Spreading roots

Courtesy Photo / Carmen Maret
The duo Folias will be holding a Tango workshop on October 14th. Folias is Andrew Bergeron and Carmen Maret

Courtesy Photo / Carmen Maret The duo Folias will be holding a Tango workshop on October 14th. Folias is Andrew Bergeron and Carmen Maret

Cory Finkbeiner

The Folias Flute and Guitar Duo will workshop Roots of Tango: Milonga on Friday at the dance studio of the Fieldhouse Arena in a program sponsored by the Latin American studies (LAS) department.

Co-founders of the Grand Rapids Tango community and married couple Andrew and Carmen Maret have traveled the U.S. teaching Milonga workshops since 2002. The Marets will teach two more workshops at Grand Valley State University following tomorrow’s event, one on Oct. 21 and another on Oct. 28.

Zulema Moret, director of LAS at GVSU, noted the importance of the Marets’ presence on campus and their presence in Grand Rapids.

“This event is part of the Fall Arts Celebration and it is a complement to the Art Exhibition focused on Argentina,” she said. “We want people to think of Argentina from an interdisciplinary perspective.”

Maret is an author and a poet, not a musician, but said she sees a connection.

“Writing has its own music; also, poetry is music,” she said. “There is a very interesting use of poetry as lyrics in tango. I write poetry and poetry is rhythm, music and silence.”

GVSU professor Frank Boring, a member of the LAS advisory committee, will cover the event for his documentary on the LAS events this Fall. He credited his involvement with the Latin American aspect of GVSU to Maret.

Documenting the event on camera is an important part of the Roots of Tango program, Boring said, but he also stresses an importance of physical attendance.

“I think it’s a good way to have students open their eyes to other cultures,” he said. “Students come here with a certain major and come to events only involved with their major. It’s really an opportunity for students here to look at another culture.”

Latin American studies advisory committee member Steven Rosales deals mainly with the Hispanic community within the United States, but he said he sees the international event Roots of Tango as an opportunity for students of all backgrounds to experience something which could broaden their perceptions of those around them.

“Find something new,” Rosales said. “Expose yourself to something new. The [Hispanic] community is exploding. It wouldn’t hurt to expose yourself to it.”

Rosales stressed the idea of exposure and said events such as Roots of Tango are good ways to open one’s self to new things.

“Hopefully exposure leads to greater degrees of acceptance,” he said. “It’s a sense of cultural affirmation, exposing the community at large”

Roots of Tango: Milonga will be held in Room 160 of the Fieldhouse at 6 p.m. tomorrow.

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