Orlando Paiva

Real name: Martínez, Orlando Manuel
(1 December 1935 - 28 November 2006)
Place of birth:
Rosario (Santa Fe) Argentina
Gustavo Benzecry Sabá

e belonged to that kind of teachers who had no need to tell others what he was. His sole presence, humble and diligent, was enough.

Every day he practiced posture, balance and foot position facing the mirror.

He taught tango dancing in the United States, Chile and Japan for over 45 years and he created more than 100 figures. The most famous one, maybe was, «el puente» (the bridge), in early 1950.

Around the 70’s, with his wife Rosa and their two children, he moved to the United States. Something of his dancing can be seen in Robert Duvall’s Assassination Tango.

In the 80’s he came back to Rosario, where he continued teaching until his last days. The Rosario government, in a touching ceremony, placed a plaque with his name on Ovidio Lagos and Güemes, now recognized as «la esquina Orlando Paiva» (O.P.’s street corner). One month later he was declared a «distinguished artist» of the city.

Paiva was a gentleman in every sense. Once, at the end of an exhibition in San Francisco, somebody told him: «You’ve looked so handsome and simple». And he, with his customary shy smile, briefly replied: «Simple». And that was what defined him best.

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