Report on dancers (First part)
aking into account the extensive and thorough works about tango dancers that were, and surely, will be written, we miss a concise and brief account (and even a succinct one because, in some cases, it is only limited to a name or a nickname) that may be helpful as a guide and introduction to the subject.
That is the purpose of these pages which do not pretend to replace the direct contact with the works that have been researched. If in some aspects, or details, this catalogue has faults or is subject to improvement, the road is open.
Aieta, Francisco: Brother of the composer Anselmo Aieta. He excelled in canyengue tango.
Aín, Casimiro: His dancing partners were Martina M. de Aín -his wife-, Edith Peggy and Jazmine. His domicile in his last years was on 2770 Aizpurúa Street in Villa Urquiza.
Antonini: Dancing teacher that had his academia on 232 Suipacha Street. In January 1917 he used to announce his classes with this text: “Get ready in time for the carnival season.”
Antonio El Cuarteador: Frequenter of the downtown dancehalls with his partner “Pepa, La Catalana”.
Alfredo: Dancing partner, Marta.
Alippi, Elías (“El Flaco”): Actor. Dancer. He was born in Buenos Aires on January 20, 1883 and died on May 3, 1942. He liked to go to the Hansen’s and, around 1915 it was customary to see him dancing at “Lo de Laura”.
Almada, Carlos: For some time he was dancing partner for Carmen Calderón with whom he danced in the movies “El Morocho del Abasto” and “La cabalgata del tango”. In the latter Carmen Calderón also danced with “El Tano Roque”.
Arquimbau, Eduardo (Eduardo Manuel Arquimbau): He teamed up with Gloria Julia Barraud as “Gloria y Eduardo”. They appeared in Tokyo in 1961 with the Francisco Canaro Orchestra. He was also member of the cast of the musical “Tango Argentino”.
Avellaneda, Pepito: At age sixteen he made his first show with Chela Arroyuelo at the Teatro Roma. In 1949/50 he won the first prize at the tango contest held on the Avenida 9 de Julio.
Averna, Juancito: True name: Juan Miguel Condoleo (Averna is his maternal family name). He was born in Buenos Aires on October 31, 1914. He grew up in the neighborhood of Almagro; when he was a teenager he attended classes with professor José López. His friend Ángel Gálvez was for him the “model dancer”. In 1964 he began to dance with Carmencita Calderón, his dancing partner for nearly thirty years. He possessed an elegant technique with postures that awoke the admiration of connoisseurs. Juancito was the prototype of the passionate dancer. We may say that tango for him was not a choreographic display but a tough guy’s rite. His way was a clean and straight tango which went from feeling to feet always passing through his wrist. He was a master in the art “of leading”. He shone by making his partner stand out. He is author of the book “Los olvidados bailarines de tango” (The Forgotten Tango Dancers) in which he also wrote his memoirs. He passed away on May 25, 2001.
Baña, José María
Bello, Lalo (José Hilario Bello): Married to Celina Julia Hernández with whom he teamed up as Julia and Lalo Bello. They were the first Argentines that danced tango in Japan accompanied by the orchestra led by Juan Canaro. Their debut in Tokyo was in 1954. He was also dancer of the Aníbal Troilo Orchestra.
Bucino, Miguel: Dancer, author and composer.
Cabecita de Oro (Luis Condomini): For a time he danced with “La Cachito”.
Camartino, Ismael: “El Pibe Gomina”. Disciple of Bernardo Undarz, “El Mocho”.
Cantero, Luis María (“El Negro Pavura”): He was from Bajo Belgrano. He worked with horses in a stable in the surroundings. Towards 1912 or 1913 he began his early practices in a dancing academy that belonged to “El Cachafaz” located on the corner of Blandengues and Echeverría. Thereafter he continued his training at the Olimpo academy. In 1926 in his domicile on Sucre and Artilleros he run the Dancing Bleu dancehall in which he taught dancing courses. Time later he moved it to a venue located on Cabildo between Olazábal and Blanco Encalada. He danced with “La Peti”.
Cao, Mariano: An outstanding dancer of the early days.
Chicote, El Negro: He frequented the “La Cavour” saloon back in the early days of the twentieth century. “Dancer of waltzes danced to the left” so Enrique Cadícamo recalls him in “Viento que lleva y trae”.
Comas, Francisco: Dancing instructor that in the forties taught to dance tango in his “Comas” Institute located on 2089 Rivadavia Avenue.
Copes, Juan Carlos: When he was very young he lived in Villa Pueyrredón where he began to dance at age sixteen at an old club on Larsen Street.
Corral: Director of the Academia with the same name that, by the 20s, was located on Victoria 1211. On an advertisement of 1926 we read: “The house is specialized in teaching tango dancing”.
Cotongo: Domingo Greco describes him as “a more refined” dancer. He used to dance at the Patria e Lavoro, on Chile 1567, a narrow dancehall notorious for its “pickpockets”, troubles and stabbing attacks. At this venue dances were organized by Carlos Kern, “El Inglés” (The Englishman).
Crespo: Instructor that run a tango academy on Rivadavia 5457. “Learn to dance for $ 5”.
D’Amico, Gaitano: Highly respected among the dancers for his proverbial elegance.
Días, Orlando “Coco”
Dinzel, Rodolfo (Rodolfo Dinzelbacher): He still continues dancing with Gloria Dinzel, his wife. He is author of the well-known book “El tango, una danza”.
Dopazo, M.: Tango dancing instructor. In the 50s he used to advertise his academia located on Rivadavia 2664 (Buenos Aires) with branch in Montevideo, on Florida 1472.
Ducasse, Francisco “El Francés”: Actor and dancer. One of his dancing partners was named Mimí Pinsonette. He was born in Buenos Aires on July 6, 1878. He was married to the actress Angelina Pagano. He died in Buenos Aires on March 1, 1926. He used to frequent “lo de Hansen”. Francisco García Jiménez says that the very charming princess de Murat was intertwined with the tango skill of the fine handsome young man of Buenos Aires, Francisco Ducasse, on tour in Paris, in a tango competition organized by the journal Excelsior at the Fémina theater on the avenue of the Champs-Elysées. Obviously, they were awarded the first prize.
El Alemán: His real name was Roberto Tonel. A dancer of renowned ability among his peers.
El Alfa: His true name was Alberto Álvarez. He stood out due to his great grasp and knowledge of the tango of the outskirts, milonga and crossed waltz.
El Argentino: He was specialized in salon tango. A very good-looking fellow.
Demarchi, Antonio María “El Barón”: He was born in Italy on August 25, 1875 and died in Buenos Aires on February 20, 1934. He settled in our country in 1894; he was a pioneer of our national aviation. He was married to María Roca, daughter of the president Julio Argentino Roca. In 1912, according to the Bates brothers, he organized a party with the foremost members of the vernacular oligarchy at the Palais de Glace. Some authors attribute to him the intention of promoting tango in high society. Others like Hugo Lamas did not pay attention to him, did not find evidence of the event and Lamas even states that tango was already in vogue for high classes.
El Biundín: A frequenter of downtown dancehalls alongside “La Parda Refucilo”.
El Cachafaz (Bianquet, Ovidio José): He was a tall fellow, fair-haired, distinguished, laconic and well-balanced. With a serious, severe face. Some marks left by smallpox did not make him look ugly. He started on the corner of Rioja and México dancing to the airs of a street barrel organ and, soon thereafter, he was popular at the Armenonville and at the Pabellón de las Rosas. He danced at the Empire Theater in Paris and at the Metropolitan of New York. Famous were his competitions with “El Pardo Santillán” at Lo de Hansen, with Elías Alippi, with Juan Carlos Herrera and, in 1915 at the Teatro Parisién, with El Vasco Casimiro Aín whom he defeated in a historical confrontation.
His dancing partners were: “La Francesita”, Emma Boveda (1910/1929); Isabel San Miguel (1929/1933); Carmencita Calderón, his last partner, (1933/1942); Elsa O’Connor (1933;1935); the brunette María Celia Romero, “María Celeste” with whom he danced on Alsina 1465 (1913/1914); Haydée Arana, his dancing partner at the Baron Demarchi’s ball (1913); “La Vasca Ernestina” of Villa Crespo and, lastly, Malvina García of the neighborhood of San Cristóbal.
With Carmencita Calderón he danced in the motion pictures “Giácomo” and “Variedades”. With Sofía Bozán in “Carnaval de antaño”. In 1913 he opened a local to teach tango dancing at the Olimpo hall on Pueyrredón 1461 where Samuel Castriota put together an orchestra of his own to back up his performances. Other academias where he taught were: El Dorado, on Uriburu and Viamonte; Boxing Club, on Sarmiento and Cerrito; La Academia located on Córdoba and Junín and on the first story on Lavalle 1751 between Callao and Rodríguez Peña: «my students were senators, deputies, ministers, ambassadors and, furthermore people with family names such as Lanusse, Gallardo, Anchorena, Sánchez Sorondo and Gainza Paz».
In 1941 in Montevideo he married his niece Edelmira Bianquet. One of the witnesses of the marriage was his close friend Francisco Canaro.
Carmencita Calderón said about him: «El Cachafaz was slender, tall, he had a supreme elegance that made us think he was walking along Florida Street. At least that Florida Street that is in the fantasy of the people of Buenos Aires, the Florida of yesterday. The Cacha’s walking in tango was spontaneous; the elegance that flowed came from his apparently naïve walking with a perfect natural manner».
El Cachafaz de Boedo: An elegant dancer, with great command of the beat and specialized in dancehall tango.
El Canillita: His name was Emilio Falvi, canyengue and milonga dancer.
El Carbuña: “Master of canyengue tango of the outskirts and tango fantasía”, according to Héctor López.