Ector Gutierrez Biography
Image by Kerri McCaffety
Ector Gutierrez, known for his smooth and seductive style, studied Argentine tango in the United States and Buenos Aires under the world's greatest tango masters. His personal style is heavily rooted in the techniques of traditional Salon tango and also utilizes some of the freedom and creativity of Tango Nuevo.
Ector is based in the New Orleans area, but his dancing and teaching talents take him around the region and across the globe, including workshops as far away as Beijing and Hong Kong.
Ector's partners for performances include Chris Morris, Katarina Boudreaux, Michelle Erdemsel, Lesia Lebeaue and Sarina Cupo. With Susana Collins in Houston, Ector performed in Crisalis Music Project's Cuatro Estaciones Portenas in 2006 and Maria de Buenos Aires in 2007. Also in 2007, he was a principal dancer in Collins' stage show Luna Argentina and performed with her at Casa Argentina de Houston's Night of Tango.
Kerri McCaffety, well-known in New Orleans as a writer and photographer, is Ector's regular partner and teaching assistant.
Ector teaches in and around New Orleans, imparting to his students his sensual combination of old and new styles. He continues to learn and to attend workshops and travels to Buenos Aires regularly to submerge himself in the richness and culture of Tango.
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Ector Gutierrez grew up in Corinto, Nicaragua, where his early childhood was filled with the sound of the radio his mother listened to as part of her daily housekeeping routine. Tango was one of the styles featured regularly on the radio, along with Bolero and other Cuban music. Mrs. Gutierrez preferred "tango cantado" because she loved the poetic lyrics. This was Ector's first exposure to the music that would later change his life.
At the age of sixteen, Ector moved to the New Orleans area where he would be educated and build a successful business. Over the years, Ector became an active member of the Latin dance community, learning from local instructors including Javier Olondo, Troy Anthony and Georgette Alcocer, and eventually becoming a teacher of salsa himself.
Ector credits Yvette with a very important transition in his understanding of the form. She planted the seed of discovering what happens between the steps, of musicality and feel, of going from just knowing the technique to achieving artistic expression.
His first experience with Argentine tango came about by accident at a club in New Orleans. The music was not what he would usually listen to, and the style was very different from Latin and ballroom, but he found it intriguing. Although Ector had doubts about whether Argentine tango was for him, he returned several times to watch, never setting foot on the dance floor. One night, he decided to try it and was instantly hooked by the beauty and the simultaneous complexity and simplicity of tango.
Ector sought out the best local instructors including Alberto Paz from whom he learned a great deal about the fundamentals of traditional Salon tango. He also took lessons from Sara Viser. He later spent years learning with local instructors and Tango Nuevo proponents Fuad Adra and Kathie Sanborn.
All the dance skills he learned before paved a path to tango, Ector believes. It is the dance with the highest level of improvisational possibilities and the most challenging adventure of his life. He has developed a personal style heavily rooted in the techniques of traditional Salon tango that also utilizes some of the freedom and creativity of Tango Nuevo.
Like all great destinies, tango was foreshadowed in Ector's earliest memories—in his mother's kitchen in Nicaragua, listening to Carlos Gardel.
Today, Ector teaches full-time, travels and performs regularly both on stage and workshop events.