El Turco José

Real name: Brahemcha, José
(17 July 1931 - 15 April 2010)
Place of birth:
Buenos Aires Argentina
Gustavo Benzecry Sabá

e was not wearing long trousers yet when in the mid- 40s, with his close friend El Perita, he joined a practice at the Asociación de Fomento y Cultura Villa Cerini, in Saavedra, his home neighborhood.

By that time he had in mind his mother’s voice because she used to sing tangos and encouraged him to dance in order to get acquainted with girls. Little by little he was appearing at clubs, friends’ houses and neighborhood balls until he finally danced at a carnival ball in the Club Ausonia Montañeses in Colegiales.

Thereafter, with his uncle, he would go to the Club Huracán, in Villa Martelli, to practice the two roles on a basketball field. But it was in Villa Urquiza, thanks to Milonguita (Luis Lemos), where he finally found his road.

He developed a tango style closely connected to the ground, with original figures, with straight soft, elegant movements. He preferred melodic tangos like those played by Pugliese. He listened to the latter’s “La yumba” due to the only single 78 rpm disc his family owned. Time later he appeared with Nelly Acosta, became a dance instructor and was a tango reference in Villa Urquiza.

El Turco José, as José Brahemcha was known, used to say: «Never dance for the audience but for your dancing partner» and «Don’t dance to everything. But only to what you feel, to what touches you». And this immortal teaching forged maestros.

The author is instructor, dancer and researcher of tango dance. He is author of the Nuevo glosario de tango danza, La pista del abrazo and Tango FAQs. www.tangosalon.com.ar / info@tangosalon.com.ar