazo, brought together the talents of actors and dancers with an original script by Hannah Louise Poston to explore the literal and figurative "tango embrace." Holding under a microscope the visceral story of two people dancing a tango, the performers reveal a deep emotional journey in words and movement. This project acknowledges our desire for one another and our simultaneous resistance to intimacy, confronting our past and imagining our future in a quest to remain in the ever-elusive present moment. See more photos of Abrazo on Facebook.

Artistic Director/Choreographer Sharna Fabiano is honored to collaborate with the following talented artists:

Melissa Greco Liu began her dance training in Manila, Philippines with Halili-Cruz School of Dance and continued her training at Princeton Ballet School, New Jersey. She earned her BFA in dance and a minor in exercise science from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. Melissa has been dancing professionally in Washington, DC since 2001, and has performed nationally and internationally with CityDance Ensemble, Gesel Mason Performance Projects and currently with Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company. Melissa is a certified yoga instructor. She teaches at Joy of Motion and at the National Cathedral School and enjoys helping people learn about themselves through movement.

Francesca Jandasek, born in Africa and of Czech descent, loves all aspects of the arts and seeks to share this passion with people of different communities and cultures through teaching, performing, and creating. In 2006, Ms. Jandasek received the Artist Fellowship for Dance from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, she was awarded a choreographic fellowship from the Kennedy Center as part of the Millennium Stage Local Dance Commissioning Project and she was nominated as a finalist for "Emerging Choreographer" for the Dance/Metro DC Awards (2007). Ms. Jandasek also dances with Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company and is the co-founder of BARE, a contemporary dance collaborative created in 2008 with Stephanie Yezek and Leah Wrobel. In addition to dancing, Francesca teaches Kindergarten at the Sheridan School, instructs dance at Joy of Motion, plays violin in the Community Tango Orchestra, is a certified GYROTONIC© instructor and paints in her ample spare time.

Catherine Liu began training at the age of six at the Conservatory Ballet of Reston, Virginia under the artistic direction of Julia Cziller Redick. She has earned a BFA in Dance Performance & Choreography and a minor in violin from Elon University. She has danced in a reconstructed Laura Dean piece rehearsed by Liz Maxwell, worked with Lila York and Sean Curran, and has taken master classes from Irina Kolpakova, David Howard, Alonzo King, Larry Keigwin, Beth Corning, and Chuck Davis. She was president of Elon's dance organization, DanceWorks, and has choreographed six full-length pieces and several compositional studies. North Carolina Dance Alliance awarded her a scholarship in 2005 and a place in their Student Choreography Showcase in 2008. She yearns to create and perform in works that reflect aspects of the world around us, exemplifying dance as raw, real, and relatable, which may speak best to all audiences.

Julia Smith has been performing in the Washington D.C. area for the past 20 years. She was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon where she fell in love with ballet. After moving to Washington D.C. area she was invited to attend the Pennsylvania Ballet School (Rock School) where she studied with Lupe Serrano and Ricky Weiss. She later received a performing arts scholarship from the University of Maryland where she earned her degree. She has danced for Alvin Mayes, Anne Warren, Alcine Wiltz, Tommy Parlon, Gesel Mason, Bowen McCauley Dance, Rincones and Company, Tony Powell Music and Movement, CityDance Ensemble, DanceSmith, Boris Willis, and Ground Zero Dance. Julia currently teaches at Joy of Motion and the University of Maryland. She is married to her better half, Michael, and has two fantastic kids, Ian and Emily.

Dan Istrate, Theatrical Direction for "Abrazo"
Dan was born in Romania. He graduated from the University of Theater and Film in Bucharest. In Washington, DC, he is a company member of Synetic Theater with whom he has performed such roles as: Dracula, Mephisto, Victor Frankenstein, Joqola and many others. Some of his regional credits include: Shakespeare Theater, Studio Theater and Gala Hispanic Theatre. He starred in the Romanian feature film Double Exctasy and co-starred with Jeniffer Garner in the hit TV series Alias. Dan is an accomplished director, teacher and fight choreographer.

Hannah Louise Poston, Script & Costumes for "Abrazo"
Born in North Carolina, Hannah grew up partly in Pennsylvania and partly in Israel/Palestine, where she began to take herself seriously as a poet and artist at the age of eight. She received the 2003 Thomas Wolfe Scholarship in Creative Writing at UNC Chapel Hill (a full four-year scholarship), where she studied poetry, painting, ceramics, printmaking and bookbinding. A year at the Studio Arts Center International in Florence led to Hannah's apprenticeship at La Meridiana ceramics studio in Certaldo, Italy in the summer of 2007, after which she became the Writer-in-Residence at St. Albans School for Boys in Washington, DC. Hannah interned at Pyramid Atlantic printshop and papermill in the summer of 2008, and has since worked as the Artist-in-Residence at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and in residence at the MacDowell Colony. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in several literary journals, and her artwork has lately been taking the form of experimental tango dresses. She has recently relocated to Portland, Oregon.

Glover Gill, Original Score for "Uno"
Glover studied applied piano with Carl Cunningham and Edgar Martin at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, and with David Renner at the University of Texas School of Music in Austin, where he also studied counterpoint and form & analysis with Douglass Green. He has performed nationally with various pop groups including D-Day, Charlie Sexton, Arthur Brown and 8 1/2 Souvenirs. A trip to Argentina in 2000 brought critical acclaim for his group Tosca Tango Orchestra when they performed at the 5th Annual International Tango Festival, sharing the stage with Horacio Salgan and the Nuevo Quinteto Real.

A self-taught accordionist, arranger, and composer, Mr. Gill has accompanied Luciano Pavarotti with The Austin Lyric Opera and provided arrangements for Ian Moore, Alejandro Escovedo, Russell Crowe, Tina Marsh, Double Trouble, Jon Dee Graham, and the Tosca String Quartet, among others. He wrote the score for Richard Linklater's film Waking Life. His discography includes two albums of swing music with 8 1/2 Souvenirs, one album of American Popular Song with baritone Robert Kraft, and five albums of original modern Tango with Tosca Tango Orchestra. His most recent release Solo Tango has received acclaimed reviews. In 2003, Gill was commissioned by Ballet Austin, Stephen Mills, director, to compose Touch Tango Ballet and subsequently completed a Requiem Mass commissioned by the Barbwire Project. He is now composing a full-length narrative ballet commissioned by acclaimed Buenos Aires-based choreographer Jorge Amarante, the subject of which is the controversial career of Eva Peron. Tour dates and CDs at www.glovertango.com.