Utopia Encuentro Milonguero: Charleston Edition

Tango Utopia invites you to step back in time, surround yourself with historical beauty and join us for an exquisite event in Charleston, South Carolina. Cobblestone streets, quaint single houses and charming alleys and gardens will set the stage where dreamy music from the Golden Age of tango, an elegant venue and lovely milongueros and milongueras will perfectly combine to alleviate some Buenos Aires yearnings. Come and experience an encuentro with southern hospitality a la Utopia style!

Date Thursday, November 9, 2017 through Sunday, November 12, 2017
Location Knights of Columbus,


143 Calhoun St., Charleston, SC

  • For milonguero style dancers, only
  • Pre-registration required
  • Gender balanced
  • Separate seating for leaders and followers
  • Traditional music, specifically from the Golden Age (1935–1955)
  • Wine, appetizers and snacks served throughout the weekend.  Group dinner on Sunday.
  • Strict adherence to the “codigos” of a milonga
  • Invitation by cabeceo/mirada, only
  • Entering the dance floor respecting those already dancing
  • No teaching on the dance floor
  • No high boleos, hard-hitting ganchos, jumps, leg sweeps, leg extensions, etc. in order to maintain a safe environment within the ronda
  • Leaving the dance floor during the cortina
  • Please refer to www.siempremilonguero.org for a comprehensive list (with explanations) of the codigos
  • Ability to stay connected to partner throughout the dance in a comfortable close embrace
  • Mastery of own axis and ability to track accurately partner’s axis – no pulling off axis
  • Focus on musical expression via compact dance figures rather than flashy moves
  • Mastery of floor navigation in order to create a safe dance environment and contribute to the constant and fluid movement of the ronda
  • Ease with all general vocabulary in both parallel and cross systems
  • Respect, experience and working knowledge of the codigos
Schedule We have organized the weekend schedule in a way that will allow time for our participants to enjoy all Charleston has to offer. Please keep this in mind as you make plans. 

  • Thursday Milonga El Encuentro (11/09) – 8:00pm to 12:00am DJ Jae Grisham 
  • Friday  Milonga Casa Rosa (11/10) – 8:00pm to 1:00am DJ Eduardo Lazarowski
  • Saturday Milonga Roble Angelical (11/11) – 12:00pm to 4:00pm DJ Paul Akmajian 
  • Saturday Milonga Del Farol (11/11) – 8:00pm to 2:00am DJ Mitchel Auzat
  • Sunday Dinner (11/12/2017) – 5:00pm to 7:00pm
  • Sunday Milonga Te Volveré A Ver (11/12) – 7:00pm to 12:00am DJ Vincent Lam 

Utopia Encuentro Milonguero Charleston Edition 2017 DJs!

UEMCE (Utopia Encuentro Milonguero: Charleston Edition) presents DJ Jae Grisham from Raleigh, NC!

Jae is the founder of Tango Utopia in the greater Raleigh/Durham area. She is recognized as one of the premier teachers, dancers and DJ’s as well as the organizer of the monthly Milonga Utopia and the weekly practicas.

As a DJ, Jae loves the challenge of keeping dancers on the floor to the very last tanda. Her sensitivity to the energy of a milonga influences her music selection. Her music library is focused on the traditional masters and this is also reflected in her musical choices. She has been invited to DJ at festivals, milongas, marathons and encuentro milongueros in Chicago, Atlanta, Augusta, Newport News, Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston, Knoxville and Santa Fe, and recently made her first international debut at the Ohibo Milonga in Milan, Italy.

Jae will DJ from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. on Thursday, November 9, at the Milonga El Encuentro.



UEMCE presents DJ Eduardo Lazarowski from Durham, NC!

Eduardo Lazarowski is an active member of the tango community of Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill (NC) since 2002. He debuted as a DJ at the El Día del Tango milonga-marathon of Tangophilia in 2005. Since then, he has become a regular DJ in the Triangle area, and has been invited to musicalize at various tango events in the US and Canada, including the Candlelight and Maleva milongas in Charlotte and the Haw River Marathon (NC), Charleston Tango Society (SC), Milonga La Porteña (Atlanta GA), Toronto Tango Experience Festival (Canada), Encuentro Milongueros of Santa Fe (NM), Berkeley (CA), and Salida (CO), and the CAT Cincinnati Tango Marathon (OH).

On his frequent visits to his natal Buenos Aires, he has been mentored by prestigious local tango DJs, including Lorena Bouzas and living DJ legend and historian Osvaldo Natucci. Eduardo is an avid investigator of tango history and has written articles and presented lectures on the origins and evolution of tango music at the NC Museum of History, Pace College and NCSU (Raleigh, NC) as well as various tango festivals including the Chicago Tango Minifestival and most of the above-mentioned tango events. He is currently writing a book the history of tango.

To learn more about Eduardo go to

Eduardo will DJ from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Friday, November 10, at the Milonga Casa Rosa.


UEMCE presents DJ Paul Akmajian from Tucson, Arizona!

Paul Akmajian (Tucson-Albuquerque) has been dancing tango for close to 20 years and DJing for the last 15. In addition to being a regular DJ in Tucson, Albuquerque and Santa Fe, Paul has DJ’d at numerous major US festivals, marathons, and encuentros, including Portland, Denver, Albuquerque, Seattle, Chicago, Baltimore and many places in between.

As a DJ, Paul strives to keep everyone energized and dancing long into the night by playing the best, most familiar, time-tested and dancer-approved music from the Golden Age of Tango.

Paul will DJ from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. (maybe more) on Saturday, November 11, at the Milonga Roble Angelical.


UEMCE presents DJ Michel Auzat from Montreal, Canada!

Born in 1955, Michel first began to dance tango in 1993 and DJing in 1998. He has been DJing at least once a week since then. This passion to DJ led him to collect more than 1,800 tango CDs – about 31,000 tracks.

In 2003, he started to develop the art of re-mastering old tango recordings and now only plays pieces that he re-mastered to ensure good sound quality for the dancers. Michel finds that he enjoys tangos from the period between 1935 and 1945 – he considers them the most “tangable” pieces.

Michel began DJing at the Tangueria (SQAQC) in Montreal. He also DJ’d at several long standing milongas in Montreal including L’Academy, Royal Tango and Café de Lima. In June 2014, the milonga at Café the Lima was moved to the Rialto Theatre and has become Chez Coco. This is where you will find him on a weekly basis.
He has also participated in some major events including Ithaca, New York, where Miguel Zotto was the guest of honor. Michel animated major events for the Boston Tango Society– on more than ten occasions – from 2000 to 2002. His last two most challenging events were in Wuhan, China in 2014 where Jorge Dispari was the guest of honor, and in Shanghai, China in February 2017 where Sebastian Arce and Mariana Montes where the stars.

In partnership with Joseph Vignalou, he conceived and co-founded Montreal’s monthly Grand Bal in September 2009. In 2011, he started giving workshops at the Tango Congreso in Toronto on how to build tandas, the basic structure of a danceable tango, organizing a tango night and lectures on different tango orchestras. Such workshops were also given in China during his two visits.

As tango is an improvised dance, he believes that the choice of music should not be pre-programmed. As such, he has never used a playlist, but instead, his choice of music is done according to the level of dance, mood and energy of the dancers.

Michel will DJ from 8p.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturday, November 11, at the Milonga El Farol.

UEMCE presents DJ Vincent Lam from Vancouver, Canada

DJ Vincent “The Llama” Lam has been dancing tango for ten years and spinning tunes in the Pacific Northwest for the past five. He was a well kept northwestern secret, but good things cannot be hidden and once organizers heard his music, he began trekking east and has been found DJing at various festivals, encuentros and marathons in Chicago, Newport News, Chapel Hill and Santa Fe!

Vincent favors traditional tangos mixing his tunes with a sense of fun and romance. He enjoys photography and travel, but of course, all revolving around tango!

Vincent will close our unforgettable weekend DJing from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. on Sunday, November 12, at the Milonga Te Volveré a Ver.



El Encuentro

After the last time
I held your scent in the tiny
hairs of my nostrils.
I fell asleep breathing you
dreaming of our embrace—
the gruff of stubble
heart soft on chest
warm exhale on ear
cheek lifted into smile
my hand………. your hand
compressed into nothing.

Now your gaze finds mine.
And so we begin again.

by Pamela Taylor

Milonga El Encuentro, Thursday, November 9, 8 p.m. to 12 a.m.

Photo credit by Adrianne


La Casa Rosa

You told me fate would bring us here again
to this tiny cobblestoned street
hand-in-hand in front of this pink house.
I wanted to believe you
but as our time apart stretched on
doubt grew its long shadow
to surround my heart in darkness.

And when you held me again
on this tiny cobblestoned street
in front of this pink house, the sky broke
into a downpour and pelted my skin
with salty warm raindrops
or was that the thousands of tears
I’ve held back since our last parting?

by Pamela Taylor

Milonga Casa Rosa, Friday, November 10, 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.

For more information about Charleston’s Pink House folllow the link: http://pinkhousegallery.tripod.com/id13.html




Roble Angelical (Angel Oak)

Remember when we found the initials
we carved into a tree? How many times
had we stood here before, fingers intertwined
like the roots of the angel oak?

Remember when we touched its bark,
how the tree stretched its broad leafy arms over us
like a canopy and we took shelter from the million
pinpricks of light watching from distant galaxies?

Only then did I feel bold enough to kiss you, to capture
your breath in mine, to feel our knees sink
into the soil while the tangled roots
of the angel oak supported the weight of our love.

By Pamela Taylor

Milonga Roble Angelical, Saturday, November 11, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information about the Angel Oak, please follow the link:


El Farol (The Lantern)

The moon has hidden
her face and the stars
are too far to see.
Now is our chance.
The lantern stands guard
at the window. Its glow
turns flesh into silhouette.
Our shadow dances
in slow motion,
and when dawn comes,
won’t leave a trace.

By Pamela Taylor

Milonga El Farol, Saturday, November 11, 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Experience the streets of Charleston beautifully lighted by the twinkling lights of its lanterns!


Te Volveré a Ver (I Will See You Again)

You will
return to me
like the swallows
of Capistrano
to build
your nests
under the eaves
of my mission walls.
But first you must
turn south
open your wings
let the current
carry you
How long
how far
you go
is not for me
to say. I only
know our fate﹘

to leave
to live
to return
to love

By Pamela Taylor

Milonga Te Volveré a Ver, Sunday, November 12, 7 p.m. to 12 p.m.





Charleston is a very popular place and it is our understanding that a big convention will be happening at the same time as our event. As such, we need to nail down lodging.

Where to stay depends on budget and preference. Downtown historic Charleston is pricey, however, you do not need a car as there is a shuttle from the airport and it is a very “walkable” city. For those of you that have a car and don’t mind driving, you may find that lodging is more economical 20 minutes away from the venue, such as North Charleston. In regards to parking, there are several parking lots/garages very close to the venue that charge $2 to $3 per hour. We recommend you download the ParkMe application (https://www.parkme.com/charleston-sc-parking

An option that has been discussed is gathering a group of friends and renting a house via Airbnb. Please feel free to use this group to reach out to one another.

Attached you will find a file with hotels that are very close to the venue. We requested block rates, but due to the convention, most hotels did not offer a better price than what you could get via hotels.com.

 As each of you finds “deals”, please share
4.7 out of 3 Google Reviews
13 minute walk
.7 mile
177 Church Street
Charleston, SC 29401
4.0 ouf of 101 Google Reviews
5 minute walk
.2 mile
345 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC 29403
843-723-4000 http://hamptoninn3.hilton.com/en/hotels/south-carolina/hampton-inn-charleston-historic-district-CHSHDHX/index.html
4.6 ouf of 141 Google Reviews
12 minute walk
.6 mile
560 King Street
Charleston, SC 29403
843-414-4900 https://charlestonhistoricdistrict.place.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html
3.9 out of 77 Google Reviews
12 minute walk
.6 mile
425 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC 29403
843-718-2327 https://www.ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/us/en/charleston/chsms/hoteldetail?cm_mmc=GoogleMaps-_-HI-_-USA-_-CHSMS
4.2 out of 285 Google Reviews
2 minute walk
417 feet
387 King Street
Charleston, SC 29403
843-722-0600 http://francismarionhotel.com/
4.0 out of 110 Google Reviews
2 minute walk
.1 mile
125 Calhoun Street
Charleston, SC 29401
843-805-7900 http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/chshd-courtyard-charleston-historic-district/?scid=bb1a189a-fec3-4d19-a255-54ba596febe2

3.4 out of 140 Google Reviews

12 minute walk
.6 mile
155 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC 29401