SCTC 2018 announces their first master couple – “LOS TOTIS” (Christian Marquez & Virginia Marquez)!
The incredible technicians are making their debut in Los Angeles!
WHO ARE THEY?
Christian and Virginia first partnered in 2006, turned professional in 2007, and broke out onto the international scene around 2009. They were the star students of another famous couple from the previous golden era—Gabriel Angio and Natalia Games. Gabriel & Natalia danced with all the legendary names in tango…Roberto Herrera & Vanina Bilous, the Zottos, to name a few. Back in those days, you absolutely had to be great or nobody cared. That was also a time when the creators of tango were still alive, and would watch your performances to make sure you weren’t ruining all the techniques and moves they invented.
Gabriel Angio had a genius mind, having studied with all the legends and memorizing not only their figures but exactly the way they did it and in their cadence. Gabriel’s era was also during the rise of stage tango, when performances used sharp flashy movements to entertain dancers as well as non-dancer spectators. (It’s a stark contrast from most of today’s performances featuring a more low-key social vibe and performed in front of mostly dancers.)
Being that Christian & Virginia were Gabriel’s star students, you can see exactly where they get their distinct style of precision and sharpness from. You’ll see how they evolve from their stage origins into the unique crowd-pleasing technical style that you see today.
1. Classic tango style
The first word that comes to mind about Los Totis is “classic”. Their distinct style of tango looks like something time-traveled perfectly from the past. The look, the moves, and the musicality. They are exactly the perfect image of what comes to mind when you think of classic tango (or “old school tango”). A suit, a dress, sharp lines and movements. Elegant, classy, and flashy all at the same time.
Here, you can see their stage background as they dance a classic-style choreography to Pugliese over concrete floor like many legends before them. It really doesn’t get any more classic and authentic than that. Play close attention to the sharp movements and intricate figures sprinkled throughout the dance. They would soon become the hallmarks of the dubbed “Los Totis style”.
2. Master tricksters
Here, we arrived at Los Totis’ infamous “white pants era” where they reach a whole new level of technical precision. This is still classic tango, but now on steroids. They shed the Pugliese stage-dancer image a bit and begin playing with D’Arienzo, highlighting his orchestra’s energy, speed and playfulness. This is the moment they became truly unique.
Long complex sequences mixed with unorthodox sacadas, barridas, and ganchos, all perfectly synced to the music’s staccato energy. They are especially known for their ganchos, intricate variations, choppy cadence, and ridiculously super-clean precision. It’s one thing to throw out hard moves, but another thing to always end up in perfect positions each and every time. It’s a testament to their cleanliness that some people even think they’re “too perfect”. For those wondering…yes, he absolutely can lead all those moves. (Amazing, we know.)
Los Totis is such great fun to watch. It’s like that chocolate ice cream you shouldn’t be having before summer season. We’re supposed to be watching for connection and the finer qualities of tango but you can’t help enjoying all the tricks from Los Totis.
They are especially entertaining when performing alongside other master couples. In Buenos Aires, you can see up to 3-4 couples perform back-to-back in one night, each pushing the others to dance better and bolder. It’s the greatest test to see top professionals pushed to their limits and a joy to see them deliver.
Here, Los Totis puts their technical mastery on display once again to a fun vals. Watch them capture the audience’s attention right away with a syncopated walk, followed by a quick sacada sequence ending in a jump from Virginia into another sacada. The crowd can barely keep up as Christian uncorks a half-dozen ganchos, spins, and jumps into a set of tapping embellishments. Can you believe it’s barely 30 seconds into the song?
Christian does an enrosque, ending in what LOOKS like a pasada—OH WAIT, it’s a trick, he’s doing barridas now—actually, he tricked us again, and swings a quick colgada as he runs behind her. Now, he’s showcasing his smoothness with a the same colgada but to the other side, transitioning into 2 sacadas before finishing with a long perfect close-embrace colgada, much to the crowd’s delight.
They start running off multiple chain combos and embellishments in perfect synchronization, but that was just them taking a break. Right when you were about to clap, Christian erupts into a dozen ganchos in rapid succession and NOW WE HAVE JUMPING GANCHOS! The song ends and we have officially seen it all, ladies and gentlemen.
4. Technical Brilliance
It needs to be said that much happened between the last review video (2012) and this one (2017). In that short span, Los Totis became one of the most popular and in-demand teachers/performers on the traveling circuit. When they weren’t traveling all over the world, they were constantly sought out in BA for training by many dancers, even top professionals with already-established names. It is especially refreshing to mention that as master instructors they are eager to work with all levels of students in a friendly and approachable way. They are truly a class act.
They had something that simply hadn’t been seen before—an unrivaled level of technical precision and clean aesthetic—a quality desired by the most serious professionals and competitive dancers. And because Los Totis had more precision than even other top couples, it made sense to put them at the top of your list if precision or technique were the very things you wanted to improve in your dance.
In this video, we witness the future and history of tango being made in just 3 minutes. The “white pants era” is officially over as Christian returns to a classic one-color suit. Once again, we have them dancing to an energetic D’Arienzo and once again we see the trademark tricks, sacadas, ganchos, and trick combinations. But something is different. There’s a little more charge, more ferocity in their musicality. They’re not only catching the music with more intensity but deploying even more complex figures and movement. At 1:42, there’s a lingering breath, followed by a storm of unexpected foot plays, jumps, and kicks.
For those who know Los Totis well, all this is expected. They are capable of so much more than we’ll ever realize. Scour the internet and you may stumble upon one of their private freestyle videos where they play around in practice, unloading dozens of complicated movements nobody has ever seen.
The title of “master” should be reserved for only the students who remain students year after year, decade after decade. The master is not one that is the best but one who continues to evolve, create, and push boundaries.
Without further adieu, we are proud and honored to present our very first master couple…Christian Marquez & Virginia Gomez also known as the forever infamous “Los Totis”.
Los Totis’ Workshops at SCTC 2018
First time ever in Los Angeles so don’t miss out. They are approachable and friendly, eager to work with and train all levels of students.
CLICK HERE – for the full workshop schedule.
- WS1 11:00 – 12:30PM – Giros, lapices, & enrosques I: basic structure. (All Level)
- WS6 3:15 – 4:45PM – Sequences in shared axes. (Int/Adv)
- WS3 12:45 – 2:15PM – Giros, lapices & enrosques II: variants and combinations. (Int/Adv)
- WS6 3:15 – 4:45PM – Sharp boleos (old style): technique and combinations. (Int/Adv)
- WS1 11:00 – 12:30PM – Short sequences in combination using different elements. (All level)
- WS4 12:45 – 2:15PM – Fantasy traditional steps. (Int/Adv)
HURRY! Early bird ends December 15.
Workshop registration is currently available only through the Full Weekend Pass, 2-Day Pass, and 1-Day Pass. A la carte registration will open around New Years giving first priority to passholders.