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Tag: milonguero

Tango, Buenos Aires

Tango, Buenos Aires

Néstor Pellicciaro

I wanted to write everything.

From Claudiu Grosaru, Rumania.

I wanted to write everything. In one article. I wanted to let you know it was going to be a cabbage. But I gave up. Maybe I’ll make a cabbage from the following articles, but not from this one. Because I have a special reason – I will write about two people I love and respect a lot.
 
In December 2013, I met Nestor. It only took me a few minutes to see that he was a special man. Smart, joking, neat, refined. In three months I discovered him as a teacher. With an unforgiving eye for any mistake, with a didactic oriented to do and not to say, with many and repetitive exercises, meant to make you understand the essence yourself. I think Nestor is that teacher that only those who have gone through hard training, such as martial arts, ballet … can understand.
 
It was a great joy to see him again this year. And the joy doubled when I saw him teaching in tandem with another man I hadn’t been able to reach six years ago, although I really liked him at the milongi – Blas. But about Blas, a little later.
As I expected, as if he were my brother in teaching, Nestor started, of course, with criticism … The “motorcyclist” side step, the pelvis too far in front, the center too low, the lack of dance height, excessive use of heels …. pfuuu! For the most part, there were flaws that I had seen in my filming. Others, however, I have developed intentionally and consider them elements of personal style. I don’t know, maybe there are things I’m not ready to change.
 
All in all, Nestor is a kind-hearted man and may be the best friend in the world, but he remains one of the most demanding teachers in Buenos Aires. I admit that he managed to make me grit my teeth, or shed tears of resentment, a few times, but there are things you only change when you are taken out of your comfort zone. I hope to be able to send him, in a while, a video in which he won’t see mistakes … But I’m lying, I hope he sees as many as possible, so that I have something to work on and correct. 🙂

Blas Catrenau Maestro Milonguero

Blas is a milonguero. I admired him many times in 2014. A man you always see on the patrol, addicted to dancing. He has a personal style that stands out easily. It even has a very nice navigation philosophy. In short, a man I wanted to meet and learn from. Well, it looks like I was lucky. And as a bonus, I discovered another man with a big heart, friendly, attentive, modest.
 
From Blas I learned (I hope) some traditional structures. I also learned that you have to listen to the woman (sic!) And let her dance, but also that she has to impose her dance. And he told me about taking height in dance and about posture. I admit that I neglected the look a lot. I have practiced for a long time with lower height partners and I tend to crouch to be at their height. So far, no one has explained to me how I can reconcile the difference in height. But, of course, the answer was obvious: a hug.
 
I learned a lot about hugs from Blas. Of course, and he pulled me out of my comfort zone. It has given me food for thought for many years. The first of these is “control versus freedom, in embrace.”
What intrigued me a lot and made me think hard was the musicality. I had noticed the minimalism of those in Buenos Aires, but now I was guided to dance it by an excellent teacher.
By the time of Buenos Aires 2020, I understood not to dance linear rhythmically (“Three bumpy kids”), to follow the melodic line with sanctity, to respect the pauses, to set dynamics through accelerations and slowdowns, not to start on the first measure, to I also listen to music and women, etc.
 
Along with those taught by Blas, I noticed a terrible paradigm shift between Argentines and us – the break. No, very good dancers in Argentina don’t look for a break, they don’t respect a break, they don’t dance a break, as we try. For them, the break is natural. They are in no hurry, they do not want to dance everything. For them, the break is the tango. After all, why would you want to be an orchestral instrument that plays all the time? Isn’t it better when you can enjoy music, working less? Those two words, which Blas kept telling me, “quiet” and “soft”, took on a special meaning for me. I don’t know if I will be able to detach myself from the idea of dancing everything, but I promise to try to understand these two notions.
I wanted to share a little of my experience with these two special people. They were extremely warm and friendly with us, but also very good teachers. Thank you very much and I hope to someday live up to their expectations.
 
So far so good. I still have stories from Buenos Aires, with wonderful people from there, but all in their own time. 😉

Original in Rumanian language…

argentine tango, Buenos Aires, dance, investigation, milonguero, music

Looking for things to do in Buenos Aires?

If you visit Buenos Aires, even for a short time, you can’t leave without taking Argentine Tango classes.

Get an introduction to the secrets of the romantic Argentine dance at Escuela de Tango de Buenos Aires, an institution dedicated to promoting and preserving the art of Tango, very well located in the Congreso area (Balvanera), close to “Subte” (underground) terminals, at the very center of the city, counting on a staff integrated by the very best Maestros, who will inspire and instruct you in group classes as well as private lessons.

You would like also going to a milonga (Argentine Tango dance party) where you will see the best Tango show: the milongueros (people who regularly dance since decades) dancing passionately in their own environment. Escuela de Tango de Buenos Aires assist you in making it a pleasant experience.

The city of Buenos Aires is a work of art. It would be wonderful to guide you through its neighborhoods: Palermo, Congreso, La Boca, Puerto Madero, San Telmo and end walking on Florida Street at downtown. Please contact us.

 

argentine tango, Buenos Aires, class, dance, milonguero, tango music, teaching

“El Choclo” by Ángel D’Agostino y su Orquesta Típica with Ángel Vargas in vocals (1941)

Ángel Villoldo

Composer and lyricist
(16 February 1861 – 14 October 1919)

He bears the title of Father of Tango, a somewhat exaggerated qualification because there were many circumstances which originated our music. But his influence was so important in the beginnings and its development which made him deserve this designation.

He is the great transformer of the Spanish tanguillos, the cuplés, the habaneras, turning those musics into a River Plate rhythm.

A natural artist, he avoided no activity which enabled him to earn some money for a living. It is said that he was a typographer, circus clown and any other job he was required for.

He was also a cuarteador (a person taking care of an extra horse or joke of oxen for dragging uphill) in the neighborhoods far from downtown. He was a horserider who used to wait for the arrival of a big coach or a streetcar at the bottom of slopes to help them get out of the mud or to go uphill. This meant to fasten the vehicle with a rope tied to his horse and help it in the effort.

With a facility for writing, he devised stanzas for carnival costumed groups and numerous poems and prose writings for well-known magazines of the time: Caras y caretas, Fray Mocho and P.B.T.

All through his work is present the wit sarcasm, and his dialogues were thought for the common man’s tongue and were always referred to real situations in the leasehold houses, the neighborhood and, many times, to love affairs which portrayed the way of speaking and behavior of the lowest social level of our society.

His wit, his facility in speaking, helped him to mix up with payadores and to put forward performances of scarse formality and, sometimes, completely shameless.

Always accompanying himself on guitar, with a harmonica added, he succeeded in telling stories by singing, which encouraged the audiences at the low cafés and joints. Continue reading.

argentine tango, Buenos Aires, class, dance, history, investigation, lesson, milonguero

El Cachafaz Carmencita Calderón - Legendarios bailarines de nuestro tango

Ovidio José Benito Bianquet “El Cachafaz”

El Cachafaz

Dancer
(14 February 1885 – 7 February 1942)

His story is part of the tango mythology, a legend, today very few who had witnessed his life or his art remain. His image was captured on the film Tango, premiered in 1933, where he can be seen with his partner Carmencita Calderón, just a girl under 20 years old.

He looked like as if he were not very smart from waist downwards, with a well upright body, but with too much feet movement, possibly due to the film maker´s instructions, to attract people’s attention.

His nickname remained for our everyday history as his definitive first and last names: El Cachafaz.

According to the lunfardo dictionary by Adolfo Enrique Rodríguez, cachafaz, means: rascal, shameless, insolent, rogue, idler.

It is possible he had been and it is possible he had not, his face inspired doubts. Combed a la gomina (with a sticky paste), the hair tightly pulled backwards, Indian-like features and pock-marked, he always appeared with a serious countenance on pictures and on movies. Read more.

argentine tango, Buenos Aires, dance, history, milonguero, teaching

Myriam Pincen & Blas Catrenau

Myriam Pincen con Blas Catrenau dancing at “El Maipú Milonga”, January 2018

Myriam Pincen

“My classes aim to instruct and encourage the dance of Tango Salón Tradicional Argentino, a knowledge that I have acquired over more than 30 years of study with various teachers such as: Miguel Gutierrez, Eduardo Arquimbau, Mingo Pugliese, Pepito Avellaneda, J.C. Copez among others, with whom I not only learned to dance but also to teach dance, scene and choreography.
In my classes we work everything you need to dance tango on a dance floor: posture, musicality, balance, cadence, styles, different orchestras, lead and follow, adornments, codes, floor craft, etc.
The final goal is that all can access to enjoy a good tango dance and also to transcend our Buenos Aires’ culture for the next generations.”

Blas Catrenau

He started dancing tango in his early youth among other young men at the practice studio of Crisol and Verné. Later he attended several carnival balls organized at local clubs such as San Lorenzo de Almagro.

Since then he never stopped dancing and attending the most important clubs of his time, like Club Unidos de Pompeya, Club Huracán, Club Social y Sportivo Buenos Aires, Club Social Rivadavia, Palacio Rivadavia, Club Almagro, Chacarita, Premier, Editorial Haines, etc. In his youth he often danced at the main tango bars of Buenos Aires, such as Picadilly, Sans Souci, Montecarlo, and many more.

At the early ‘90s, he started organizing “milongas” himself. From 2003 to 2009 he leaded “La Milongüita”, one of the most famous “milongas” in Buenos Aires. In 2002 he won the First Metropolitan Tango Championship in Buenos Aires. In 2003 he obtained the Tango Teacher degree released by Buenos Aires City Government. He was then authorized to teach at the Centro Educativo del Tango de Buenos Aires (CETBA), created by Masters and Dancers Gloria and Rodolfo DINZEL.

His passion for dancing as well as the harmony he shares with his partner and the gracefulness of his movements, capture and celebrate the essence of traditional TANGO.

argentine tango, Buenos Aires, dance, milonguero, teaching

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