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Changes might occur. Last version 19 December 2019.
Photo: Michael Mehyk
Max Pollak a prestigious name on the international tap and world music scene, is the only non-Cuban member of Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, Cuba’s famous Rumba ambassadors. A Flo-Bert and Hoofer Award winner, Bessie Award nominee, NYFA Choreography Fellow, critics and peers worldwide acknowledge his superior musicianship and his highly individual style called “RumbaTap” - a pioneering blend of Afro-Cuban song and dance with American tap and body music.
He studied tap dance, jazz music, acting, singing and dancing in his native Vienna, Austria. Having been inspired by watching Fred Astaire on TV, he always felt that both playing music and expressing it through dancing and singing was as important to him as breathing. His first mentor Carnell Lyons, a Kansas City born rhythm tap legend and childhood friend of Charlie Parker's, first made Max aware of the amazing artistry of black tap artists during the golden era of jazz. Max was immediately hooked to jazz music and groove-drenched tap dancing. After working for several years as a professional
actor/singer/dancer on the European scene he was hired by Heather Cornell in New York to join Manhattan Tap, a top-level professional bebop tap dance ensemble. During this tenure Max got to collaborate as choreographer, tap soloist and conga drummer with legendary bassist Ray Brown.
A class with Latin jazz icon Bobby Sanabria changed his life. Pollak recalls, “I had to learn as many different instruments and rhythms as I could.” The class included videos of Afro-Cuban folklore. “I told Bobby I was a tap dancer and I wanted to tap dance to this music. He reached for the claves [the rhythmic base of Afro-Cuban music] and said, ‘If you want to TAP DANCE CUBAN MUSIC you have to play the claves while you dance.” Pollak practiced doing just that, drawing on his drummer’s ability to walk and chew gum at the same time. Eventually he mastered the approach and took it to the stage at the Nuyorican Poets Café. There, he had another life-changing encounter: he met the artists of Los Muñequitos de Matanzas. Barbaro Ramos, one of Cuba’s finest rumbadancers, asked Pollak to teach him to tap. “We met in a studio, and I brought along an old pair of my tap shoes. I said ‘This is how you play the cata-rhythm with sticks. This is how you do it with your feet.’ He was immediately able to reproduce what I was doing. I taught him for a couple of hours, and then told him, Keep the shoes!" Many trips to Cuba followed.Max produced the first Cuba Tap Festival, danced, among many others, with Chucho Valdés, Paquito D'Rivera, Gregory Hines, Carol Channing, Lila Downs, and has performed as soloist with members of the Vienna, Berlin and New York Philharmonic, London and Montreal Symphony, St. Luke’s Chamber Orchestra and more. Many internationally acclaimed composers have written orchestral works especially for him. His innovative a cappella vocal arrangements received critical praise in The New York Times.
Eddie Torres Jr.
Eddie Torres Jr., son of legendary salsa dancer Eddie Torres and flamenco dancer Nelida Tirado was born and raised among infectious rhythms of salsa and flamenco. His countless childhood years sitting in exercises, backstage and tours, gave his interest in art.
He began studying music at the age of 12 and continued his music studies at Celia Cruz High School of Music. At the age of 14, he began to dance and excellently as if he had danced his entire life.
He has been training at Ballet Hispanico in NY and Peridance Capezio Center, studying ballet, jazz and modern. He has had the privilege of starting his professional career under legendary salsa artists such as Tito Rojas, Victor Manuelle, Jose Albert El Canario, Alfredo de la Fe and Eddie Torres Orchestra in places like NY Copacabana, Manhattan Center, Lincoln Center, The Museo del Barrio and for NY Knicks &, NJ Nets. He recently collaborated with Jazz Great Wynton Marsalis at Harvard University and continues his dance studies focusing on Afro-Cuban at Peridance.
Photo: Iselin Jansen Ruiz
Born in Barcelona, and trained in the performing arts from the age of 4, she discovered tap when she was 10 years old and gradually was entirely dedicated to it.
She started her professional trajectory in 2003 performing in different theaters with Basilio González's Clak&Roll and Big Band de Granollers. In 2004, she entered TAPEPLAS (Sharon Lavi Company), in which she was a dancer of its 4 full length programs. Currently, she continues to perform as a soloist in the company's last work FRAGMENTS. In 2010 she joins CAMUT BAND as the first female dancer in the show Life is Rhythm, consequently becoming a regular member of the group and a performer in its internationally touring productions.
Since the beginning, she combined her performing with regular teaching in different dance centers, and as of 2012, is part of the tap faculty of Escola Luthier, one of the leading tap centers in Barcelona. At the same time, she's invited to teach and perform in different European tap festivals and workshops. (Warsaw, Stockholm, Madrid, Turin, etc.).
In 2015 she founded her own choreographic initiative UNUM Project. This unique encounter between tap dance and live electronic music debuted its first 30 min show in Turin (Italy, December 2016).
We are happy to have her back again!
Arcadia & Konstantin
Arcadia(Chile) & Konstantin(Russia) - a dance couple based in Stockholm, Sweden. Working together since 2013. Today they are among the main representatives of the Mambo & Salsa community in Sweden. Together they are working to keep the mambo alive in Scandinavia.
Both being experienced dancers with many years of background in different styles, such as jazz, street, modern, reggaeton and even classical, they work together to make great shows with focus on musicality, elegance and expression. Striving to always deliver a great experience for the audience.
Together they have traveled the world and studied and shared the stage with some of the most renowned dancers and performers in the Salsa scene.
They have performed and taught in countries around the world such as: USA, Russia,
Lithuania, Finland, Spain, Germany, Holland, Norway, Denmark and many more.
Arcadia & Konstantin offer classes in Salsa on1, on2, mambo, cha-cha-cha, body-movement among others.