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State and Official Dinners

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WASHINGTON, DC -- The President and Mrs. Clinton are hosting his Excellency Carlos Saul Menem, President of the Argentine Nation, at a White House State Dinner on Monday, January 11, 1999. President Menem will arrive at the North Portico at 7:15 p.m.

Guests will be received by the President and Mrs. Clinton, and President Menem at the base of the Grand Staircase in the Grand Foyer of the White House. Following the receiving line, the President and Mrs. Clinton will escort President Menem into the State Dining Room for dinner.

The tables in the State Dining Room will be set with Eisenhower gold base plates; the Ronald Reagan china will be used for service. Kennedy Morgantown crystal and gold flatware from the Vermeil Collection will be set on rose-colored damask tablecloths. Bamboo containers from the Vermeil Collection will be filled with Raphaela, Leonidis, Ambiance and Sari roses and rust colored orchids. These centerpieces will be surrounded by white taper candles in gold candle sticks.

Following the dinner, guests will be entertained in the East Room with a celebration of tango performed by American and Argentine musicians and dancers.

January 11, 1999


Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken
Grilled Vegetable Risotto
Tomato Basil Broth

Seared Striped Bass
Cassoulet of Jonah Crab, Corn and Fava Beans
Sauteed Morels and Sweet Potato

Salad of Winter Greens, Endive and Spinach
Bleu Cheese Fritter
Sherry and Pancetta Dressing


Frozen Dulce de Leche
Baked Pineapple
Caramel Walnuts
Coconut Snowballs


Sanford Chardonnay "Estate" 1996
Beaux Freres Pinot Noir 1995
Mumm Cuvee Napa "DVX" 1993


A Celebration of Tango

After dinner in the State Dining Room, guests will be invited to the East Room for a celebration of tango, performed by American and Argentine musicians and dancers. Thetango has been an integral part of the history of the Argentine Nation and its appeal and popularity have spread around the world. The resurgence of the tango has communities from Alaska to Florida learning this fascinating, difficult, elegant and passionate art. The fervor and joy of the tango once again capture our creative imagination.

Robert Duvall, actor, director and writer, found his passion for the tango twelve years ago while attending a performance of Tango Argentino. Since that time, the Academy Award-winner has been enamored with the Argentine people, their music, dance and culture and has worked on two films during his fifteen visits to Buenos Aires. Francis Ford Coppola suggested that Mr. Duvall play a character connected with the tango. Since then, Robert Duvall has written a screenplay which he intends to star in and direct.The story takes place largely in the world of tango in Buenos Aires. His tango heroes are many, but he particularly loves to dance to Darienzo, Tanturi and Pugliese.

Luciana Pedraza was born in Salta, a town in northern Argentina. Being the oldest of five sisters, Luciana grew up among horses and sports but never took a dance lesson.She moved to Buenos Aires at sixteen to finish her schooling and shortly thereafter began her own business. Tango did not cross her path until three years ago when Robert Duvall introduced her to a world within her own country -- the world of tango. Since that time, she has moved to the United States and studies tango under Orlondo Paiva andPablo Veron.

Pablo Veron, a versatile dancer with a background in classical, tap and jazz, is one of the most acclaimed tango dancers from Buenos Aires. A key figure of the tango renaissance, Mr. Veron is recognized for his unique, innovative style that links traditional tango to the sensitivity of the nineties. He formed his own dance company in Buenos Aires while performing in such musicals as Evita and Cabaret and touring extensively with the renowned Tango Argentino as a dancer and choreographer. In 1996, Pablo Veron choreographed and starred in The Tango Lesson, winner of the Best Film award at the Mar del Plata Film Festival in Argentina. In October, 1998 he won the American Choreography Award for outstanding choreographic achievement in motion pictures.

Victoria Vieyra, a frequent dance partner of Pablo Veron, grew up in Argentina studying Milonga with Mingo Pugliese and Gustavo Naveira. She has danced and choreographed numerous musicals and operas and was appointed as a member of the Tango Academy founded by Horacio Ferrer. She frequently teaches and organizes tango dances in Los Angeles and has recently danced in several shows in Paris.

QuinTango is a unique chamber ensemble dedicated to the musical performance of tango. Inspired by the Argentine orquesta tipica -- the classic tango orchestra of violins, bandoneons, bass and piano -- QuinTango brings its own interpretations to this evocativemusic. Their recent performances include appearances at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Embassy of Argentina and the group is a Concerts in Schools Artist for The Washington Performing Arts Society. The sounds produced by this Washington, D.C., ensemble have turned music lovers into tango lovers.

Raul Jaurena, master bandoneon player, first studied bandoneon with his father becoming a member of a child's tango orchestra at the age of eight. In the 1960s and 1970s, Mr. Jaurena spent much of his time organizing tango orchestras in Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and Chile. Mr. Jaurena recently became an American citizen and is currently the musical director of the acclaimed tango group, New York Buenos Aires Connection. He performs regularly as a guest artist throughout the United States and was most recently featured with the Hollywood Bowl's Philharmonic Orchestra in a concert of music by Astor Piazzolla and has played with such greats as Yo Yo Ma.


The official gift for President Menem from President Clinton on the occasion of his StateVisit to Washington is a hand-crafted sterling silver cachepot from Tiffany & Co. The piece features an etched border design inspired by a cornice found in the East Room of the White House and a floral design taken from the Green and Red Rooms of the White House. The flower in the center is a dogwood blossom, a tree frequently found in the President's home state of Arkansas. The cachepot was designed exclusively as a gift for President Clinton to present for the State visit. The Presidential Seal is engraved on the bottom of the silver piece.

The official gift for members of the Argentine delegation is a Tiffany & Co. Pewter Traywith an inscription and seal commemorating President Menem's State Visit to Washington.

President Clinton received from President Menem a rare book entitled, Plateria Sudamericana.

Mrs. Clinton received from President Menem a monogrammed leather belt.

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State and Official Dinners

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