Marcelo Solis was born in Argentina. Through his family and the community that saw his upbringing, Marcelo has been intimately involved with Tango all his life. Marcelo has been an Argentine Tango dancer, choreographer and instructor for over 25 years. He’s love for Tango dancing and tango music, particularly from the 1930’s through the 1940’s, is undeniable when you meet him. Marcelo is a milonguero.
See more at http://escuelatangoba.com/marcelosolis/about-me/
Is celebrated in Argentina on December 11. This date was chosen to commemorate the birthday of two men: Carlos Gardel, a prominent figure in the history of tango, and Julio de Caro, the orchestra conductor in the tango genre.
We should thank composer Ben Molar for Establishment of National Tango Day. He came up with the idea that de Caro and Gardel were born on the same day, that is why he decided organize a special celebration. He presented his proposal to the Secretary of Culture of the Municipality in Buenos Aires, but he was refused. It took long 11 years and a final ultimatum to organize Tango Day and receive a coverage by mass media on his own. Finally it worked and Tango Day was organized in Buenos Aires on December 11, 1977. The same year the celebration of Tango Day was promoted to the national level.
These lessons focus on pivot’s change of direction or boleo, isolation, open and closed side of embrace.
For these videos, our music choice was some of the first recordings of Anibal Troilo y su Orquesta Típica with Francisco Fiorentino in vocals. Practice and enjoy it!
Try these exercises and please let us know if you have any questions.
Singer, actor, composer and lyricist
(7 December 1914 – 23 July 2002)
The very peculiar style of Alberto Castillo maybe has something to do with the mocking (humorous) grace of outskirts origin of Rosita Quiroga, Sofía Bozán or Tita Merello. But in no way these are influences; neither have they similarity among them nor Castillo resembles them. Simply, we could group them —and add them to the subsequent Elba Berón— because they are united by a common air, the same unpolished cadence.
However, when Castillo faces deep themes, the tenderness he conveys is striking. Definitively, he is a «voice that does not sound like any other’s voice», as the unforgettable Julián Centeya wisely said. Nor his style is like anyone’s; when he himself said that his peculiar phrasing was what the dancers needed —«people moved according to the nuances of my voice»—, He said to himself: «Here’s the thing!» (something that was needed, that is eagerly awaited), and he never deviated from that way of singing, of that natural style of tango, to which a detail of great importance must be added: his perfect intonation. Continue reading.
Pianist, leader, composer.
(2 December 1905 – 25 July 1995)
Of the greatest importance was, when his orchestra finally recorded in 1943, the arrival of Roberto Chanel, tough singer, with nasal sound and compadrito style, who left 31 recordings. To achieve a contrast, Pugliese included Alberto Morán as vocalist because of his dramatism, sensuality, his rare quality for the mezza voce and perfect match with the orchestral accompaniment. His appeal on women has never been equaled by any other singer. Morán left 48 recorded songs. Between 1949 and 1950, Jorge Vidal, another of the popular voices in the history of this orchestra, recorded only eight. Among the subsequent singers outstand, although with repertories of irregular quality, Jorge Maciel and Miguel Montero. Read more…
Listen to “El Chamuyo” by Francisco Canaro y su Orquesta Típica (1933):
Musician, violinist, leader and composer.
(26 November 1888 – 14 December 1964)
Francisco Canaro, artistic name of Francisco Canaroso, was born in Uruguay in 1888.
During his early childhood he moved with his family to Buenos Aires, where they rented a room in a “conventillo”, collective form of accommodation or housing in which several poor families shared a house, typically one family for each room using communal sanitary services. His family was very poor. Later, he would become one of the wealthiest people in Argentina, and a major contributor to the diffusion of Tango in Buenos Aires, the rest of Argentina and abroad. He went on to be very involved in the struggle for musicians and composers rights, making it possible to make a living for musicians and generating incentives for them to improve and be creative. His life runs parallel to the history of Tango: starting in the poorest neighborhoods of Buenos Aires, moving up the social ladder, eventually achieving world wide recognition. Continue reading.
These lessons focus on foot change, parallel and crossed systems, and ochos.
For these videos, our music choice was some of the first instrumental recordings of the Orquesta Típica conducted by Carlos Di Sarli: “El Señor del Tango”. Practice and enjoy it!
Try these exercises and please let us know if you have any questions.
2– Tango is embodied. You can see it. It is that person or that couple dancing, which lets you know -intuitively, but nevertheless as undoubtedly real to you as objective empirical knowledge- what Tango is.
You want to Tango because you want to be different from yourself. You know that you have not fully expressed all your capabilities. You have been exhausting yourself in many cul de sacs of life, never reaching a sense of self-approval with your achievements, never being satisfied with the recognition you receive from others: your boss, your colleagues, your friends or family.
When you see Tango, you can see it, you get a strong sensation of knowing what you could be.
You realize that it is not anything on the surface. It is in the deepest knots of your web of existence that Tango has to be rooted.
You must learn Tango from whom presented it to you. You must ask to that person or that couple who made you become electrified, amazed you and made you feel that you must dance Tango, to teach you, or to recommend to you someone from whom you need to learn it. Tango is not a commodity. You cannot get Tango like gas from a gas station. You do not look for an advertisement for tango lessons and go to the one that is closest to your home, the most convenient or the cheapest.
3– Tango defies you, challenges you, faces you, shouts at you, demands from you, puts you through pain. Take it all. Be ready to feel uncomfortable, to have pointed out to you what you do not like about yourself and maybe always tried to ignore and hide. It will all float to the surface of Tango and you will need to deal with it face to face. Continue reading.
I got into tango because I needed to do something beautiful with my life, something fun, a little bit transgressor. I was alone, I had recently divorced, and having a tough time emotionally, and tango was a good option. So I began going to tango, to the academies, to the few that existed at that time. The teaching methods were very different. This was twenty years ago, therefore we did not have the difussion we have today. Many began with me those days, and some of us became professionals.
Before I began taking classes I knew what a regular argentinian of my age knows, somebody who tipically did not dance tango while growing up. When I was a child I got a little glimpse of tango but as something very naive. I used to go along with my dad to listen to Troilo playing live, even when my dad was not into the milonga scene. But Buenos Aires smells tango. The cities have a noise. The noise of Buenos Aires is tango. So even though you have not been in the tango scene, you have listened to tangos as a child at home, in the street, and you have seen people dancing tango. And this is true for me as well, although I come from the age of rock. The music that I listened to or that I have fun was rock and roll.
I’ve donne lots of things: yoga, bioenergetic dance, ballet, and that all helped me when it came to do tango.
I learned with some very good teachers, but mainly with the milongueros. I was very trapped into the whole milonga scene, for me it was a new and magical world, an unknown and at the same time very interesting world.
And I’m still loving tango because its musical embrace and for all I learned and I still do. Tango gave me the knowledge of my feminine side, the consiousness of how I really am as opposed to how I thought I was. It gave me things for my life outside of tango and realized how I am with respect to the masculine. I used to think my surrender was much more than what it really was. And I faced the fact that I was afraid to the other sex, as well I knew how fearful is the opposite sex to one’own. But dancing tango made me enjoy the body dialog.
To dance became balsamic for my soul. The moment in what you dance is eternal and evanescent at the same time, since what happens to you at that moment trascends all the rest that is making you feel sad or somber of whatever it’s you are feeling.
After the mid-thirties, international music prevailed upon tango, to such an extent, that our more traditional tango orchestras included foxtrots, polkas, corridos, pasodobles, congas and rhumbas in its repertoire.
Since Francisco Canaro, Francisco Lomuto and the Típica Victor until Julio De Caro and Osvaldo Fresedo, they alternated tangos with the most extravagant music.
But the appearance of the audacious and fast beat of Juan D’Arienzo, again placed tango into the preference of the young, who not only recovered the liking for its dance, but also eagerly started to recreate it.
Hundred of orchestras and vocalists sprang up then, creating the revival of the two-four and so came the wonderful forties.
Alfredo De Angelis belongs to the group of orchestras that focused their interest on dancing. This, however, does not mean they lacked artistic value, on the contrary, they were precise in execution, with good arrangements and were lined-up with great musicians and vocalists.
Our intellectual élite always looked down on popular things, on what was easily accepted by people’s choice, because they disregarded, and disregard the sociocultural phenomenon represented by dancing.
I always heard people say that De Angelis was a merry-go-round orchestra, that it only was of use for dancing rooms, that it lacked creativity. I guess the expression made allusion to the funny habit of the dancers of their displacement on the place turning round following the outline of the dancing floor. From other point of view, the criticism may aim at the easy, elementary and routine music of the merry-go-rounds (carrousels).
I find these definitions somewhat mistaken.
De Angelis had the beauty of a harmonious and synchronized work, from which a neat simple tango was evidenced, achieved through an efficient handling of rhythm, a careful respect for melody and the showcasing of the singer. Continue reading.
Manzi has given, like no one else, poetry to tango lyrics. He was a poet who never published a book of poems. His poetry was evidenced only through songs, from country themes to urban music, the latter where he would be at his best. In this way he became immensely popular without giving up his poet feelings. He resorted to metaphors, even surrealist, but never so much as to prevent ordinary people from fully understanding his message. He never used lunfardo (Buenos Aires slang or argot) in his literary pieces, although his work was very much addressed to a popular audience. Unlike other great authors, his lyrics are not chronicles of the social reality nor do they convey moral messages. Longing and nostalgia are often present in his verses as in tango itself. Through them, Manzi depicts people and things with tenderness and sympathy. The poor -suburban- neighborhood is his great stage. His tango “Sur”, 1948, with music written by the bandoneon player Anibal Troilo, possibly the most superb work in the genre in that glamorous decade, summarizes the essence of his work.
Homero Nicolás Manzione, as he was truly named, was born to an Uruguayan mother and Argentine father (as tango itself) in Añatuya, a railway junction in the Province of Santiago del Estero, a virtually desert province in the North East region of Argentina. There his father tried to make a living as a modest farm owner. At the age of 7, Homero had already moved to Buenos Aires to start his studies at Colegio Luppi, a school in the humble and distant Pompeya district. Each component in that landscape -from the long wall along which he walked on his way to school to the railway embankment, as if a magic combination of city and pampa- would be caught in his lyrics to come, such as those of “Barrio de tango” (1942) and “Sur”. Continue reading.