Karina Smirnoff Stars As A Female Tango Dancer
“Tango Shalom” is about a female tango dancer (Smirnoff) who “invites an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi (Jos Laniado) to enter a televised dance competition,” according to Deadline.
The film is set in Brooklyn, with the Rabbi, whose Orthodox religion prevents him from touching his dance partner, speaks to other “faith leaders” for guidance — “a Catholic priest (Joseph Bologna), a Muslim imam (Yasir Sitara) and a Sikh holy man (Hamza Zaman).”
The film from Atlas Distribution started with a very limited release in just New York City and Los Angeles. Atlas President Harmon Kaslow said that they were seeing if there was an audience for the film first and then they planned to expand to other markets.
“If we can show support, that there’s interest … This was to put our toe in the water and find the audience and have it respond. And we are prepared to continue to support it,” Kaslow told Deadline, adding, “We strongly believe in ‘Tango Shalom’ and the positive message of inclusion and family.”
Karina Said The Choreography Was ‘Very Creative’ Because They Couldn’t Touch Each Other
In an interview with Parade, Karina talked about her partner, Jos, and their choreographer in the film, Jordi Caballero, whom she praised as so “inventive” because their situation in the film demanded “very creative” choreography.
“We did have Jordi Caballero, a great choreographer, who helped us go through the steps. And then, of course, we couldn’t have normal physical contact during it, so that was very creative, how to be able to lead and follow and physically not touch each other. That was very inventive,” said the former “Dancing With the Stars” champion.
Karina also admitted that with her background choreographing dances for “Dancing With the Stars,” it was hard to keep quiet and let the film’s choreographer work.
“It was difficult to keep me quiet, so I definitely did a lot of suggestions for the choreography. I was like, ‘What if we did this, can this work?'” said Karina. “But I think Jordi understood the talent and Jos’s ability, and he was very clever in coming up with steps that Jos could actually execute well. So, it was great to have Jordi there.”
She also said that she doesn’t think she’ll ever leave the entertainment industry, telling Parade, “I don’t think I’ll ever stop dancing or coaching or choreographing. My mom laughs at me because she goes, ‘Soon you’ll be using a walker, and you’ll still dance full out.’ It gives you a whole different life of energy and emotions and expressions. I will never stop.”
As for “Dancing With the Stars,” Karina, who was on the show for 18 seasons, told KTLA in an interview for “Tango Shalom” that she misses the ballroom “a lot.”
“I do, I do miss it a lot. I miss the connection with our dancers, with our judges, of course, the experience is fantastic … I think the fact that we have 30 seasons of this incredible show, it’s a milestone that we should all celebrate. And of course, it gave me so many opportunities,” said Karina.
“Tango Shalom” is out now in limited theaters and on Video on Demand. Visit the film’s official site to find out where you can watch it.
“Dancing With the Stars” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times on ABC.