El Negro Pavura

Real name: Cantero, Luis María
(n/d - n/d)
Place of birth:
Gustavo Benzecry Sabá

ack in 1912 he used to pass by the corner of Blandengues and Echeverría, perhaps to listen to the tango tunes that came from behind the doors of a dance hall. Then he was enjoying his youth. He was a horse trainer in a stud stable of the Bajo Belgrano, when that neighborhood still had a horse racing track. Encouraged by curiosity, one day he entered the ballroom —in fact, a tango academy directed by El Cachafaz— and then he began his practice.

Later he followed his teacher when the latter moved to the Academia Olimpo, on Centroamérica 1461 (now Pueyrredón Street). Little by little he evidenced skills and frequented dancing venues. Thereafter, in 1926, he gave classes and founded the Dancing Blue dance studio on Sucre and Artilleros, which later moved to a local on Cabildo Street, between Olazábal and Mendoza.

Quite often he danced with La Peti and, some other time, after the El Cachafaz’s death, with Carmencita Calderón. By the time he realized it, Luis María Cantero had already earned the sobriquet of El Negro Pavura (The Frightening Black) due to the fear he stirred up when he displayed his art.

His face is unknown; but he is among those great dancers like El Gallego Méndez or El Tarila, that generation of virtuosi that developed the tango choreography when tango still did not include lyrics, its music conveyed happiness and dancing only meant having fun.

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