Martin Palmeri

From Argentina, Let’s Tango!

Eugene Vocal Arts hosts ‘Tango Mass’ March 19

It’s time for the professionals to put on their dancing shoes at the Hult Center for stealthy, almost cat-like movements and dramatic attitude.

It’s time to tango.

Eugene Vocal Arts, under the direction of Diane Retallack — and with Argentine-born composer and pianist Martin Palmeri on hand — will join dancers and soprano Camille Ortiz to perform Palmeri’s Misa a Buenos Aires (Tango Mass), a dynamic traditional Latin mass infused with Argentine tango, March 19 at Soreng Theater.

Tango Mass, composed in 1996, is a wonderful showcase for Ortiz, a Puerto Rican native and voice instructor at the University of Oregon. Also on stage is the celebrated bandoneon player Giovanni Parra.

The dancers, however, are the stars of the show.

There’s the Russian-born dancer Yegor Novikov, who has lived in the U.S. since he was 17 years old and has won numerous awards while competing professionally, as well as the Ukrainian couple Anton Ivanyshyn and Hanna Lytvynovych, the co-owners of Vault Dance Studio in Eugene who were spotlighted by Eugene Weekly in December 2022.

One more dancer takes the stage — none other than longtime tango enthusiast Retallack, the founder and artistic director of Eugene Concert Choir and Eugene Vocal Arts, who will take a moment away from the conductor’s podium to show her tango steps.

This should be a fun afternoon.

Misa a Buenos Aires (Tango Mass) is 2:30 pm Sunday, March 19, at the Hult Center’s Soreng Theater. Tickets $10 to $38 and can be purchased at