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Local musicians pair with outside artists for ‘Tango at the Westmark’

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Posted: Saturday, July 23, 2011 10:55 am | Updated: 1:18 pm, Wed Jan 16, 2013.

FAIRBANKS - Music and dance, generally, complement each other well. So it makes sense that artists attending the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival would find a way to connect the two.

Tuesday night, tango musicians Carmen Maret and Andrew Bergeron will do what they do best: Make music for tango dancers.

They will be joined by Fairbanks-bred Caitlin Warbelow on violin and her sister Taija on viola for an evening of tango and ballroom dancing. It’s an evening local swing dancer Kurt Byers came up with years ago to bring dance musicians and dancers together during the festival. After several years of missed connections that meant no ballroom dance collaborations during the festival, Byers was able to connect Warbelow with Maret and Bergeron.

Warbelow, who has been living and working in New York City, has a classical violin background, but is probably better known for her Celtic work. She has performed with folk groups like Cherish the Ladies and Celtic Legends.

Warbelow said even though she’s not a tango musician by trade, she still enjoys performing it.

“I (play tango music) here and there,” she said. “I love to play those tango pieces in quartets and ensembles.

The music is so exciting and emotional.”

Tango performance is, however, the trade of Maret and Bergeron. Based out of Grand Rapids, Mich., the duo have performed at milongas (tango dance gatherings) and taught tango workshops throughout the United States since 2002.

Maret did her master’s thesis on tango at Michigan State University, while Bergeron is an accomplished tango recording artist whose original compositions have been recorded on four separate albums.

While the performance is geared toward dancers, non-dancers are welcome to attend. Dress is from “casual to classy.”

The final performance is still coming together.

Regardless, the high-caliber performers will make for an entertaining evening, Byers said.

“It all evolved organically and it sounds like it’s still evolving,” Byers said.

Contact features writer Suzanna Caldwell at 459-7504.

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