Marcela Szurkalo’s versatility makes her unique in her field. Sensitive, yet daring, her passion and tenacious experimentation with dance and music has led to an extraordinary professional career.
She began dancing in her native Buenos Aires at the tender age of three. She went from Argentine folk dance, which she practiced for over twenty years, perfecting her style with Mabel Pimentel and Oscar Murillo, to classical and contemporary dance, and from there to the tango, which she studied with masters of the art in Argentina: Esther and Mingo Pugliese, Gloria and Eduardo, Carlos Rivarola, Raul Bravo, Gustavo Naveira and Giselle Anne.
She perfected her training by studying Argentine percussion instruments and tap dancing, tango acrobatics, physical theatre and singing.
She began her professional career in 1990 in Buenos Aires where she gave courses in Argentine folk dance for adults and children and became the director of the Araucan studio. Next she joined the major Argentine dance company “Ballet Brandsen”, was chosen for the national dance company “Ballet folclorico Nacional Argentino”, directed by Santiago Ayala “El chucaro” and Norma Viola, and performed in dance shows “Casa Blanca de Buenos Aires”, “The Pampa’s Devils” and others which toured Argentina, Chile and Brazil in major theatres (Cervantes, Alvear, Opera, San Martin, Plaza, Gran Rex, Estadio Luna Park, etc.) and national festivals (Cosquin ‘92, Cosquin’96, Rural Argentina ’96, etc.), events (the inauguration of the Buenos Aires Hilton on New Year’s Eve, 2000, giving the “Bandoneon d’oro to “Robert Duval”, Hotel Sheraton, Alvear Palace Hotel, Hotel Plaza Bs As, Ippodromo Buenos Aires, etc.) and television (Argentinissima, La Botica del Angel, Mateando withn Luis Landriscina) as well as choreographing and dancing in shows that played in twenty-three different countries.
She won several prizes in choreography: “Bonaerenses” youth competitions in 1992 and 1995, the Creativity and Innovation Prize at the “Festival Mayor Baradero”, 1995 awarded by the local news network and the “Cuna de la tradicion” awarded by the San Martin news network. She has had the pleasure of performing with some of the finest artists: Mercedes Sosa, Mariano Mores, Orchestra Color Tango, Osvaldo Zotto, the Otros Aires Orchestra, the Jose Collangelo Orchestra , the Carlos Galvan Orchestra, Hugo Marcel, Los Chalchaleros, Ariel Ramirez, Peteco Carabajal, Eduardo Bergara Leumann, Horacio Ferrer, Antonito Tarragò Ros, Chango Spasiuk, etc.
Since 2004 she has been living in Rome and giving courses in Argentine Tango. She has developed what she calls the Marcela Szurkalo method, a synthesis of the different disciplines she has studied and combined.
Her work takes her all over the country. She choreographed a tango for the inauguration of the Costa Crociera cruise ship, “Patio Argentino” in Rome, the Tuscia opera Festival in Piazza dei papi, Viterbo; “Maria de Buenos Aires”, Villa Adriana, Tivoli; Teatro Greco, Teatro Vittoria, Teatro Valle, Centrale Ristotheatre, Teatro Caserta, La Palma, Auditorium Mortara, etc.
She was on the panel of judges at the 2008 “Danza in fiera” musical event in Florence. She has performed in television programs for Rai 1, Rai 2 and Canale 5. She performs in milongas and tango festivals in Rome, Italy and Europe (London, Weimar, etc. with internationally renowned dancers and sings in the “Marcela Szurkalo quartet”.
In 2008 she founded the “Tangomalambo” company and interdisciplinary show featuring tango, song, Argentine folklore, percussion , live music and painting, which is continuing to tour Italy.
She performed at Palazzo Torlonia in Rome for the “Via Condotti 2010 prize” awarded to Pippo Baudo, Giuseppe Tornatore, Federica Pellegrini, Carlo Giuffrè and Elio Toaff.
In February 2011 she took part in an international competition in South Korea with the Tango Spleen Orchestra.
From 2010 to 2012 she starred in “Napoletango” by the acclaimed director Giancarlo Sepe, produced by the Eliseo Theater in Rome and the Naples Theater Festival, which played at Italy’s most prestigious theaters (San Carlo, Naples; Eliseo, Rome; Petruzzelli, Bari; Carignano, Turin, etc,) and the Coliseum Theatre in London.
In 2012 she was invited to take part in a program choreographed by Luigi Martelletta entitled “Momenti di Tango”, with the Raffaelle Paganini Company.
She was the soloist singer at a presentation of Roberto Litta’s book “The Man Who Lived Twice” at “La casa del jazz” in Rome.
In 2012 and 2013 she was invited to tour Italy as the tangoist in the Biagio Antonacci show.
In 2014, among other important events, she sang and danced for Luis Bacalov at the La Verdi Auditorium in Milan, in “Insalata portegna, tango e dintorni per ragazzi e non solo…” by Marina Rivera, directed by Carlos Branca.
In 2015 director Giancarlo Sepe called her once again for a role in the theatrical production of “Amleto, ovvero gravi incomprensioni al hotel du nord” (Hamlet, or Serious Misunderstandings at the North Hotel) which is still on tour.