He took his first musical steps at an early age and his tango roots come from his grandfather, Hector Contreras, who was his mentor in the early stages of his tango training. He then followed the teachings of Juan Aurelio, Juan Carlos Copes, Virulazo, Antonio Todaro, Pepito Avellaneda, Gloria and Eduardo, and Dinzel, N. Guichanduc, world-famous recognized Maestros who contributed extensively to his training.
After dancing in various tango shows in Buenos Aires, such as Casablanca, La Ventana, Michelangelo and El Querandi, Claudio began his career abroad. He has performed on several important stages in the world like the world renowned Walter Kerr and Marquis Theaters on Broadway (where he performed for two years), The Olympia Music Hall in Paris, as well as Teatro Colón, Luna Park, Teatro Astral, and Teatro Nacional Cervantes in Buenos Aires. He also has performed at the National Auditorium and Fine Arts Theater in Mexico.
Claudio Villagra has worked with famous and recognized tango orchestras like the Osvaldo Pugliese Orchestra, the Mariano Mores Orchestra, Sexteto Sur, El Arranque, Sexteto Mayor, Color Tango, as well as The D’Arienzo’s soloists.
His talent has earned him starting roles in the most renowned international stages in Broadway, Europe, Asia and North and South America in shows alongside major dance companies such as Tanguera, Tango Seducción, Tango Argentino, and Forever Tango, in the latter, Claudio was the face of print media for the show.
Based on this knowledge and experience, he later created and produced a new project, his own show “Latin Tango” where he was the director and choreographer. He has also shared the stage with numerous first-class performers. He has been invited as a jury member of important championships and festivals of tango around the world. In Buenos Aires, he has twice judged the final round of the Tango World Championships.
Today he is partnered with one of the best dancers and artists of the tango world, Helena Fernandez. They form one of the most prestigious Argentine Tango dance couples and their artistic versatility allows them to interpret diverse styles, from tango salon, fantasy and traditional, to the most modern and innovative tango concepts.
Trained as a classical dancer since she was three years old, with a strong training in many dance genres: classic ballet, jazz, Ballroom Dance, Samba, and Flamenco, a graduate of the Royal Academy of London in 2000, and after twenty seven years of experience, sixteen of those dedicated exclusively to tango, Helena Fernandez has become an internationally known dancer and choreographer.
She has participated in many tours around Europe, Asia and the Americas performing and teaching in more than fifty cities. Helena has a degree in Physiotherapy and specializes in neurological patients and she transfers these concepts to her technique for women and Tango workshops.
She has performed with important tango dancers around the world and has been a jury member in many dance competitions in Brazil, Asia, and the semi final rounds of the Tango World Championships in Greece, Italy, and San Francisco. She has participated in many televisions shows around the world such as soap operas, commercials, and Dancing with the Stars creating choreographies for renowned actors and actresses such as Cristiane Torloni.
She has danced with important orchestras such as Color Tango (Sao Paolo), Sexteto Mayor (Buenos Aires), Quinteto de Carla Algeri (Miami). She was also on tour with the Gustavo Russo Dance Company in the show “Tango in Red” in 2014.
At the beginning of her tango career, Helena lived in Argentina, where she acquired ample knowledge of tango by being the assistant at many courses and workshops. During her stay in Buenos Aires, Helena studied with important international teachers such as Julio Balmaceda, Roberto Herrera, Jorge Dispari, Gustavo Naveira, Gavito, Jorge Firpo, Facundo Posadas y Kely, Gustavo Rosas, Gisela Natoli, Oscar Casas, and Hugo Daniel, just to name a few. Helena has also performed at many Tango Shows and important milongas of the city such as El Viejo Almacén, Salón Canning, Sunderland, and El Beso.
Currently, Helena’s dance partner is the prestigious dancer and great Argentine Tango artist Claudio Villagra (principal dancer and the face of the most important Tango shows around the world).