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  The Ensemble - Artists and collaborators

Pierre Lavoie


Pierre Lavoie: lighting designer
Pierre has been active, mostly in dance, since 1982 - first in Toronto (Canada) as stage manager for most of the city's modern dance companies, then in Montreal (Canada) for Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. He had the great opportunity to work closely with lighting designer Nick Cernovitch. Pierre started designing lights in the 1990's for Margie Gillis and has since designed every new work in her repertoire. Pierre's versatility allows him to move easily between modern and classical vocabulary.

Pierre has been resident lighting designer at Boston Ballet and is presently resident lighting designer at Alberta Ballet Company. He designed also for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Ballet BC and the Atlantic Ballet Theatre.

Pierre also ventured successfully into the world of music. He has designed the last seven shows of Montreal's Tango music septet Ensemble Romulo Larrea.



Photo: Denis Beaumont


ANA PADRÓN, tango dancer
Award-winning tango dancer Ana Padrón is one of the top performing dancers in the world today. Her style is energetic, sensual, rhythmical and innovative. Through her fluid moves she blends Nuevo tango with the close embrace look of traditional tango. Ana has taught and performed extensively nationally and abroad at various festivals. She is a graduate with honors from the University of Florida, with a degree in Fine Arts. In addition to argentine tango, Ana has developed a wide range of dance disciplines that includes classical ballet, jazz, African, Jose Limon and Martha Graham techniques. She is the co-founder of the tango dance company Tango for All. Ana performed on the past two productions led by Maestro Romulo Larrea: Spotlight on Tango, TANGOS: from Gardel to Piazzolla.

CARLOS CAÑEDO, tango dancer and choreographer
Began performing professionally at age 15 and has performed throughout Argentina, Europe, Canada, Mexico and the United States, both as a dancer and as a musician. As a member of Tango a Media Luz, Carlos was dance captain and assistant for El Pampa Cortés. Carlos performed in the cast of Swango and Latin Dance Carnival, including at the New York Lincoln Center. He has been seen on NBC's The Today Show and Univision's Despierta America, and worked with movie stars Jennifer Lopez and Cameron Diaz. With his company, he has also choreographed cast members of the hit Broadway show Forever Tango and has taught for the Joffrey Ballet. Carlos performed in Romulo Larrea's productionsTangos para La Milonga, Tango First Century, Spotlight on Tango, TANGOS: from Gardel to Piazzolla and TANGO For lovers only cultivating a professional and artistic relationship that has taken them throughout the United States, Canada, and more recently to Europe.



Photo: Wouter Schenk


LEAH BARSKY, tango dancer
Born in Germany and moved to the United States at a young age. She has been dancing since the age of five and is trained in ballet, modern and jazz. She attended California Institute of the Arts, American Dance Festival, The Julliard School Summer Intensive and New York State Summer School of the Arts on full scholarship. Leah began studying tango over 10 years ago. Since moving to NYC, she has performed extensively nationally and abroad with The Nai Ni Chen Dance Company, New Generation Dance Company, Westminster Ballet Theatre, Marta Renzi and Dancers, Tango y Más, Armitage Gone! and The Metropolitan Opera. Most recently she performed as a principal dancer with The Chicago Lyric Opera in the production of Showboat. Leah has danced with The Romulo Larrea Ensemble for nearly 6 years in four different productions: Tango First Century, Spotlight on Tango, TANGOS: from Gardel to Piazzolla and TANGO for lovers only. She has had the pleasure of performing with the Ensemble in prestigious venues throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. She was a finalist in the 2014, 2015 and 2016 editions of the Mundial de Tango in Buenos Aires. Leah is also a certified Pilates instructor.



Photo: André Bergeron


CECILIA SAÏA, tango dancer and choreographer
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, began studying art and dance at the age of eight, and was a graduate of the Municipal School of Modern Dance General San Martin. Later, she graduated as a classical dance teacher from the Escuela Nacional de Danzas (Argentina). She has performed in America as well as abroad, including Europe. In 2009, she was a guest dancer in the Tribute to Juan Carlos Copes during the Mundial de Tango. Her work with masters of the tango and dance such as Juan Carlos Copes & Maria Nieves, Julian Plaza, Atilio Stampone, El Sexteto Mayor and Julio Bocca won her the recognition of tango industry experts. Cecilia has participated in internationally acclaimed tango productions - including Forever Tango (Tony nomination) and Tango Pasión. Since 2001, she has been a highly valued partner to the Romulo Larrea Tango Ensemble and participated in the following productions: TANGOS para La Milonga, Tango First Century, Spotlight on Tango and TANGO for lovers only. She participated as an actress and dancer in the play Tango Fever presented in New York in 2012.



Photo: Wouter Schenk


MARIANA PARMA, tango dancer
She is a dancer and choreographer widely known and admired for her masterful expertise in Argentine Tango and Salsa. She is an internationally acclaimed performer, featured on stage, TV and film. Her musical theater credits include Evita, Swing, the musical, Swango (co-producer), Tango Por Ellos, Tango Casenave, Roxanna's Tango, Glamour Tango, Tango Connection: Love Stories and numerous Tango productions throughout her career. Mariana performed on the past four productions led by Maestro Romulo Larrea: Tango First Century, Spotlight on Tango, TANGOS: from Gardel to Piazzolla and TANGO for lovers only. She recently choreographed a major Parle commercial in Mumbai, India, starring Bollywood star Roshan Hrithik. She has coached Chita Rivera and Tommy Tune in Tango, and served as a dance critic for the Daily News, on the Dancing with the Stars dance column. She had the lead role in the play Tango Fever presented in New York in 2012 and for which she received the 2013 Hola Award for Outstanding Achievement for Choreography.

HERNÁN BRIZUELA, tango dancer
Tango teacher and dancer from Mendoza, Argentina, he is known in NYC for his tanguero style. At the age of seven he began an intensive study of Argentinean folklore dance with Monica Maturano and at 10 he received his first tango lesson from his mother, beginning a life long love for the dance and sharing it with others. In NYC, Hernán's first and most influential teacher was Cesar Coelho of Forever Tango. Hernán has taught and performed at various festivals, milongas and studios in New York and Massachusetts and most recently in Australia and New Zealand. He was a principal dancer in the off-Broadway dance play Let's Speak Tango and choreographed and starred in the short film Gardenias. He performed in the past four productions led by Maestro Romulo Larrea, Tango First Century, Spotlight on Tango, TANGOS: from Gardel to Piazzolla and TANGO for lovers only across the United-States, Canada and Europe. Currently, Hernán travels between New York, Boston, Buenos Aires, and Europe to teach and perform Tango.



Photo: Marcel St-Pierre


MARIKA LANDRY & JONAS IÑIGUEZ, tango dancers and choreographers
With more than 12 years of experience, Jonas Iñiguez has a background in different disciplines ranging from classical ballet to contemporary dance, modern jazz, Latin dance and hip-hop. He decided to specialize in Argentine Tango in 2001. Graduated in modern dance in 1998 from the École de danse de Québec, Marika Landry decided since to focus her professional activities in the field of Argentinian tango. Her pedagogical skills, as well as her specialized workshops on women's technique in tango, have won her an international recognition. She has also participated as a dancer and teacher in several Tango festivals. Together, they perform in well-known events including the Montreal International Jazz Festival. In 2008, they opened, respectively, Gotan Montreal Tango School and Karima Tango Dance Company. They have also co-produced and choreographed "Milonga de mi Barrio show" presented in Montréal. Marika and Jonas have been dancing with the Romulo Larrea Ensemble for nearly 5 years.



Photo: Denis Beaumont


MARIANA GALASSI, tango dancer
Mariana Galassi was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She started dancing Tango over a decade ago and trained intensively in Buenos Aires with Chicho Frumboli and Lucia Mazer, Julio Balmaceda and Corina de la Rosa and Gustavo Naveira. Her background also includes modern dance, ballet and contact improvisation. In 2000, she moved to New York City. She travelled throughout the United States performing at different venues and giving workshops. She has also participated as a dancer and teacher in several Tango festivals including the prestigious International Congress of Argentine Tango (CITA, Buenos Aires 2004) where she was one of the main masters. Her personal interpretation of the dance makes her one of the most distinctive and exciting dancers of the new generation. Mariana performed on the past three productions led by Maestro Romulo Larrea: Tango First Century, Spotlight on Tango and TANGOS: from Gardel to Piazzolla.



Photo: Ensemble Romulo Larrea archives


François Zeitouni, organ
François is pursuing a career as an organist and a pianist. He completed his studies in organ, harmony and improvisation with Raymond Daveluy. In parallel, he studied piano and chamber music with Professor Lise Boucher at the Conservatoire de Musique du Québec à Montréal.

In 1997, he received a 1st prize in piano, with distinction. He regularly plays the piano and the organ in recitals, as a soloist and as a chamber musician, both in Canada and abroad. He is a member and the vice-president of the Société de musique de chambre de Québec. He recorded several works on the label Disques XXI-21 and Atma. He is currently the organist at the Gesù Church in Montréal.



Photo: Ensemble Romulo Larrea archives


Normand Richard, baritone
He graduated from Moncton University in New Brunswick. From 1992 to 1995, he was a student at the atelier lyrique de l'Opéra de Montréal, studying voice with Gabrielle Lavigne and later with Jan Simons. M. Richard performed as a soloist with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Ochestre Métropolitain, the Laval Symphony Orchestra and the New Brunswick Symphony. He also sang several roles on stage with the Opéra de Montréa and recorded several works for Radio-Canada.

Mr. Richard performs frequently with les Idées Heureuses, the Ensemble Arion and the Festival International de musique baroque de Lamèque, New Brunswick. He lends his talent to Le Concert Spirituel de Paris and director Hervé Niquet. He recently acted as soloist with Les idées Heureuses during a tour of baroque festivals in France. He is currently a member of the Studio de Musique ancienne.





Guest artists:
Through the years, the Ensemble has shared the stage with great names from the classical field both locally and internationally, including
José Bragato (cello)
Timothy Hutchins (flute)
Alvaro Pierri (guitar)
Antonio Lysy (cello)
André Moisan (clarinet)
Nard Reijnders (saxophone)

… as well as with Quebec- based singers such as
Bruno Pelletier
Pierre Flynn
Marie-Claire Séguin




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