Cumbre de tango

October 25, 2014

Today’s playlist for the program on Radio Lexia at noon BA time:


1-  Cinta azul   Ryota Komatzu  (A Dominguez)

2-  Villeguita  ( Piazzolla)
3-  Triunfal     (Piazzolla)
Ricardo Tanturi
4- Pocas palabras – with Alberto Castillo  (Tanturi y Cadicamo 16/6/41)
5- Igual que una sombra with Enrique Campos   (Pugliese y Cadicamo 12-4-45)
6- Viviane en Paris  with Videla      (C Vivan y H Sanguinetti 5/7/46)
7-  Remembranzas with Ribo (Melfi y Batistella -09/5/47)
Osmar Maderna
8-  El vuelo del moscardón   (Rinque Corsacov 13/5/46)
9-   Lluvia de estrellas   (O Maderna 24-6-48)
10- Escalas en azul   (O Maderna  17-5-50)
11- La huella    (M Villanueva y Cadicamo 8/11/50)
Osvaldo Fresedo
12- Telón   with R Ray   (Lucio Demare y Homero Manzi  23-11-38)
13-  Ojos muertos  with R Ray (RafaelIriarte yNavarrine -23/11-38)

14-  Es costumbre o es cariño with Mayel   (Peruchelli y Cadicamo-3-10-40)
15-  Llamada de amor porteño with Mayel  (Ortiz y Juan Pueblito  13-1-41)
Osvaldo Pugliese
16-  A mis compañeros    (Osvaldo Ruggero -31-1-56)
17-  Que pinturita
18-  Tinta roja
Carlos Di Sarli
19-   Una fija     (Angel Villoldo  1958)
20-   La racha    (Augustin Bardi   8/5/47)
21-   Indio manso   (Hector Quesada 1958)
Juan D’Arienzo
22-   El puntazo    (A. Junnissi -13/8/52)
23-   Seguime si podes   (Alejandro y J Escarpin0 1945)
24-   Cartón junao   with Alberto Echague  (Wais- D’Arienzo. y H Varela  1947)
25-   Color cielo    with Laborde  1944
Miguel Caló
26-    Dos Fracasos  with Alberto Podesta  ( M Calo y H Espósito) 31/7/41
27-    Que te importa que te llore with Raul Beron (M Calo y O Maderna)  30/06/42
28-    Lejos de Buenos Aires  with Raul Berón  (Villanueva y Oscar Rubens)29-7-42

Tango greats along Corrientes

October 23, 2014

Graffiti and post-it note advertising are prevalent in Buenos Aires, especially in the city center.  Walk along any street and you’ll see how graffiti artists (I use that term loosely) have damaged almost every building with spray paint.   The other eyesore is the abundance of small post-it notes glued to any place they will stick.  They’re difficult to remove.  I stood by while a young man stuck several to a light post, and then I promptly removed them before the glue dried.  When I walked away, he returned to the same place to do his job.  The city has a work force dedicated to the removal of any advertising fliers on city property.


There is a movement to create more public art, and it’s giving the city a needed facelift after a rundown look for years.  Cris Bucciarelli is one of those artists dedicated to giving Avenida Corrientes (“the street that never sleeps”) touch-ups here and there.  She has transformed old electrical boxes into works that feature celebrated artists of tango.  Here are two examples of her work.


Hours of work removing layers of advertising on the metal boxes was the first step.  It’s truly a labor of love to improve the aesthetics of a great city.

Tango and minimalism: how many pairs of shoes are enough?

October 22, 2014

I know a milonguera who has 100+ pairs of shoes for tango.  Another milonguera admitted her collection is over 250 pairs of shoes, although not all of them are for dancing.  A room in her apartment has nothing but shoes.  I know a minimalist milonguera who owns only two pairs of tango shoes.

A few months ago, I decided to go through my shoe collection and sort out the ones I didn’t wear or that were uncomfortable.  I sold five pairs at a consignment shop and donated the rest.   That process cut my shoe collection in half and reduced the number of pairs for tango from 16 to 8 pairs.  The remaining pairs are my old favorites that I’ve worn for years and hopefully for many more.


How many pairs are enough?  That’s for you to decide.  How many pairs do you need?

Tango and minimalism: the essentials

October 21, 2014

We women often carry more than we really need in our purses for those times when something might come in handy.  I recall a friend who carried a large, heavy purse around all the time that looked like a small suitcase on her shoulder.  She had trouble walking due to the weight and probably had a sore shoulder at the end of the day.  Minimalists get rid of the excess in their lives and focus on the essentials.

It’s best to take only what you need to the milongas in Buenos Aires and leave the rest in your room where it’s safe.  These are the items in my purse.  I carry my dance shoes in a draw-string bag.

Pesos — take enough to pay the entrada, for drinks, food, coat check and tips for the waiter and ladies’ room attendant.  These days you’ll need at least 100 pesos; another hundred if you travel by taxi to and from a milonga.

SUBE card — this is what you use to pay for rides on buses and the Subte.  If you don’t have the card, you have to pay more for a bus ride with coins.

Photo identification — a copy of your passport photo page, not your passport.

Tissues — for wiping your brow between tandas and/or a folding fan

Eyeglasses — if you need to see who is inviting you to dance from the other side of the room

Personal cards — to share your email or social network address with new friends.

Hand gel — to use between tandas

Breath mints — for obvious reasons

Earplugs — to cut city noise or when the music is too loud.

Pen — for when you want to make note of a tango you never heard before, etc.

Comb, lipstick, perfume — for touchups in the ladies’ room.

Apartment keys — the most important item you carry so you can rest well after dancing.

That’s my minimalist checklist for the milongas.  I recommend keeping your purse on top of the table where it’s in full view.  There are some milongas in Buenos Aires where it’s best to check your purse — Confiteria Ideal and El Beso; it’s not as convenient when you need it, but it’s safer that way.

Tango and minimalism: los milongueros viejos

October 20, 2014

Less is more.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Minimalism has been around for decades in art, design, and music.  Minimalism refers to anything that is spare or stripped down to its essentials.

The milongueros viejos are minimalists.  I thought about this recently while watching Ismael Heljalil dancing in Lo de Celia.  He walks and turns, focusing on the essentials —  the music and his partner.  His tango isn’t cluttered.  It’s simple and elegant.

Ismael with Felisa in Lo de Celia


Milonga review: El Arranque (revisited)

October 19, 2014

I went on Saturday to join a girlfriend from the USA.  There is no air-conditioning but that doesn’t put a damper on the attendance or the happiness level for the seniors who attend regularly. Erwin welcomed me, but I usually see him behind the bar at Lo de Celia programming excellent music on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  The entrada is 30 pesos for women, a few pesos more for the men.

Daniel Borelli and Vivi La Falce in El Arranque

I located my friend at the end of a tanda, and there was an empty chair at her table so I took it without bothering the waitress.  Vivi La Falce (the organizer’s daughter) was at the helm behind the bar programming the tandas.  I saw lots of familiar faces from earlier years.  I’ve been going to El Arranque since it opened in February 2000.

Roberto Tallarico

Roberto Tallarico and Oscar Steimez were there, and I went over to greet them at their table close by.  I’ve never seen either one at the milonga without a suit and tie.

Oscar Steinmetz at El Arranque

I saw Julio leaving as I arrived.  I was glad to see he is still dancing as well.

Julio Cesar Aloi

There were two women from Italy at the next table who left after many tandas to go to another milonga, I’m certain.  El Arranque is a place where any newcomer gets to dance.  I was lucky to have two invitations by a regular from Lo de Celia who was there for the second time.

Cumbre de tango

October 18, 2014
You can listen to the radio broadcast live from noon until 2:00 BA Time on Radio Lexia.  Tomorrow is Mother’s Day in Argentina, so Carlos starts the program with the vals “Poem for my mother.”  I’ll be at the studio today with Carlos and Tito.
1-   Poema para mi madre (vals)    Francisco Rotundo with Jorge Durán
Jorge Caldara
2-  No ves que nos queremos with Raul Ledesma
3-  El Guri
4-  De corte milonguero
Ricardo Tanturi with Alberto Castillo
5- Canción de rango
6-  El tango es el tango
7-  Que podrán decir
Horacio Salgan
8- Sentimental y canyengue
9- Don Goyo
Angel D’Agostino with Angel Vargas
10- A quien le puede importar
Carlos Di Sarli
11-  Siete palabras
12-  Hoy al recordarola with Jorge Duran
13-  Derrotado  with Roberto Florio
Miguel Calo with Raul Iriarte
14- Si yo pudiera comprender
15- Garras
16- Contratiempo
17- A la guardia vieja
18- El resero
Juan D’Arienzo
19-  El romántico
20-  Seguime si podés
21-   Estas cosas de la vida with Mario Bustos
22-   No no me la nombres with Bustos
Osvaldo Pugliese
23-   Negracha
24-   Arrabal
25-   Desde el alma (vals)
26-   Mas solo que nunca  with Alberto Moran
Francisco Rotundo
27-    Lo que me hablaron de vos with Enrique Campos
28-    Entre sueños

Rafael Mauricio Pites

October 15, 2014

October 15, 1944 –


My girlfriend danced with Rafael and told me that today was his birthday.  He celebrated with his milonga family at Lo de Celia.

Milonga review: Matinée de los Lunes

October 15, 2014


Monday was a holiday and the organizer’s birthday.  Obelisco Tango was full by the time I arrived at 19:30 hs. to meet a friend from the USA.  I decided to wait until the end of the tanda to get seated and quickly spotted her on the dance floor.  In the meantime, the organizer/deejay Gabriela Laddaga welcomed me to her milonga.  This was only the second time I’ve been to Obelisco Tango.  My first review was in July 2013.  During the cortina, we moved to an empty table at the edge of the dance floor.  My friend danced almost every tanda because so many of the men know her from other milongas.

The sound system was better than I remembered it.  I don’t know if there are new or more speakers or if our table location made a difference.  Gabriela’s tandas were excellent as always, and the volume wasn’t overwhelming.  She hosts the milonga and manages the deejay booth.  Each job is a lot to handle.  That’s why two previous tandas started to repeat after the Cortina; the music was quickly changed.  Dancers who paid attention to the music knew that they heard a few seconds of D’Arienzo and Troilo tangos they had just danced.


The biggest improvement in Obelisco Tango is the floor.  The photo shows the laminated flooring that still exists around the new dance area with parquet.  I rate it as one of the best floors in Buenos Aires.  It’s perfectly smooth and level without any seams.

We were dying of thirst and waited two hours for our waitress.  I mentioned this to Gabriela at the end of the milonga.  She has to know such things since management hires the wait staff for the milongas.  I’m used to having a bottle of water at my table when I finish the first tanda or sooner at Lo de Celia without having to order it.  This was the worst service I’ve had in any milonga.

The listing on Hoy Milonga has the hours from 16 hs to 2 hs, however, La Cumparsita announced the end of the milonga on Monday at 22:30 hs.

I didn’t see many familiar faces, so I didn’t expect to dance.  Then my friend told me who was there — Tito Ortega — and I knew he would invite me.  Lucky me, I had four tandas with not only the best dancer at this milonga, but one of the best milongueros viejos in Buenos Aires.  I could dance all night with Tito and enjoy every minute.  The frosting on the cake was seeing Nestor La Vitola dancing with Pina when the floor cleared during the last half hour.

Entrada: 50 pesos  Bottled water: 24

Mario Hector Camartino

October 10, 2014

October 10, 1928 –

Mario y Anabelle (de Munich, Alemania) en Lo de Celia Tango Club  12 enero 2014

Mario is another amazing milonguero who keeps going and going.  He’s an inspiration to all who dance tango in Buenos Aires.  He told me on Wednesday that he bought his first computer and plans to learn how to use it so he can read his own email.


He never fails to give me a kiss on the cheek when he passes by my table in Lo de Celia.


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