Carlos Biccai

February 15, 2017

February 15, 1939 —

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These days everyone is on social media, and Carlos is no exception.

This video of Carlos proves that tango is a feeling.

Remembering them

February 5, 2017

They loved tango and were married to the milonga.  I had the pleasure of dancing  with most of them.  I interviewed, photographed and filmed many of them.  I called many of them on their birthdays.  I visited some of them in the hospital, a geriatric, and at home.  I share a personal story about each one in this blog.

Luis Domingo Ferrari – Manuel Nicanor Garaban – Salvador Pedro Raiano – Eduardo Carlos Gavito – Rodolfo Cesar Indegno – Jose Guillermo Salurso – Alfredo Barcones – Luis Santillan – Juan Carlos Oviedo – Jorge Majluta – Miguel Aprile – Pedro Vujovich – Ricardo Vidort – Carlos Bugarin – Julio Ale – Luis Trapasso – Enrique Rosich – Luis Grondona – Eduardo Naldi – Raul Poli – Eduardo Calo – Rodolfo Brizuela – Ernesto Norberto Castello – Jose Alberto Scapafino – Roberto Alvarez – Roberto Angel Pujol – Ricardo Hector Suarez – Ricardo Eduardo Cacheiro – Carlos Alberto Rodriguez – Omar Benito Masci – Carlos Alberto Anzuate – Cliver Gomez Araujo – Pedro Alberto Rusconi – Salvador Angel Molinari – Walter Felix Baeza – Eduardo Aguirre – Ernesto Ramon Delgado – Hector Carlos Delgado – Roberto Rafael Carreras – Osvaldo Ruben Bottino – Gregorio Gricajuk – Nestor Gonzalez – Leonardo Lerman – Humberto Albiri – Guillermo Eduardo Mourinio – Ruben Harymbat – Sergio Tomas O’Connell – Jorge Gindzberg – Eduardo Santos – Juan Jose Alvarez – Enrique Barrientos – Jorge Mansur – Manuel Castro – Hugo Soto – Clemente Hector Aquino – Alberto Accunzi – Norberto Farro – Adolfo Adan Garcia – Henri Nasello – Marcelo Socolowski – Alberto Guerrero – Norberto Manuel Olivia de Villacres – Ismael Niella – Alberto Dassieu – Juan Carlos Pontorielo – Abel Peralta – Osvaldo Cartery.

Jorge Slaiman

January 29, 2017

January 29, 1939 —

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Here is Jorge (on the left in front) with Luis Ferre, Jose Luis Aceto, and Rodolfo Tejedor at Plaza Bohemia (now closed).  A tanda of Carlos Di Sarli with him is memorable!

Tango is macho?

January 25, 2017

Recent conversations prompted my search on this topic. The following is a translation of an article by a blogger in Europe.

 

In the milonga you listen to comments from people close to you that sometimes make you happy, others make you sad, others leave you puzzled, some annoy you, and others just do not understand them, let alone in a society like the one we live in today.

It was early and the milongueros were arriving little by little, greeting others, occupying tables, changing shoes, and preparing for the night. Then a young girl, whom I’ve known for a long time, arrived. After greeting one another, we decided to catch up, but as usual, we ended up talking about tango, the milonguero codes, hugs, what we like and didn’t like about them.

She told me that she likes a firm close embrace and that she does not care for those in which she can barely move, since it is the man who marks and the woman who follows, and that, after all, tango is a macho dance. I also like the close and firm embrace, but I also like that you can breathe in it and be flexible, and what I definitely do not like is for the man to ignore me and do not bother to “listen” to me when I dance.

I was surprised by her explanation that tango is a macho dance. In my opinion, no dance is and, even less, tango. He is the milonguero – and for nothing they all are , who is sexist, whether they dance tango or not. What is certain is that if he is macho, it is convenient to say that tango is also, so as to excuse his behavior with the milongueras and in the milonga.

Some also say that the cabeceo is sexist. Again I think that is a tremendous nonsense. Maybe the one that nods is, but the eye contact itself is not. In the eye contact, it is the woman who looks at the milonguero with whom she wants to dance. Then it is they who perceive her glance, if they share the desire to dance with her, extend their invitation in the form of head movement; and finally it is she who confirms it or not. The nodding exchange is a totally bilateral non-verbal agreement.

I firmly believe that tango is a channel of communication between two people who embrace each other. What makes this communication bilateral is mutual respect and listening on both sides to the other person, in which there is a proposal and an acceptance or not of the movement. It is a free tango, nothing macho if the person proposing the movement isn’t, one who respects and has equal consideration for the other person. However, what makes this communication one-sided is a milonguero who imposes his will, who does not count on her except to follow him and do what he commands. This last case is the clear example of a macho milonguero, who surely in the privacy of his house is exactly the same: authoritarian, with an immense ego and a very accented pride.

And what does machismo have to do with tango? The same as fashion, cinema, relationships between people, labor relations,  family, and many other aspects of life itself.  Tango is just one more element in time and space, in which women have been treated and considered in a certain way throughout history.

 

 

Luis Abulafia

January 21, 2017

January 21, 1941 —

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I see him every Sunday at Obelisco Tango.

Buenos Aires is a great city for retirement

January 19, 2017

festival-vaticano

This is the third year the Asociacion Civil Cultural Centro Historico Teatro Colon presents a series of concerts, opera, and ballet in the Plaza Vaticano next to Teatro Colon.  Last Saturday was Tosca by Puccini from the 2016 season in Teatro Colon, with the Argentine tenor Marcelo Alvarez.

I arrived at the plaza before the introduction, and some empty seats were still available.  I hoped that a friend would find me so we could enjoy the presentation together.  Marilyn spotted me, and I joined her. I’m wearing a black jacket.  No tickets to buy, no waiting in line — just go, find a seat, and enjoy the presentation on the big screen.  It’s better than attending inside because the recording bring us closer to the musicians, singers, and dancers.

I’m grateful for the outstanding cultural agenda available in the city.  I have a retirement life I never had imagined for myself.  The summer festival at Plaza Vaticano is unique.

Does he sweep you off your feet?

January 18, 2017
I went to El Maipu in Obelisco Tango on Monday for a slight change in my schedule. It was cold and rainy on Sunday, so I didn’t go to Obelisco.  I sat at my usual table with two local women and a foreigner.
The first tanda was Troilo, and there was Hugo indicating he wanted to dance with me.  It was wonderful.  The next tanda was Canaro, and Miguel caught my attention to dance.  Another enjoyable tanda of great music.  Then Jorge wanted to dance milongas with me.  I never miss the opportunity to dance with him.
I just listened to the music and watched the dancing during several tandas.  Then I heard the incredible music of Di Sarli fill the room.  With whom will I dance my favorite orchestra?  I know P is here, but where is he?  He suddenly appeared with a big smile, inviting me for the tanda.   In a split second I stood up and told him, “this is our tanda.”  I don’t dance Di Sarli with just anyone.
It had been a long time since I last danced with P.  We have one thing in common —  a passion for Carlos Di Sarli.  I immediately felt comfortable in his embrace.  After the first tango, he said Jorge Duran is his favorite singer. Then I returned to his warm embrace while others continued their conversations.  P and I wanted to dance every second possible.
As the tanda progressed, I sank deeper into music.  It took control of me.  We didn’t speak after the next tango.  We savored the music.  I never close my eyes, but I did during the last tango.
He guided me off the floor.  We shared twelve minutes.  Then it was over, and I basked in the feeling that took me completely by surprise.
Have you been swept off your feet dancing tango?  If not, you have something to look forward to.

Eduardo Ereson

January 13, 2017

January 13, 1939 —

DSCN5202 Eduardo Ereson

I thought it was his 80th birthday today, but I was wrong by two years.  He and Nelly invited me to their home in Berezategui.  Eduardo enjoys dancing in Obelisco Tango as much as I do.

Inflation in the milongas 2017

January 3, 2017

Foreign visitors to Buenos Aires don’t feel the economic pinch as much as porteños do.  If you have U.S. dollars or Euros to spend, you get an excellent exchange rate — now at 15.76 to the dollar. Your biggest expense is air travel and lodging.  Once you arrive, your expenses for milongas, local travel, and food are less now than they were in 2001 when the peso was equal to the dollar.

Porteños face a different situation.  One visit to a milonga may cost 400+ pesos with the cost of taxis or parking, entradas, food, drinks, tips, etc.  Portenos are not going to dance as often as they used to.  Those who live on a government retirement have to manage their money to last until the end of the month.

This is a comparison of prices in 2001 versus 2017:

Bus ride: 80 centavos/cents (2001)  6.50 (that’s $0.41 in 2017)

Subway ride:  70 centavos/cents (less than the bus in 2001)  7.50 (2017)

Milonga entrada: 3-5 pesos/dollars (2001)  80-100 pesos ($6.35 in 2017)

Bottled water at a milonga: 2-3 pesos (2001) 40 pesos + tip (2017)

I read today that highway tolls and parking fees will increase 50% this month. That means your trip from and to the airport in a taxi or remis will cost more.

The peso and the dollar were equal until the end of 2001.  Today the official bank rate is almost 16 pesos Argentine.  There is really no increase in the milonga entrada for anyone with dollars to spend; you probably pay more than that to attend your local milongas.  When I paid 3-5 peso entradas in 2001, I was going to milongas almost every day of the week.   Today my routine is Wednesday and Sunday at Obelisco Tango where I spend 150AP each night with no transportation cost — I walk ten blocks.  I consider that the best tango bargain in the world because I get to dance with the milongueros viejos.

Arnaldo Koller

December 23, 2016

December 23, 1933 —

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He lives in my neighborhood, so we occasionally meet on the street.  That’s what happened a couple of months ago when I had my camera with me for this photo.  Arnaldo isn’t going to dance anymore, I’m sorry to say.  He always asks me about Alito, but I don’t have much to tell him.  I gave him my telephone number that day, but I haven’t heard from him.  I thought he looked dapper with the hat.