Ismael Heljalil

August 30, 2014

August 30, 1929 –

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He’s happy he can still dance every Wednesday and Sunday in Lo de Celia.

Interview

Jorge Uzunian

August 28, 2014

August 28, 1930 –

Jorge Uzunian

I had the pleasure of a tanda with Jorge in Lo de Celia on the day I took this photo of him.

Video

He said, she said

August 27, 2014

He:  We’re going to have an orgasm together.

She:  Now with D’Arienzo?

Festival and World Cup 2014

August 25, 2014

There will be no posts about the Tango BA concerts or the world tango championship from me this year.  I didn’t attend any events at several venues in La Boca.

The finals for the championships at Luna Park will be available live to the world on the festival website.  Tune in a 19 hs BA time for the salon finals today and the stage finals tomorrow.  Flash Player 11 is required to view.  The screen opens automatically once the transmission has started.

I had intermittent transmission for the entire two hours, so I felt as though I was seeing slow motion with no sound.  It was a fashion show of fancy dresses and footwork.

Lorena González and Sebastián Acosta, who won the 5th place in the 2014 City Dance Championship, were crowned world champions in the “Dance-Floor Tango”

Nelida Guaraldi

August 24, 2014

December 8, 1928 – July 17, 2014

Nelida (Chiche) Guaraldi

I hadn’t talked with Chiche for a long time, so I decided to call her today.  Her brother answered the phone and gave me the news.  I enjoyed her company many Saturday nights in Club Glorias Argentinas.

A milonga shuffling

August 21, 2014

Over the past week, I’ve heard about the closure of three milonga venues.  That may not seem like much when you consider there are dozens in Buenos Aires.  But nevertheless, it impacts many organizers and dancers.

Months ago I heard the rumor that Boedo Tango would be closing permanently.  But when a new milonga opened there in June, it seemed that business was as usual.  The organizers who rented the space ran two milongas of their own, and sublet the salon to other organizers.  The salon is in the hands of the property owners Carrefour.  That meant that Julia Joynel had to find a new venue for Sueño Porteño on Wednesday and Sunday.  She found a new home at Centro Region Leonesa on Wednesday and Club Gricel on Sunday.  Both are more ideal venues for her milongas for her loyal following.

The current issue of B.A. Tango magazine has an article about the closure of Salon El Pial in Flores.  After the club invested in a complete renovation of the building and salon, city inspectors discovered many violations and imposed fines.  Eventually, the club was able to remedy the situation and paid the fines, so they’re back in business this month.

I heard last night that city inspectors closed Club Oeste in Caballito where Norma ran the Friday milonga, and Dorita ran the Sunday milonga.  Norma joined forces with another organizer at Obelisco Tango on Sunday, but Dorita has to find another venue.

The city inspectors are doing their job.  Unfortunately, that sometimes results in milonga closures.  I’d rather go to a venue that is safe, than one with safety violations.  We all remember the tragic fire at a club that brought about inspections.

 

Julio Alé

August 18, 2014

September 29, 1932 – August 18, 2014

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Julio was a dear one.  When his wife Florencia called me three weeks ago, I went to their home to give massages to both of them.  I shaved Julio’s beard last Friday afternoon.  Helping them in any way I could was good therapy for me, now that I am no longer taking care of Alito.  I discovered on Friday that they had never seen the video I made ten years ago of Julio.  I was going to bring my notebook along tomorrow to show it to him.

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Lo de Celia Tango Club – 2000

Julio, Victor, Roberto and Jorge in El Arranque

Julio, Victor, Roberto and Jorge in El Arranque  (February 2001)

Rulo (Norberto Aguello) and Julio Manuel Ale

Rulo (Norberto Aguello) and Julio Manuel Ale

I met Rulo for the first time at the funeral.  I never danced with him in the milongas and didn’t know he used to go to Lo de Celia.

 

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Dancing with his wife Florencia (Sept 2000)

Ballet Folklórico Nacional

August 14, 2014

The Ballet Folklórico Nacional debuted the 9th of July, 1990, at Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, under the direction of Santiago Ayala and Norma Viola.

Since then, this company of 37 dancers offers performances with an artistic concept and staging of myths, customs, stories, and legends maintaining the essence of Argentina.

Along this path of some twenty years, the Ballet Folklórico Nacional was under the direction of master teachers Norma and Nydia Viola, and Eduardo Rodriguez Arguibel.  Today its director is professor Omar Fiordelmondo.

The Ballet Folklórico Nacional had great success in Spain participating in the Expo Sevilla, and in Portugal, Bulgaria, Colombia, Brasil, Paraguay and Chile.

During 1999 they toured 23 cities in Japan.  In 2000 they represented Argentina in the opening of the Klik Expo Klik in Tirana, Albania.  And during 2002 gave 44 performances in an international tour including cities in France, Switzerland, and Spain.  They received an invitation to the International Festival Cevantino of Guanajuato, Mexico in 2003.

During 2010, they celebrated the 20th anniversary of the creation of the Ballet Folklórico Nacional with many special performances including a tribute to the original directors.

The 2011 season of Ballet Folklórico Nacional in Teatro Nacional Cervantes staged the premiere of the work “Juan Moreira,” under the direction of Leonard Cacho Napoli, choreography by Margarita Fernandez and original music by Luis Maria Serra and Pocho Leyes, later presented  in Danza Libre XXI in the provinces of Corrientes and Chaco, in Teatro El Circulo in Rosario, Santa Fe, and recorded for television.

In its 2012 season, the Ballet Folklórico Nacional presented “Noche de Carnaval,” by maestro Leonardo Cuello.

Under the direction of professor Omar Fiordelmondo, the 2013 season included the Festival Nacional del Malambo in Laborde, the Festival International and National Training and Folklore, the 23rd Fiesta Nacional and the 9th Fiesta del Chamamé.  The regular series of performances were at Teatro del Globo in the city of Buenos Aires.

They opened the 2014 season at the Festival Nacional de Folklore in Cosquín, with a full schedule of performances around the country, bringing the art of Argentine dance to many cities.

The closest the company has been to the United States is Mexico.  I feel that a tour in the USA is long overdue.  I saw performances in 2008 and 2009 at the National Music and Dance Center in San Telmo and the Noche de Carnaval at Teatro Cervantes in 2012.  I’ve seen two performances this year already at Teatro del Globo in Buenos Aires, and I plan to attend another on August 30.  The Secretary of Culture funds the company, so all their performances are free and open to the public.  Tango is a national folk dance of Argentina that is always on the program.

The youngest milonguero I know

August 10, 2014

Milongueros know how to make their dance flow.  They have an amazing ear for the music and know each orchestra and its singers.  They mark every movement subtly and clearly using the entire body. They create emotional variations and pleasure with simple elements in a warm embrace.  They dance for themselves and their partners, not for those watching.  They respect the codes of the milonga.

Miguel Angel Balbi defines a milonguero as a self-taught dancer of tango with his own style who dances with any woman and makes her happy dancing elegantly and accompanied.  These styles aren’t learned in different tango schools.  They are different forms of feeling and showing the dance.

All the above is true about the youngest milonguero I know.  He was a milonguero-in-training for only twelve days in June 2013, while dancing in the milongas of Buenos Aires after only a few months of social dancing.   He returned to his country where he devoted himself to listening to the music.  Lessons were not on his agenda.  He began providing the music at the local milongas where he observed the dancing from the DJ booth.  He developed his personal style.

He came again this year in June to Buenos Aires.  He knows the music and selects his partners for the orchestra.  His tango is the result of his connection to the music.  He dances with great feeling because he knows the music — every nuance, every phrase.  His dancing is effortless.  His embrace is gentle.  He dances in the moment.  Every milonguera was happy dancing with him.  While in Buenos Aires, he adopted the life style of the milongueros by sleeping very late and dancing until dawn, and ordering champagne, not water, in the milongas.  He earned that front-row center table in Lo de Celia.

After one year, this young milonguero-in-training became a milonguero at 23.  I danced with him last year and this year.  I heard him talk about the music.  I saw him invite the  milongueras and make them happy.  He proves that knowing the music is the most important thing for dancing well.

The youngest milonguero I know is Jamie of Hong Kong.  He is beginning his new career as a lawyer, with tango in his heart and soul.

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Aníbal Serena

August 3, 2014

August 3, 1932 –

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He’s the only milonguero viejo who lives on a farm with lots of animals (his cow is Margarita), and he drives 200km to dance at Lo de Celia on Sunday.  Aníbal won’t be at the milonga today to celebrate his birthday, but I’ll be thinking about him.


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