Carlos Alberto Anzuate

Real name: Anzuate, Carlos Alberto
Nicknames: El Negro Carlos
(31 May 1930 - 9 November 2013)
Place of birth:
Gustavo Benzecry Sabá

e was one of the last Afro-Argentine milongueros. He was born when the American swing was climbing to its peak and from a very young age he evidenced his skills to dance it. However, he managed to combine that passion with candombe and tango dance.

«I learnt to dance on my own, at age twelve, in 1942, –he told me–, by watching how people danced in a backyard, in engagements and weddings. I started at El Conventillo de Rawson, which encompassed nearly a block. It was between Cangallo (now Perón) and Sarmiento Streets and there was an entrance on Rawson and an entrance on Gascón. Married couples used to gather there on Saturdays. Next door, close to the door on Gascón, the Club Almagro was. Sometimes I used to climb a dividing wall and watched some guys dancing with their hats on. They were of the 1930s!»

Soon thereafter, between 1953-54, Carlos Anzuate organized balls at the Club Mitre (Segurola 1332). «The first who came to dance were Tin and Sarita, who danced with Troilo. Later, Kalisay with the Turca Elsa, who danced fast tango-milonga and vals fantasía –in which the two looked towards the same front–, and much later Cabito (Eduardo Ernesto Lopardo) with Matilde».

Little by little he imposed his way of dancing tango. He became a frequenter of milongas (dance halls) and was recognized by his peers. In the next decade, against what many ones said about the agony of tango dancing, he used to explain that «…people exaggerate. You knew where you had to go to dance. It was generally said that tango had declined because of rock ‘n’ roll, but it was not much so. I always went out dancing. I used to go to the Club Buenos Aires, Club Oeste, Club Chacarita, Club Atlanta. Sometimes you might see three lines of women, but if you didn’t know how to dance you didn’t have to go there».

Years later, he made exhibitions with Carmencita Calderón. «I was the last one who danced with her. We danced at the Glorias Argentinas, Confitería Ideal and the Palacio Legislativo, when she was honored as Ciudadana Ilustre. She danced canyengue and that was what she danced with me». And he added: «The posture for canyengue is the couple making a triangle and the arm held high, because the hand is not placed on the waist like they teach now. There are many people who lie. Furthermore, it was fast».

Later, he appeared in programs on Solo Tango TV Channel, he made a large number of exhibitions along with Porota (Eufemia Cerallo), his second wife, and he became a frequent visitor to the milongas Sunderland Club, La Baldosa (Salón El Pial) and Glorias Argentinas. Part of his audiovisual record may be found in YouTube and in private collections.

Carlos Alberto Anzuate, or «El Negro Carlos», as some friends used to call him, was an enjoyable conversationalist, owner of an amazing memory and a connoisseur of tangos styles in neighborhoods. He was a man who struggled for the recognition of Afro-Argentine contributions to our culture. But above all, he was a dancer who honored dancing through good deeds.

We appreciate Guillermo Thorp of Diostango Magazine for the photo

Teacher, dancer and researcher of tango dance. He is author of Nuevo Glosario de Tango Danza, La Pista del Abrazo, Tango FAQs and Los Legionarios del Abrazo – Historia del tango danza 1800-1983. /