Remembering Alito

May 13, 2023

Mario Allan Candamil (May 13, 1929-May 4, 2017)

Alito would have been 94 today.  He liked celebrating his birthdays with friends.  I have two printed invitations that Alito had made for the celebrations in 1985 and 1990.  I’m certain that his oldest and dearest friend Ricardo Vidort attended them.  This proves how much Alito enjoyed being with his friends.  Alito shows his sense of humor in the invitations.

I’m neither sad nor worried but I’m going to complete 56 years on May 13th, 1985.  I am pleased to invite you to a dinner show for my birthday on Monday, the 13th at 21 hs.  Salon Armenonville at Cordoba 6237 near the corner of Newbery.

Before my final trip, I do not want to leave without saying goodbye to my friends, so I am pleased to invite you to the dinner show on the occasion of my birthday on the 14th of this month at 9:00 p.m.  Restaurant Concert – to the artists – Hipolito Yrigogen 917

Note that his nationality is “Chilena” on his DNI which is still valid for four more years.  Alito was three years old when his mother immigrated from Veracruz, Mexico to Buenos Aires where she danced in the ballet at Teatro Colon. He was learning social dancing (jazz, salsa, and tango) by the age of 12.  Alito always found some means of earning money, such as selling the contraseña or password to enter a milonga without paying admission.  Alito was the first independent organizer of social dances in Buenos Aires. At the age of 16 in 1945, his first dances were held at Asociacion Natio Buenos Aires (A.N.B.A.), at Chacabuco 467 on two outdoor basketball courts. Until then, the confiterias and sports clubs ran their own dances.

I am grateful that I had the pleasure of dancing with Alito and taking care of him.  He will always have a special place in my heart.

Confiteria La Ideal

April 23, 2023

This downtown confiteria is more beautiful than ever after years of restoration.  La Ideal was one of the places I went to dance during my first visit in March 1996.  I saw the restoration for the first time on April 11, when tango friends invited me to celebrate my birthday there.

I hoped that we would be able have a table on the first floor where tango classes and milongas were held every day of the week for decades, but it is closed.  I heard that tango could be returning to the first floor, but there is no information or date yet.

The ceiling was opened as it was in the original design to show the beautiful stained-glass ceiling upstairs.  The attention to every detail in restoration makes Confiteria La Ideal on Suipacha 384 near Avenida Corrientes a place not to miss.

These two photos were taken during the Friday afternoon milonga on the first floor before the restoration began in 2016.  Seniors went to socialize and dance when it was affordable.


If you have a sweet tooth, then you will certainly be tempted to visit La Ideal for coffee or tea and dessert by these photos.

How can one decide which to choose from this incredible assortment?


Hector Giocci

April 21, 2023

April 21, 1936 —

I’ll admit that I am envious of Sara.  Hector dances exclusively with her since they are a couple.  The only way to describe dancing with Hector is melting in his embrace.


Clodomiro Ortega

April 19, 2023

April 19, 1935 —

I know how wonderful it is dancing with Tito.  I’ve had the pleasure of dancing with him in several milongas.  I could dance all night with him, but that will only happen in my dreams.  Enjoy this recent video of Tito dancing with Carmen Souto in the milonga Barajando in Lo de Celia Tango Club.

Juana Novau

March 28, 2023

October 21, 1932 — March 27, 2023

I received the sad news this morning from her son Miguel that Juanita passed.  I spoke to a friend a few days ago about Juanita.  It wasn’t a short trip to the downtown milongas for her, but she had to dance.  She wasn’t dancing for several years because of health issues.

I’ve been acquainted with Juanita and her family for 20 years, but this week I had my first opportunity to hear about her life in tango.  We spent five hours together in her apartment in Vicente Lopez talking about tango. I met her son Miguel Angel in the local tango scene when I lived in the US.  Juanita’s grandson Marcelo wanted to learn tango, so he came to Buenos Aires when he was only 12 to take lessons and dance with his grandmother.  When Miguel Angel saw  Marcelo dancing tango for the first time, that was the moment he decided he wanted to learn to dance tango.

Juanita’s son Miguel Angel De Biasi

Juanita began dancing at home when she was 9 years old and went to the neighborhood social club by 15.  She continued going to El Arranque in Nuevo Salon La Argentina until five years ago.  She made the hour-long trip by bus from Vicente Lopez in the province to downtown for a very good reason–Juanita loved dancing tango.

Juanita spent the winter months in Termas Rio Hondo, a town in the northern province of Santiago del Estero when she enjoyed dancing on the weekends for 26 years.  She was crowned Queen/Reina of the ball.

I couldn’t resist taking this photo of Juanita at the table showing her dancers’ legs.  She had the heels of her tango shoes modified.  Doesn’t she look as though she just nodded to a milonguero for the next tanda?

Juanita plans on visiting her family in Miami next year including a visit to Spain where she will get to meet some relatives for the first time.

José Marcos

March 11, 2023

March 11, 1937 —


The milonga codes are ingrained in the milongueros viejos.  They will never change.  That’s a good thing.  Perhaps newcomers will observe and learn from the milongueros viejos while they are still around.  During my recent visits to milongas, I have noticed that inviting a woman at or near her table is normal for many men.  I know that using the cabeceo from the table to a woman across the floor requires patience.

José makes eye contact, bailas?, and then waits for the woman to acknowledge his invitation before he gets up from his chair.  He has respected the codes and women for decades.  He is not about to change.  The codes are an integral part of the milonga for the milongueros viejos.

Here is Carlos showing how he invites a woman to dance. His doesn’t nod his head, but silently mouths the word – bailas?

It’s been three years

March 10, 2023

It’s been three long years since Jorge has entered a milonga.  I have tried to convince him that it’s safe to go.  I can’t believe that he has been away for three years knowing how much he loves going to dance and listening to the music.  Jorge has missed his favorite form of physical exercise for a very long time.  That’s unusual for a milonguero who has danced tango his entire life.

In late 2022, he would tell me that he would be returning in January. When January arrived, he said he would go in March.

I have asked Jorge to let me know when and where he will go for his big return to the milonga.  I want to be there to see him dance again. I’m certain that he has missed seeing and being among the other dancers.

I don’t know when his big return date will be, but when I do, I will make an announcement and be there with camera in hand to record Jorge dancing after three long years without tango.  There is no doubt that Jorge will get emotional and cry tears of joy when he finally dances.

Elba Celia Biscay

February 26, 2023

February 26, 1941 —

Elba arrived at Salon El Pial in Flores for the celebration of Dia del Milongueros organized by Oscar Hector Malagrino.

They open and they close

February 17, 2023

When I came to live in Buenos Aires in 1999, one of my priorities was getting to know the city so I could find my way to the milongas.  I lived for the first six months in the barrio Caballito, so I was taking a bus to Centro Region Leonesa in the barrio Constitucion.  I didn’t do much walking from Caballito.  Then I rented an apartment located three blocks from Centro Region Leonesa and what was to become Lo de Celia.  When I moved to another rental apartment that I eventually bought in 2005, it was only ten blocks to Lo de Celia, my priority.

I had saved a city map from my visits to Buenos Aires during 1996-1998.  I decided to create the first “Milonga Map” using copies of the tourism map to share with tango friends.  I know it was useful to visitors.  One dancer shared the map with people where he stayed.  The owner of the house thought it was such a great idea that he started creating a Milonga Map with advertising that was distributed free of charge at all the milongas for several years.  There are no more Milonga Maps, but there is something even better — Hoy with maps showing each milonga location and the buses to take.

I’ve been thinking about all the milongas that have opened and closed during my 24 years in Buenos Aires,.  I have my milonga maps from 1999 and 2000 that tell the story of where I went to dance.

Re Fa Si became Lo de Celia Tango Club.  Gricel Club is now Club Nuevo Gricel.  Regin became El Beso that has an elegant decor.  A completely renovated Confiteria Ideal has no tango classes or milongas, only dining.  Club Almagro was and still is a health club that needed the space for activities.  Club Bailable Juvenil is now El Teatro Juvenil with dance classes.

Technology has taken the adventure out of milonga hopping.  The arrows on the map indicate the 168 bus route (which I named the “milonga bus” that took me regularly to many milonga venues.

It’s not about steps

February 15, 2023

Artwork by Anja Weiss (2019)

Published in Tangodanza (Germany)