Pedrín de San Telmo

Real name:
(n/d - n/d)
Place of birth:
Buenos Aires Argentina
Gustavo Benzecry Sabá

ll things about him are wild guesses, save for the fact that he was among the pioneering dancers of our tango. Some opinions hold that his parents were Spaniards and had arrived at the River Plate banks between the mid- and the late years of the nineteenth century, among so many immigrants that came from Europe.

They also say that his family had settled in a tenement house near the old plaza del Comercio, now plaza Dorrego. In any case, on that same location Pedrín inherited his love for dancing and, when he was not yet fifteen, he entered the tango scene.

By that time he stood out among the dancers of the outskirts. He became a frequenter of corners and tango venues. He began to develop a way of interpreting dancing to which he added figures that would bear his own stamp.
By 1899 he was regarded as the most outstanding dancer of his generation.

Some used to call him Pedrín de San Telmo, identifying him with the parish which became a neighborhood in the early years of the twentieth century. Others called him Pedrín el Tuerto (the one-eyed).

By that time he used to dance with La Flaca (skinny girl) Rosa. But his greatest contribution, besides being a pioneer dancer in tango, was that he influenced and taught a youngster who, paradoxically, would overthrow him and later became a legend: El Cachafaz.

The author is instructor, dancer and researcher of tango dance. He is author of the Nuevo glosario de tango danza, La pista del abrazo, Tango FAQs and Los legionarios del abrazo – Historia del tango danza 1800-1983. /