Marta Antón

Real name: Antón, Marta Elena
(31 May 1939 - 7 February 2015)
Place of birth:
Laguna Alsina (Buenos Aires) Argentina
Gustavo Benzecry Sabá

e always used to see her with a surly expression, seated with her aligned back, attentive to the dancing track with hawk eyes; but when you got in touch with her or when you watched her dance, she displayed a smile that lit the salon.

Marta Elena Antón was born in Bonifacio, Laguna Alsina, county of Guaminí, in the southern area of the province of Buenos Aires, but back in 1945, with her family, she arrived in Buenos Aires, settled in Floresta and began to develop her passion.

«I’m Gemini on Gemini –she used to say to this writer–. I liked the stage, theater, and I wanted to be a dancer». She studied classical dancing at the Teatro Colón, later Spanish dances and thereafter, folk dancing. At age 16, then an experienced dancer, she graduated as teacher in dressmaking.

«I always studied and worked. Sticking to timetables, the day is worthwhile 24 hours». She also studied hairdressing, accounting, typing, English. Around the late 1950s, always accompanied by her mother, she got into a milonga. «I used to go where people danced well: the Social Rivadavia, it was a house with many rooms one after the other, painted in light gray and pearly gray colors. The access was through a hallway and the one who sold the admission tickets and rented the neckties was there; you were not allowed to dance if you didn’t wear a tie or a white shirt. Mom used to sew and I frequently changed my clothes. Then the bell bottom skirt (bell-shaped skirt with movement) was in vogue».

Little by little she learnt to dance tango. «I learnt at the milonga, by daring and trying. I had spent many years in handling my body and it didn’t turn out difficult. People always praised my feet, my way of stepping as if I were floating». In the 80s, maestro Antonio Todaro asked her to be his assistant at the Salón Canning, so she worked with him in three academies. Later, by studying she made her gifts be showcased.

She teamed up with Luis Grondona and, devoted to spreading the canyengue style, she recorded videos for the TV program El Yeite on Canal Solo Tango; she appeared in the play Marathon, at the Teatro Colón and appeared in the movies Funes, un gran amor (Raúl de la Torre, 1993) and Evita (Alan Parker, 1996).

Years later, her couple in tango and in her life was El Gallego Manolo (Manuel María Salvador) and she carried out an international career based on the canyengue style. She founded the MOCCA (Movimiento Cultural Canyengue Argentino) and broadcasted a dancing style worldwide that for many ones seemed gone by.

A great portion of her exhibitions can be found in YouTube and in private collections. Marta Antón was mother, teacher, and professional; but above all she was a representative of discipline, an example that shows that you can do what you want when you love it.

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. /