Luna Beller-Tadiar is a queer, mixed-Filipina dancer, thinker, and multi-media artist. In both her academic and her choreographic work she is interested in investigating socio-historical forces at the level of the body: ways of moving, meaning, and relating. She is especially drawn to somatic negotiations of gender, sexuality, colonialism, and diaspora, and to associated popular embodied knowledges. In 2018 she received a Robert C. Bates Postgraduate Fellowship to fund independent experimental research on queer tango in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she spent June through August 2018. She then continued this research independently and collaboratively in Europe and the US.
As a tango dancer, Luna regularly helped out with local classes while living in Pau, France from 2018-2019. She assisted Maite Dobarro in teaching a three-day beginners’ intensive at the Berlin Queer Tango Festival in 2019. In October 2019 she gave a tango-derived somatic-theoretical workshop titled “Weather in Common: Queer Tango and Bodily Ecosystems” with KP Parker and Itzayana Guiterrez for the conference “Transcontinental Queerness, Institutionality, and Activism Now” through McGill University. She was in the middle of co-organizing the first edition of the NYC Womxn Tango Festival, to be held in June 2020 in New York City, when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. While it is obviously cancelled for the foreseeable future, she hopes it will be possible in some post-pandemic future. Finally, Luna was one of several organizers, as well as lead interpreter and translator, of the 2020 Chamuyo Conversatorio, the first edition of a bilingual, virtual, multi-week conversation space for queer tanguerxs globally.
Luna is also a visual artist, and has worked in painting, illustration, video, and comics (she ran a popular newspaper strip called “Quail University” for several years, which you can check out here: https://quailuniversity.tumblr.com/). Luna graduated cum laude from Yale University with a BA in comparative Literature; she speaks English, Spanish, French, Aikido, Capoeira, and Tango.
At our December 19th virtual queer milonga, Luna will present and discuss her short film “Womxn Tango in the Time of Covid,” originally made as a solicited performance for the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s 2020 Manhattan Community Arts Breakfast.
Website: https://lunabellertadiar.wixsite.com/luna ; Insta: @lunalunabt
November 21: Guest Artist and queer tango dancer Nicole Roberts
Nicole Roberts is an illustrator and web designer professionally but has explored many art forms: photography, fine arts, digital arts, and Argentine tango. Is the founder of Nicole Roberts Illustrated Brands, formerly Nicole Roberts Creative, an agency that designs brands and digital experiences since 2001. With a background in art she has offered creative services to businesses in the US, Germany, UK, and France. She has won several awards in art and in Argentine tango like silver medals in the Gay Games 2014 and 2018 and several ribbons in April Follies.
Nicole’s vast curiosity and deep interest in art has been an unfolding adventure throughout her life. She attended at University of Oregon and eventually returned to California to finish her formal education at San Jose State University with a degree that celebrated her diverse interests and skills: a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Arts. In that time she dove deeper into photography, painting, musical performance and sound recording. At the end of the year her photography instructor offered her a solo exhibition of her prints but the work was denied by the school principal because the art series had nude content.
Nicole was always in love with the human form. She worked in portraiture and music photography for many years. She sees the energy of a subject and wants to articulate its beauty and bring it to life. Naturally, once Nicole discovered the tango in 2005 it became her favorite dance and instant obsession. She was fascinated with the connection and communication of synergistic movement. Captivated, she joined dance groups, competitions and studied with instructors in the US, Germany, France and of course Argentina where she worked on both roles with Mariana Docampo. Over time she has consistently turned to tango as a subject in her art that has become a series. Today you can find these illustrations on products in her online store for tango lovers everywhere to enjoy.
She is now living in Buenos Aires, Argentina with her girlfriend, Karen and her dog, Pika since 2018. She has enjoyed the creative culture and continued her artistic development. But now in quarantine, the milongas are closed and she is finding creative fulfillment in tango art and other illustrative forms. You can see her work at her website or instagram or Facebook or subscribe to her monthly newsletter where she shares the fruits of her creative adventures answering the call to create.
Buy her art: https://society6.com/nicolerobertscreative