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The cast Nostalgias de Tango
Leo Landa Alona Gorer
Singers & Narrators
Claudio Ortega Caelyn Casanova
Alex Roitman Michèle Walther Amy Zanrosso Sascha Jacobsen

In the past
Richard Duke Zac Selissen Irina Martineau
Leo Landa (dancer)

Leo Landa had an intense interest in tango music of all kinds since before he can remember. Leo has studied extensively with Lisette Perelle and with Santiago Croce. Among the masters on the world stage Leo values his learning experiences with Juan Cantone and Sol Orozco, Fabian Peralta and Josefina Bermudez, Maximiliano Cristiani and Jesica Arfenoni, and a number of others.

Leo has performed at various local milongas and on stage. He is a four-time finalist of the Argentine Tango USA Championship (Salon category, partnered with Alona Gorer). Leo currently resides in the South Bay, but can be frequently found at various milongas throughout San Francisco Bay Area.

Alona Gorer (dancer)

Alona Gorer started to dance at the age of 12. She fell in love with tango after seeing the “Forever Tango” show in New York City. While Alona has dabbled in all flavors of the dance, her preferred styles are the exquisitely elegant shades of Salon. Alona perfected her craft by studying extensively with Santiago Croce, Fabian Peralta and Josefina Bermudez, and Maximiliano Cristiani and Jesica Arfenoni.

Alona was frequently the featured performer at milongas, and participated in stage productions. Alona is a four-time finalist of the Argentine Tango USA Championship (Salon category, partnered with Leo Landa).

Alona's passion for Argentine tango is rivaled only by her passion for one-of-a-kind custom performance dress design. Nostalgias de Tango features her recognizably lavish custom dresses.

Claudio Ortega (singer)

Singer Claudio Ortega from Buenos Aires is known for his unique combination of a mysterious and velvety voice. There is a central quality of influence by Carlos Gardel with intriguing additions rescued from other famous singers in the last century. As a tango singer, Claudio reaches the hearts of his listeners with his powerful passages of a cocky milonga and with his fervent renderings of grieving tangos. He loves to bring to life the extraordinary magic captured in so many of these songs of his homeland. That is his passion, to make the audience feel the poetry and melody in a way that will shake them from the inside.

Caelyn Casanova (narrator & dancer)

Caelyn has been dancing Argentine Tango for five and a half years in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Beginning her tango career in LA at the Oxygen Tango School, she first learned from USA and World Tango Champions Brian Nguyen and Yuliana Basmajyan, with whom she has continued to study throughout her dance career.

Caelyn moved to San Francisco in 2012 where she began working in iTunes Advertising. This was also the year she had a revelation that dance was something more important to her than just a hobby, and has been working to take her dance to a professional level since then.

After a half-year stint teaching and performing the milonguero style with Cristian Sierra, Caelyn is now focusing on improving her dance primarily in the salon style, drawing inspiration from the stage dancers of the late 80’s and early 90’s. She teaches occasionally, but primarily enjoys performing, which she does in SF and LA with local teachers and dancers.

Alex Roitman (bandoneon)

Born and raised in Moscow, Russia, Alex Roitman began playing the piano when he was 7 years old. He has studied accordion with Peter DiBono, San Francisco's premier accordionist. During his accordion years, he enjoyed playing Klezmer, Italian, French musette, and Russian music. Alex has performed with Go Van Gogh, Crystal Philippi, Brandon Evans and the Nothingset Ensemble. His playing has also been featured in "Pure Piaf", a musical about the life of Edith Piaf.

Alex's passion for Argentine Tango led him to study the bandoneon, first on his own and then under the instruction from Ville Hiltula. As a bandoneonist, Alex has shared the stage with such prominent tango musicians as Sascha Jacobsen, Guillermo García, Marcelo Puig, Chris Johnson, Hugo Wainzinger, Claudio Ortega, and Pablo Aslan. In addition to his bandoneon work, Alex has composed several tango pieces and continues to work on transcribing and arranging great tango music of the past.

Michèle Walther (violin)

Violinist Michèle Walther performs in a variety of music styles from jazz and classical to the avant-garde and world music. She has toured the East coast with Ian Anderson/Jethro Tull, performing in venues such as the Rose Theatre in NYC. Michèle has performed with Joe Lovano, Gloria Estefan, Oscar Stagnaro (Paquito D’Rivera), Pablo Ablanedo Septet (jazz, latin; label fresh sound/new talent), Vardan Ovsepian Chamber Ensemble (jazz; label fresh sound/new talent), The Boston String Quartet (CD Spectrum), Mark Feldman, Steve Gadd, and more. She is a founding member of LaMuseMent (CD orange heart, label altrisuoni.) She has also performed Argentine tango and folk with Los Changos and Los Gatos Azules, with whom she won first prize in Boston’s Battle of the Tango Bands. Recording credits include The Boston String Quartet, Jamey Haddad, and Oscar Stagnaro. In the Bay Area, Michèle can be heard with the George Cole Band and the Resonance Jazz Octet. Ms. Walther earned her M.M. at the Conservatory of Music in Basel, Switzerland, and later graduated from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, majoring in jazz performance.

Amy Zanrosso (piano)

Amy Zanrosso decided she wanted to be a pianist at the age of fifteen after she realized that she just couldn’t live without the constant presence of Beethoven and Brahms in her life. They didn’t have much say in the matter. So with an undergrad degree tucked under her arm, Amy moved to Italy for a few years of study and then returned to Canada to complete a Master’s Degree at McGill University in Montreal. She has happily collaborated with a wide range of fantastic musicians running the gamut from German cabaret to Tango Nuevo and back, always under the watchful eyes of Ludwig and Johannes. In 2014, Amy moved to the Bay Area and is steadily realizing her plan of learning and performing all the piano trio/quartet/quintet literature in existence. When not practicing Brahms or Beethoven, Amy can be found coaching chamber music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music or riding her bike to rehearsals.

Sascha Jacobsen (bass)

Sascha Jacobsen was born into a musical family, going as far back as his great, great, great, great-grandfather, who was a bassist for the Moscow Opera. His mentors have been Michael and James Finley, John Brecher, Nico Abondolo, and Dennis Trembly, as well as Wolfgang Guttler and Shinji Eshima. He completed a Master's degree at the University of Southern California and has served on the faculty at Humboldt State University, Laney College, Golden Gate Bass Camp, and the Sequoia Chamber Music Festival.

Sascha’s passion for music and dance has led him to collaborate with great dance groups such as The Flamenco Theatre Company of San Francisco, Tango Fatal with Choreographer Jorge Torres (Forever Tango), The Island Moving Company, San Jose Dance, and the Chitresh Das Dance Company with Jason Samuels Smith. He is in demand as a performer, composer, and arranger with commissions from the San Francisco Arts Council, San Jose Chamber Orchestra, San Jose Dance, San Jose Youth Symphony, Berkeley Youth Symphony and SF Friends of Chamber Music. Sascha is also dedicated to teaching and has coached the students at SF School of the Arts, Sacred Heart College Prep, Oakland School for the Arts, Balboa High School, St. Ignatius Prep and talented private students.