Tango Lessons
   
 

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Phone: 202-277-4073

Photos by Isaac Oboka (top) and Marty Katz (above)

 

Sharna grew up in Vermont and thanks her mother for placing her in ballet class at the age of five. After studying classical and modern dance, she stumbled upon the Tango in 1997 while working in Boston as a graphic designer. She received her first lesson from a fellow beginner: "Give me a hug; hold my hand; now we walk." How simple, yet how difficult and nuanced, those instructions can be! In the years that followed, Sharna made six journeys to Buenos Aires. Both in Argentina and elsewhere, she studied Tango improvisation from some of the greatest names in the modern Tango Renaissance, including Daniel Trenner, Rebecca Shulman, Brigitta Winkler, Juan Bruno, Pedro "Tete" Rusconi, Omar Vega, Graciela Gonzalez, Gustavo Naveira, Mariano "Chicho" Frumboli, Pablo Pugliese, and Pablo Veron.

From 1998-2002, Sharna worked in Boston as a member of the innovative company Bridge to the Tango, founded by tango historian and revivalist Daniel Trenner. She directed a tango program of local and visiting artists, appeared on instructional videos, and visited Havana, Cuba to teach and perform as part of a US-licensed cultural exchange. She also helped start many of the tango communities that exist today in and around New England.

In 2003, Sharna joined the internationally acclaimed TangoMujer, the first all-woman tango company in the world. She created three original works of choreography, including a solo commissioned by the Auros Group for New Music. She performed with TangoMujer between 2003-2006 at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, at theaters in NYC, DC, San Francisco, Berlin, Dusseldorf, and Hamburg, Germany. During these years, she also began teaching regularly in Europe.

Re-locating to Washington, DC, she was invited to dance at the Argentine Embassy and contribute work to the city-sponsored Dance DC Festival, DC Improv Festival, and Hispanic Festival. Between 2006 and 2010, she created three evening-length performances at Dance Place, supported in part by the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities. In 2008, Sharna was named to Dance magazine's coveted "25 To Watch" list and featured as an emerging artist in the Washingtonian and Dance/USA Journal. Her collaborative work, "Uno," with composer Glover Gill, was selected for the Festival Cambalache in Buenos Aires, an international festival featuring artists blending the disciplines of tango, theater, and contemporary dance.

Also in 2008, Sharna founded Tango Mercurio, a nonprofit tango organization in Washington, DC that offers adult classes, youth and elders outreach, and a community tango orchestra program. She served as Mercurio's Executive Director for three years. In 2009 she co-founded the Global Milonga with Jenne Magno, an international fundraiser for reforestation that links simultaneous tango events in multiple cities through online streaming audio and video.

In 2011, Sharna collaborated with author and speaker Ira Chaleff on a video presentation using tango as a metaphor for effective "following" in businesses and large organizations. That same year, she taught tango as a physical theater technique at Festival Zero Point in Prague, organized by the Czech company Spitfire and Art Prometheus. In 2013, she collaborated with Spitfire to create the tango-inspired theater work Prawns a la Indigo. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Dance in UCLA's Department of World Arts & Cultures/Dance and teaching at Oxygen Tango in Los Angeles.