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Cambalache

3 Minutes of fame

Group Unitango opened its own milonga in June at Confitería Ideal. We are talking about La Chuchi, “a place to meet”, according to Gabriel Sodini. He is one of the 5 organisers. Between “tandas”, La Chuchi gives attendants the chance to shine showing their abilities in dancing, singing or any other art related to tango. Unitango is also planning to recognise the most respectful couple on the dance floor. Every Tuesday, from 10 PM at 384 Suipacha St. More info, calling 4957-0111.

Tango and Jazz
The voices of Lidia Borda and Ligia Piro along with Esteban Morgado’s guitar cannot fail. The show Entre cuerdas, performed in July at La Trastienda, proves it. The repertoire, the production and the dialogues among the artists added value to the final result. The “Lilis” (as Morgado joked) confirmed the commonality of themes such as Fruta amarga, Georgia on my mind, Tú and Summertime, among others. They even mix some lyrics with a nice result. The moving version of Libertango by Morgado as soloist deserves a special mention.

Know how
Rodolfo Ruiz is a man formed by tango. Son of guitarist “Chocho” Ruiz (who played with Roberto Goyeneche, among many others), Rodolfo listened to tango since he was a boy. Some years ago he discovered dancing and with his partner Irma he now gives classes. Dancing in milongas, they both noticed that nice shoes were not very comfortable and in 2003 decided to extend their passion to the production of shoes. Today they sell nice and comfortable shoes through the shoestore Neo Tango, that has just moved to 1938 Sarmiento St. More info, call 4951-8694.

70 Voices for Gardel
The Ateneo Porteño del Tango organised an original tribute to Carlos Gardel on June 24th. They gathered 70 singers of different styles of music on Maipo Theatre’s stage to perform Gardel’s songs. As an appetizer, sax player Oscar Kreimer gave his original versions of some Gardel’s melodies. Horacio Ferrer later recited his own poem and Juan Carlos Copes danced La reina del plata with his partner Iliana Mohaupt. The unjustified panic of some of the audience, who mistakenly took the artistic smoke to be a fire, during the projection of a commemorative video, did some damage to the luster of the event.

North
Milongas Círculo Trovador, La Barranca, La Milonguita and La Luna were the venues of the Dance Championship of North Buenos Aires Area, qualifying for the coming World Championship. The couple composed of Domingo Musacchio and Marta Orlando Orso won the championship and $1,000. The second and third place went to Abel González Vande-Lidia Martínez and Silvia Suary-Christian Parada, respectively. The jury (composed of “Lalo” Moreno, Jorge and María del Carmen Dispari) chose them as the best of the 23 couples that reached the final round.

Competitive fever
The third edition of the World Dance Championship will take place at La Rural de Palermo. All the rounds of both Stage and Salón Tango categories will be held there from August 12th to 21st. The winners will receive $5,000. Those premises will also host a tango fair similar to that of 2005 Buenos Aires Tango Festival as well as free concerts. Juan Carlos Copes (godfather of the event) will present the show Sentimiento de tango, never seen yet in Argentina. The complete schedule of the championship activities is available in www.tangodata.gov.ar.

Foreign praises
During April, dancers Diego Álvaro and Mirta Teseira gave classes in Genoa, Casale Monferrato, Venezia, Sospirolo and Udine (Italy) and then took part in Saarbrücken Festival (Germany). “With clearness of method and the friendly atmosphere they managed to create, both teachers taught the essential concepts of tango and ’milonga con traspié’”, maintained Pier Aldo Vignazia, organiser of the meeting at Sospirolo. At the moment of going to press, Diego was giving classes in Australia, where he was also called to work as a juror in local dance competitions qualifying for the coming World Championship. In Buenos Aires, Diego is also well known as a teacher and organiser of the evening milonga El Abrazo, along with Zoraida Fontclara.

Arigato!
Japanese singer Yoko Nakanishi visited Buenos Aires to present her first tango CD, produced by Guillermo Fernández. Nakanishi shows in Tango 1 outstanding technical ability and a careful approach to the form, in spite of the logical pronunciation difficulties. A wonderful group of musicians, directed by Cristian Zárate, adds brightness to the work. Yoko took part in the series Tango 05, in a ceremony at the Japanese Embassy and in the celebrations of Sólo Tango’s 10th anniversary. In her 20 years working as a professional singer, Nakanishi has also sung Japanese folk music and other western popular forms.

Milonguera´s nigth
The woman’s role in the tango couple is celebrated each Tuesday at Salón Canning with the “Noche de las Milongueras” (Milongueras’ night). This event includes dance exhibitions of different couples, with the woman as the star. “We pay tribute to women over 60 that shine for the effectiveness and beauty of their movements”, summarizes Inés del Valle, alias Negracha. The idea was thought of by her partner, Diego Lanau, and was immediately supported by Omar Viola, organiser of Parakultural’s milongas. The cast of venerable milongueras is composed of Aurora Longueira, Electra Deza, Margarita Guillé, Ana Peloso, Natalia Moyano, Rosa Pérez, Blanca Segat, Amanda Lucero, Ofelia Rosito, Nelly and Haydée, among others.

Therapeutic tango
Tango is used as a therapeutic tool in two Buenos Aires public hospitals. The Foundation Tango Argentino organises tango workshops for Parkinson patients at Hospital de Clínicas and for cancer patients at Tornú Hospital, with the doctors approval. “Some symptoms of Parkinson are reduced through movement and physical contact”, maintains Verónica Scally, dancer and body therapist in charge. Though they are still in research phase, Verónica finds tango allows patients to increase their self-assurance, promote their physical abilities and improve their link with other people. She also wishes to thank doctors Federico Micheli, Cristina Pecci and Mariela Bertolino for their help in this project. More info, writing to veroscally@yahoo.com.ar

Full schedule
Dandi Royal Hotel offers classes 7 days a week. Those given by Noelia and Nahuel Barsi from Mondays to Fridays allow a good follow-up for visitors. On Wednesdays, Analía Vega and Marcelo Varela give a class before the beginning of the milonga Shusheta. Stella Barba on Sundays and Rodolfo Ruiz, on Saturdays, complete the menu. Dandi’s academy is located in a comfortable building next to the hotel, which is fully designed and decorated in tango mood. In September and November Dandi will host two attractive “Semanas de Tango” (Tango weeks), with lodging, trips, classes and dinners with shows, among other events. At 396 Piedras St, San Telmo. More info, call 4361-3537.

Maturity
Patricia Barone and Javier González are in a peak moment, considering what el tangauta could see and listen to during one of the shows they gave in June at Centro Cultural de la Cooperación. She sings with her usual personal style but now conforms more to the style of each of the lyrics; he is a creative guitarist, composer of almost all the music themes and brain of the general musical idea. This includes piano, bandoneon and bass, plus doses of keyboards, flute, chorus and recordings with rhythmic basis. Barone and González choose new and valuable tangos, in a trend they have been following for the last 10 years. This can be checked out in their most recent CD, Gestación.

Embroidered
Brand new shoe shop Alanis has just launched the first shoes with embroidered motifs. Certain figures of traditional Buenos Aires “fileteado” (local painting style) can be seen in the insteps and heels of some women dancing in milongas. Silvia Alanis, creator of this original model, is very happy about the reception the novelty had. In this way, she can join her two great passions: tango and design. The collection has heels of different heights and shapes. You can have a look at them at 4475 Paraguay St., from Mondays to Saturdays or at the stands Silvia puts up in the most attended milongas. More info, call 4832-9809.

New festival
The city of Junín, in Buenos Aires province, hosted for the first time a tango festival that is trying to establish itself along with the most important ones of Argentina. Atilio Stampone, Fernando Suárez Paz, María Graña, Alberto Podestá, Adriana Varela and the members of Fernández Fierro Orchestra were some of the artists that performed in this 3-day event. One of the most attractive activities was a singing competition. Its winners were Leandro Ponte (23 years old) and Agustina Galdeano (19). The festival was coordinated by local musician Rubén Aguilera and included performances of an orchestra and a ballet composed by artists of the region.

Diluted Passions
Passion, absence, wait, illusion, fear... each feeling involved in a love relationship has its own essence that seems pure, but time dilutes it. Monologues and tangos by actress Fabiana Rey turn around this metaphor in Aguachenta, the musical show that premiered in June at restaurant-theatre Pan y Arte. Rey treats these topics with irony in the company of guitarist Federico Duca, author of the melodies. She does this through the so called “irregular tangos”, with lyrics written by herself, showing an amazing freedom of style. To learn about new shows, call 4806-8952.

Songbook
Letrango Association (composed by tango lyrics writers) presented the book Más de 100 tangos nuevos (More than 100 new tangos), with lyrics written by 26 new authors. Some examples: No me sé vender, by Julio César Páez; Los taitas rockeros, by Hugo Salerno; Desolado Monserrat, by Mario Bustince and Por los viejos, by Roberto Díaz. The book, edited by Eco Ediciones, includes curricula of the authors and verses by Horacio Ferrer and Héctor Negro. Letrango also plans to edit a demo CD with new lyrics for the media to broadcast. They’ll do new free presentations in August and September. More info, call 4571-2778.

Lorena Pastor y José Vázquez
Classes
Your own style

Actor José Vázquez fell in love with tango while he was working in Brazil, 8 years ago. He has tango genes, from a father who used to dance and had tried to instil it to him in vain. José learnt with his partner Lorena Pastor taking classes with Alejandro Montini and Alejandra Mantiñán. They now give classes in 3 nearby cities: San Antonio de Padua, Lobos and Buenos Aires. José tells us: “We teach tango salón for our ‘milonguero’ students and choreographic sequences for those that have some artistic intention, but in all cases we transmit feasible steps”. Besides, they try not to teach new movements until the student has assimilated the one they taught before.
In the classes of Vázquez and Pastor a change of partners is demanded for pedagogic reasons: “We want to show men that the same lead can be felt in different ways by each woman and to show women there are different kinds of leads”. At the end of the class, they also order a mix of levels, so the differences found in a real milonga are reproduced in scale.
Lorena and José try to help students to find their own styles. That is why they feel happy when they find that one of them has taken classes with a colleague. “It is useful to know a lot of tango styles, so you can be able to select what is more comfortable for you”, thinks Vázquez. Another permanent aim of their classes is to teach a respectful circulation on the dance floor.
Places, times and prices of these classes can be found in 15 5709-7933. –C.B.

Discs
Quantity and quality

In December 2001 the country was going through its worse crisis in many years. However, at Colón Theatre there was a reason to feel proud to be Argentine: the Orquesta del Tango de Buenos Aires. A timely edition of EPSA shows a concert that the group (sponsored by the Buenos Aires Municipality) gave there in those critical days.
The opportunities provided by the meeting of 29 talented musicians are used by Carlos García, Raúl Garello (permanent directors of the orchestra), Julián Plaza (invited director) and Atilio Stampone (invited in Taconeando). Though the whole work is characterized by a strong presence of chords, each timbre has its place to shine. The violins seems to specially shine in Melódico, but in La Yumba the bandoneons are the ones that get high profile. In candombe Azabache the main role is for percussion and in the milonga Payadora there are solos of cello, bandoneon, double bass and piano. The version of El día que me quieras has an unusual violin solo by Fernando Suárez Paz, who plays as invited musician.
This is a great CD, not only for its symphonic sound but also for the unusual duration of the 15 themes. A chance to remind us that, in spite of the economic situation, good music is a treat we can still have. –C.B.

Buenos Aires Tango Shop
Specialists

It is nice when the shopkeeper is knowledgeable, not only for the customer but also for the clerk, who can feel good about giving fine service. That is what you can find at Buenos Aires Tango Shop, in the heart of Buenos Aires downtown, and fully devoted to tango’s various products. It is just a matter of asking Mr. Gálvez about that musician, singer or recording you are looking for. As a bonus track, they offer an exclusive collection of the collectors company Euro Records, which gathers tangos that were not edited for 60 years.
CDs, books, videos, crafts, souvenirs, posters, dance shoes... and much more can be found at 239 Florida St. Alejandro Scardamaglia (in charge along with Susana Fernández) summarizes it as “everything related to the word tango”. Thus, dance could not be absent. The first floor is a huge room recently restored to learn the secrets of the tango embrace. There are many more classes now than 17 months ago, when the shop opened. There are lessons from 12:30 to 8:30 PM. A staff of 11 teachers give private and group lessons for different levels.
Buenos Aires Tango Shop is open 7 days of the week from 9 AM to 9 PM. More info, call 4326-3737. –C.B.

Milonga de los Consagrados
Anonymous stars

If milongas are basically their dancers, the Milonga de los Consagrados announces the talented character of its habitués from its name. Anonymous “milongueros”, but recognised as figures of wooden and tile floors. The Centro Región Leonesa is a place suited to this pagan celebration. Enrique Rosich, “alma mater” of this encounter, pays tribute to these experienced dancers with periodic exhibitions.
What music suits the taste of these anonymous stars? 90 percent tango, milonga and waltz ideal to dance, seasoned with 10% cumbia and chacarera. DJ Carlitos chooses spicy tango: Tanturi-Castillo, Troilo-Fiorentino, Enrique Rodríguez, De Ángelis, etc. These repertoire includes the classical orchestras, such as Pugliese’s. This musical meal is only interrupted to raffle a champagne bottle or a “picada” among the audience.
The comfortable room at 1462 Humberto Iº St, 1st floor, has a cared-for wooden floor, heating, air conditioned and cheap contiguous parking. Rosich says he has always an eye on the waiters’ work. Maybe that is why he was able to gather 400 people on July 9th, Argentine independence day. Milonga de los Consagrados was born 9 years ago at Italia Unita and had a later version at Lo de Celia. A history that continues each Saturday from 4:30 to 10:30 PM, with a previous class since 3. More info, call 15 4023-5906. –C.B.


Accomodation for dancers
The tango lovers place
Report by Carlos Bevilacqua

As part of the tourism boom post 2002 peso devaluation, new services for foreigners abound in Buenos Aires. One of the fastest growing services is lodging with various options. In some cases, they cater especially to foreign tango dancers.

Case 1.
Lidia lives at 1000 Bolívar St, next to Plaza Dorrego, in San Telmo. She occupies only one of the four 3 room apartments of the building. The rest are rented to tourists, students and dancers, specially foreigners. Her service is called Casa Telmo. Foreigners are the ones that most appreciate the typical surrounding neighbourhood and the furnishings of the house. The cost of rent for a week is between 200 and 250 dollars.

Case 2. Concepción Domínguez used to rent her apartments in Congreso area to Argentines. After 2001 crisis, most of her guests are foreigners who dance tango. For U$S 450 you can have one of her two-room apartments for a month. That amount allows you to use all the services, except international phone calls, which must be paid apart. “At the beginning, I also offered cleaning service –tells Domínguez– but later I noticed that foreigners feel it is an intrusion”. She does change blankets and towels once a week. Concepción speaks English and takes advantage of it: “I always ask people about their stay trying to improve my service”.

Southern houses
Case 3.
Marina is a professional tango dancer who runs two apartments as second job. One of them is in the corner of Belgrano and Entre Ríos avenues; the other one, at Córdoba Ave. and Serrano St., close to some milongas and to the so called Palermo Hollywood. “Experiences with foreigners were always good”, she says. The first one is an old building with a corridor. Its three rooms have wooden floors. Staying there costs U$S 25 per day, but a month is only 500. The Palermo apartment is smaller, it has only two rooms, available for U$S 20 per day. Both are promoted as Casas al Sur (Southern houses).

Case 4.
Dancer Jorge Firpo offers two fully furnished apartments for foreign tourists with the added value of his knowledge of tango that allows him to give advice about classes, “prácticas” and milongas. Both apartments are located in San Telmo. One is a small loft at 800 Defensa St. and the other one a 3 room apartment with terrace at Carlos Calvo and Perú. They have in common a wooden floor that allows one to practice tango steps. The monthly rent is 400 and 600 dollars, respectively. Those amounts include all the usual services, except the cleaning of towels and blankets.

Case 5. Luba is Polish but you cannot notice it in her Spanish since she came to Argentina when she was a girl. She had a family here but once her children grew older, they left. The house –a nice and big apartment at Gascón and Scalabrini Ortiz– remained almost empty and she did not want to sell it. “At the beginning it was very hard to live with strangers, but now I am accustomed to it. Besides, strangers are very respectful”, she tells.

And something more...
Case 6.
On the first floor of a spacious house in Boedo is Unitango. They have 4 rooms available and a room with wooden floor, mirrors and bars to practice tango. The typical Buenos Aires music beats everywhere in Unitango. Its owner, Gabriel Sodini is a tango teacher, the walls are decorated with photos of emblematic artists, a merchandising corner offers attractive products and the whole architecture of the building evokes the golden 1940s. Unitango also offers a discount card for some milongas, restaurants and shoe shops. “We are a dancer’s guesthouse –summarizes Sodini–, we are able to give specific advice for tango tourists”.

Breakfast by the park
Case 7.
The fantasy of waking up in front of Buenos Aires Jardín Botánico (Botanic Garden) is quite attractive. For Marta Molinari it is an everyday reality in her apartment at 3900 Santa Fe Ave. In March 2002 she thought she could sell that nice feeling to foreign tourists. That’s why she now rents two rooms. Marta thinks she made a good decision 3 years ago: “Tango lovers are very special people, they have a positive energy. Besides, as they are plenty of time dancing or sleeping they mean less work than other kinds of tourists”. Her enterprise is called B&B Botánicos, referring to the expression Bed & Breakfast.

Case 8. The Milonga Hostel is located at 921 Ayacucho St. It is a huge and elegant house, warmly decorated with tango images and room for 38 guests. The Milonga Hostel was the idea of a graduate in Tourism Juan Russo, who was helped by his father and his sister to make it real in 2002. The success pushed them to open a more exclusive branch, the Milonga Suites, in 1300 Agüero St. They offer there dance classes and a place to practice. Most of their hosts are European, American and Australian.

Key to some accommodation options follows

Kind of service
Minimum period of service
Maximum capacity
Degree of intimacy
Average cost per month for a couple
“Tango plus”

Apartment in Congreso
conceds@yahoo.com
Apartment rental
One week
4 people per apartment
High
U$S 450
Proximity to milongas, academies and historical coffee-shops.

Casa Telmo
www.casatelmo.com.ar
Apartment rental
One week
5 to 6 people per apartment
High
U$S 550
Proximity to milongas, “prácticas” and historical coffee-shops.

Casas al Sur
casasalsur@hotmail.com
Apartment rental
One day
5 to 6 people per apartment
High
U$S 325
Proximity to milongas, “prácticas” and historical and thematic coffee-shops.

Botánicos B&B
ealonso@ixtus.com.ar
Bed and breakfast
Three days
3 people per room
Medium
U$S 300
Proximity to milongas, “prácticas” and thematic coffee-shops.

Lubatango
www.lubatangohouse.com.ar
Bed and breakfast
One day
2 people per room
Medium
U$S 630
Proximity to milongas, “prácticas” and thematic coffee-shops.

Milonga Hostel
www.milongahostel.com.ar
Hostel (rooms, most of them shared)
One day
Up to 10 people per room
Low
U$S 366 (double room)
Decoration, proximity to milongas and academies. Dance classes and practice room in the Suites version.

San Telmo Apartments for Rent
jfmilonguero@yahoo.com.ar
Apartment rental
One week
5 to 6 people per apartment
High
U$S 350
Proximity to milongas, “prácticas” and thematic coffee-shops. Advice about tango activities.

Unitango
www.unitango.com.ar
Dancers guesthouse (rental of private rooms)
One day
4 people per room
Medium
U$S 360
Decoration, souvenirs, practice room, classes for beginners, advice about tango activities, discounts in tango shops.

Explanation: To estimate the costs we took the cheaper options, considering the minimum intimacy conditions for a couple.


World news
Close french embrace
France

Dancer Veronique Boucasse made her acquaintance with tango in 1994, working in the musical play Mortadela, written by Alfredo Arias. Thierry Le Coq joined her four years later, when she invited him to a dance class. Soon they were a professional couple and in 1999 they started to give classes in Paris.
“The pleasure of transmitting knowledge to our students and the response we get is the best present we can have”
, the maintain. They give 6 classes per week in Paris and workshops in other cities of France and foreign countries. They define themselves as passionate people devoted to musicality. They learnt with “vieja guardia” masters, such as Eduardo Arquimbau, Víctor Convalia and Néstor Ray but also with more contemporary teachers, such as Pablo Verón, Gustavo Naveira, Federico Moreno and Mariano Frúmboli.
They say they are the only milonguero style teachers in France. “We promote improvisation”, they maintain. They focus their work on energy, beat and style, “looking for an optimum relation between body expression and dance technique”. Each role has its goal in their lessons: for men, to improve the posture and to get a clear lead; for women, to reach the maximum sensitivity and to keep an equilibrium between looseness and resistance. “Tango dance allows a higher freedom of expression and a development through partnering”, can be read in the web site of Veronique and Thierry, http://tangoneon.site.voila.fr.
As a funny story, Thierry remembers once a student said during a class: “I don’t like modern tangos, such as those of Ástor Pizzaiola”.
In 2005 Le Coq and Boucasse have taken part in the festivals of Brussels (Belgium), Florence (Italy) and in July gave a workshop in Hong Kong.
Asked about their dreams, they declare these wishes: “To take part in a famous Argentine company in order to feel dance in a different way, and also to feel the magical emotion of tango for the rest of our lives”. –C.B.

Sweden
The oldest amusement park of the country, in Malmöe, is the location of the Milonga del Parque, idea of Argentine dancer Marcela Troncoso. In one of the most famous restaurants of Folkets Park, Marcela organises a milonga in the best Argentine style every Wednesday from 7 to 11 PM. Before the milongas, Marcela gives a class for different levels with Juan José Passo, guitarrist and leader of the Swedish-Argentine orchestra Tangarte. As well as a place for meals and drinks, the wooden floor has room for a “tango market”, where Troncoso can show her abilities as plastic artist and clothes designer.
The Milonga del Parque, usually including live music, is confirmed for the whole summer, but might be continued for the rest of the year.


History
Famous strangers (II)
Hidden authors
by Héctor Benedetti

Not all tangos have legal parents. For decades, some creators preferred to register some works with nicknames or in code. In the following lines we discover some of them.

Mr. Pancho Laguna

In an interview done in 1934, journalist Héctor Bates said he didn’t fear lyrics writer Pancho Laguna since he did not exist. However, many scores announced his name on the covers. Famous songs, such as tangos Cachadora, Dímelo al oído and Churrasca and the ranchera En la tranquera (also known as A Mar del Plata yo me quiero ir), bore this man’s name.
Many people knew who he really was: Francisco Lomuto, who signed as Pancho Laguna when he wrote lyrics. For this great pianist, composer and orchestra director, the most reliable person was himself. Fortunately, when Lomuto was part of SADAIC, he didn’t name his “alter ego” to any position, though this alter ego was an author that created quite an income.

Cadifón, the forgotten composer
Even stranger is the case of Cadifón, where three people turn into one. We know only one work signed by Cadifón: the tango Créase o no. It was recorded by Francisco Canaro and his orchestra, Ada Falcón and once again by Canaro with a chorus, all in 1932. Cadifón was the nickname of three artists: Francisco Canaro, Enrique Santos Discépolo and Roberto Fontaina. Créase o no was the only piece they did together and the next year nobody remembered it. It was a pity.

When nobody wants to take charge
Both Laguna and Cadifón were at least shields for real people. In the 1910s, instead, there were pieces written by abstract or blurred entities. The background of this custom must be researched in literature. Even today it is not clear who was the author of A five year’s residence in Buenos Aires during the years 1820 to 1825, signed by “Englishman”. Eighty or ninety years later, this idea –usually just for political leaflets or pornographic novels– was often taken by composers. Ángel Villoldo, for instance, was “Juan Techuna” and “Alberto Techotra” in five discs by Columbia Record.
In 1906 someone recorded for Odeón a comic text called Noche de bodas written by “a widower”. The famous writer Eugenio López preferred to be known as “Ex-anarchist” or as “A postman” for some Era recordings, after 1909. Before that year, Odeón published Batifondo en un Chantant, composed by “Those that did it”.
Many other discs and scores looked similar and not all of the authors’ identities could be revealed. In the beginning of the 1930s Canaro recorded Canto tradicional del Club Atlético River Plate (Traditional singing of River Plate Club), whose label said “Composed by Arturo Antelo and X. X.” In this way they avoided admitting that the music was the same as the famous Irish march Tiperary, written by Judge and Williams.


Tangothic revelations (II)
Mi noche triste
by Dr. Eugenio Rataplán

Defying a rain of criticism, Dr. Rataplán insists on giving his exotic versions of famous lyrics. In the following lines, he even reinterprets a fundamental tango.


One of the key steps in the so called tango evolution was the introduction of the word. Mi noche triste, by Pascual Contursi, was premiered by the French (maybe Uruguayan but never Argentine) Carlos Gardel in 1917. It was the first officially sung tango and it turned the spicy and witty spirit of the first composers that frequented brothels into a sad, gloomy and even catacomb-like dirge.

The kind of woman described by Contursi is curious: Percanta que me amuraste en lo mejor de mi vida (Woman, who left me in the best moment of my life). We can see that the woman does not leave him when he is sad and poor (as these wretched beings usually do). No, this woman waits until his best moment in life to leave him as if he had a bad deodorant.

However, after a meticulous study, I can explain why that poor woman left that idiot. First, we can find a sticky use of diminutives in his speech: “bizcochitos”, “matecito”, “frasquitos”, “moñitos”. This shows a childlike behaviour (his mother’s fault, maybe) and announces a language typical of a feminine TV channel. And if we think this is the first official tango lyrics, the readers can evaluate the kind of aesthetic parameters Pascual was imposing on his successors.

But the immature behaviour of this story’s main character goes further. Let’s think (I don’t know if you have ever done it, submissive tango lovers) about the following phrase: Me paso largo rato campaneando tu retrato pa' poderme consolar (I keep looking at your picture for a long time trying to console myself). This man appeals to melancholic and recreational self satisfaction! This even makes us doubt if he really complied with his husband’s commitment through the contact of bodies. Perhaps, this man agreed with Osvaldo Fresedo’s philosophy exposed in Vida mía, where the poet sings about a feeling that grows with the distancing of bodies: Vida mía, lejos más te quiero (My darling, when I am far I love you more).

Considering some insults received after my humble reflections, I would like to clarify that I am not trying to hurt anybody. I am just cauterizing old wounds that needed to be amputated.

Mi noche triste (1917)
Lyrics: Pascual Contursi
Music: Samuel Castriota


Percanta que me amuraste
en lo mejor de mi vida
dejándome el alma herida
y espinas en el corazón,
sabiendo que te quería,
que vos eras mi alegría
y mi sueño abrasador;
para mí ya no hay consuelo
y por eso me encurdelo
pa’ olvidarme de tu amor.

Cuando voy a mi cotorro
y lo veo desarreglado,
todo triste, abandonado,
me dan ganas de llorar,
y me paso largo rato
campaneando tu retrato
pa’ poderme consolar.

De noche, cuando me acuesto,
No puedo cerrar la puerta,
porque dejándola abierta
me hago ilusión que volvés.

Siempre traigo bizcochitos
pa’ tomar con matecito
como cuando estabas vos...
Y si vieras la catrera
como se pone cabrera
cuando no nos ve a los dos.

Ya no hay en el bulín
aquellos lindos frasquitos
adornados con moñitos
todos del mismo color;
Y el espejo está empañado,
Si parece que ha llorado
por la ausencia de tu amor.

La guitarra en el ropero
todavía está colgada;
nadie en ella canta nada
ni hace sus cuerdas vibrar.
Y la lámpara del cuarto
también tu ausencia ha sentido
porque su luz no ha querido
mi noche triste alumbrar.




Pedacito de cielo
Carlos Gavito
27/4/1942 - 1/7/2005

Musicality

“Forever Tango was the longest lasting Latin show in Broadway’s history. One night, Gavito was dancing A Evaristo Carriego as part of that show, attended by many of his students. Unexpectedly, while he was going backward embracing his partner to end their choreography, one of Gavito’s patent leather shoes stuck to the other and he fell to the floor, but without losing a beat. Keeping the relation with the music, he reached over and embraced Marcela Durán (both lying on the floor) in the exact moment when the last chord was playing. It was fantastic. Most of the audience thought it was prepared”. Carlos Morel (ex-guitarist of Forever Tango and author of Milonga para Gavito)
Armandito
Jesús Velázquez
Juan Bruno
Sexteto Mayor
El Arranque
Festival y Mundial
Mariano Montes
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