Tomas Howlin is a professional Argentine Tango dancer, performer, and teacher with over 25 years of experience. Each of his movements are deeply inspired by the traditional aesthetic that have characterized the style and elegance of this dance for the past sixty years. His performing career started in the well-known tango clubs of Buenos Aires and branched out internationally as he performed and choreographed for theater and film, as well as for tango festivals throughout Argentina, the United States, and Europe. A patient and dedicated teacher, Tomas has developed a unique method and approach grounded in his Argentine cultural roots. Tomas’ students have described him as an inspiring teacher who makes tango accessible and dancing it a continually renewed experience. He has long been a regular and sought-after teacher for festivals throughout North America and Europe. Along with his knowledge and mastery of tango, Tomas teaches fluidly in Spanish, English, and French.
Born and brought up in Buenos Aires, Tomas approached tango at a time when it was slowly resurging after a long rest following the Golden Age of Tango. He had the privilege to study with and assist some of the legendary teachers of tango, some of whom are no longer with us today. His most influential teachers were Ernesto Pupi Castello, Jose Brahemcha, Gustavo Naveira, Graciela Gonzalez and Pepe Avellaneda. While in Argentina, Tomas was asked to perform at the most respected clubs of the time during the rebirth of tango. This rare opportunity led him to dance in Club Akarense, Club Sunderland, Club Almagro, and La Galeria del Tango. He also was asked to perform for the first major homage to Osvaldo Pugliese after his passing, and he has performed to the music of the orchestra of his daughter, Beba Pugliese.
Tomas has also trained in teaching the dance at the University of Tango in Buenos Aires, and he is among the few teachers traveling worldwide who taught regularly in the most well known Academies of Buenos Aires. As an acknowledged professional in Argentina, Tomas worked for the Argentine Secretary of Culture and for the Secretary of Culture of the City of Buenos Aires. Convincing both secretaries of the cultural importance of tango, he has been supported in teaching classes and contracted to organize mass popular events. Tomas, and Silvana Grill organized the first milonga in the street, with a live band on Avenida Corrientes after 40 years of popular repression. He continues his work as an ambassador of Argentine culture, performing and teaching tango at various functions and venues. He was asked to participate in the Summit of the Americas in 2001 performing for 34 heads of State. Tomas also has had the unique distinction of command performances by two of Argentina’s Presidents, Carlos Menem and Fernando de la Rúa.
Tomas has worked in Argentina and internationally as a performer and choreographer for over 10 years. He has choreographed and performed tango on stage, and was part of the Argentine dance company, No Bailaras, and performed with the company in Buenos Aires and Paris. He returned to Paris as a guest performer of the dance company for the Buenos Aires Tango Festival held at the famous Théâtre National Chaillot. Tomas has worked on two films; as assistant choreographer for the tango sequences in the Canadian film Macadam Tango and he doubled Jason Isaacs supernatural tango skills for Jackie Chan’s film, The Tuxedo. Mixing tango performance with other dance forms he also has performed in corporate shows for Cirque du Soleil and taught classes to artists in their show Des Humanity. Tomas taught tango technique at Ateliers de Dance Moderne de Montreal, a recognized school of Modern Dance in Montreal.
Having come from the culture that gave rise to the dance, and through his apprenticeship and initiation, he offers to the contemporary tango community a portal to traditional tango. Along with his knowledge and experience of the traditional, he has studied different dance techniques including Martha Graham Technique, The Alexander Technique, The Feldenkrais Method, and The Franklin Method. As he is one of the most popular contemporary teachers and performers in North America today, he has created a bridge linking traditional tango with the newer tendencies. He approaches his private students and group classes with gentle humor, engaging them in the process of discovering the seemingly ungraspable tango. Tomas has consistently intrigued audiences and students with the breadth and depth of his tango knowledge making him a popular and successful tango dancer and pedagogue. Tomas is a regular guest instructor at Studio Tango Montreal and continues to teach at festivals and workshops internationally.
Tomas is currently working to impart the wisdom and essential knowledge of his teachers through the recollection of their stories in a documentary that is still in progress. This project was funded in part through a grant Tomas received from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. This project has been declared of National Interest to Argentina by the Secretary of Culture.