Friday, September 19, 2008

Obituary :: Omar Vega died today

From Omar Vega's Website

Horrible news. I don't know any of the details, except that it was announced by El Tangauta that he passed away today.

09/23 :: Follow Up :: Apparently he had a severe asthma attack, or a heart attack - I don't think there is any certainty.

Here's a wonderful article from El Firulete ::

I didn't know him personally, but I took some private lessons from him in BA just last year. I don't know a lot about him. I know he was one of the many folks who starred in Sally Potter's "The Tango Lesson".

Here is his website.

Comments with details would be appreciated.

It's always a terrible loss when one of our own passes away.

Here is his CV from his website ::

Hello, my name is Omar Vega, and first of all, I want to thank you for visiting my new website and for your interest in my curriculum vitae. Twenty-five years ago, I never thought that I would become a tango professional. I thank my mother, Irma Jeronima Vega, for this possibility, since she is of African heritage, and I thank my grandparents for being of color, and, of course, for giving me this heritage in my blood. Because of this heritage, whenever I hear a drum or any kind of African music, my blood begins to boil in my veins and my heart begins to pulsate and my body to vibrate to the beat of a tango, milonga, salasa, mambo, or danzon, even if I am standing still.

And today I have 23 years as a dancer, teacher, and choreographer. And I have had the good fortune to know many countries in Europe: Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Denmark, and France. And many cities and states in the US: New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Colorado, Atlanta, and many more…

I was born in Concordia in the province of Entre Rios in 1959 to an Argentine mother and German father, and in the first two months of my life they brought me to live in Buenos Aires, so I am really a gaucho by nature. I learned folkloric dance as part of growing up, but it was not so with tango, milonga, and vals. I studied those dances for five years in a cultural arts center where I learned a lot about tango dancing for shows; but not much about the social dance floor. One day a friend said to me: “Look at all the dancing you are doing, and you never go to the milongas!” She motivated me to go to a milonga, and there I got a big disappointment, because the first step I did, dancing with a 65 year old milonguera, was a backward step, causing the lady to run into a veteran milonguero within the first 15 seconds of dancing. The women led me by the arm back to my table and said to me: “Pibe, when you learn to dance tango, ask me to dance!” Two minutes later, the man we bumped into on the dance floor came over and said to me: “Pibe, you like the tango?”. I answered arrogantly, thinking inside, “Don’t you see that I’m a dancer?” and he continued, “so why don’t you learn how to dance tango?” That was the most frustrating day of my career, and after that I dedicated myself fully to learning about the social dance floor: the sense of the space, the sense of where I am standing, how to begin to dance, etc…

I worked in films like “The Tango Lesson” dancing with the lead actress and director, Sally Potter. In “Convivencia” (“Coexistence”) with the maestro Osvaldo Pugliese. In television, in “Solo Tango”, where I have video documention of two pieces of choreography. I worked with Julian and El Choclo, who gave my career great enhancement. I had the opportunity to travel around a lot of the world. I won many tango championships and received first place in Argentina in 1999.

I have taught in the best places for tango, such as Almagro, Nino Bien, and at Parakultural, at festivals such as the Boston Tango Festival, and in Los Angeles.


Sarty said...

I dance with Omar when I was in New York.
It was so much fun. So sad I won’t see him when I return.
I thought the tribute to Omar was interesting also, i found it here Is there a way we can help support the memorials online?

Profesor de Lengua said...

Chau Omar hasta siempre Gastón.