Rodolfo Outeda

October 23, 2021

October 23, 1940 —

                                     Salon Canning – October 15, 2000

Happy birthday, Rodolfo!

 

Juana Novau

October 22, 2021

October 21, 1932 —

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.

Milonguisimo

September 28, 2021

I was browsing the TANGO BA website to see what was on the program for the ten-day Festival and World Cup.  Some milongas were already open, but I didn’t find any information about Salon El Pial.  It was listed as a venue for the festival.  When I checked, I was thrilled to discover that Oscar Hector Malagrino was presenting another edition of Milonguisimo in Salon El Pial, which happens to be located only four blocks from where Jorge Uzunian lives.  I had to get him to El Pial somehow.  Jorge had danced in Milonguisimo for ten years, partnering Oscar Hector’s sister Haydee.  I reserved tickets online two days in advance. I sent an email to one of Jorge’s full-time caretakers about taking him to the show.  She and her husband wanted to join us.  I needed her help in pushing Jorge in a wheelchair.  Luz and Ruben live in El Tigre, which is a long drive to the capital.  They made the trip in their van to transport Jorge to El Pial in style.  It was meant to be.  Without them, I couldn’t have taken Jorge for an unforgettable night of seeing all his milonguero/a friends.

Ruben is a hefty, strong man who could manage Jorge in the wheelchair. I saw that there was no way I could have done this myself.  I showed the printed forms for our reservations at the door.  We were escorted to the front of the salon where we had a perfect view of the show.

We were seated at the table no more than two minutes before Haydee Malagrino came over to greet Jorge, with whom she had danced many performances of Milonguisimo.  That was a very special moment for Jorge, as you can tell by his smile.  He has been unable to dance for six years since surgery to amputate his right leg.

I kept my camera handy to take photos at any moment.   When the milongueros saw Jorge at the table, they came to greet him.  It was like a class reunion taking place in Salon El Pial. Here with Jorge are Aldo Raspanti, Jorge Garcia (El Flaco Dany’s brother), and Carlos Tedeshi

This was our table for the show that began after 8:00pm.  I asked Jorge, when was the last time he put on a suit and tie?  Six years ago, when he danced on his birthday in Plaza Bohemia.  There is a video of that night on YouTube.

I noticed Elba Celia Biscay across the floor, so I walked over to greet her and take this photo.  I’ve known Elba as a blond and a redhead, now she and I both have our natural white hair.

The curtain was closed on the stage since they were going to be dancing on the floor.  I remember when the Orquesta Tipica Gente de Tango performed on stage for a Night of Carlos DiSarli, organized by Oscar Hector.

Milonguisimo is never the same.  Oscar Hector invites different milongueros/as to participate.  He always has new ideas for staging.  The show includes, tango, vals, milonga, and jazz since milongueros/as dance them all kinds of music.

Elba Biscay, Carlos Tedeshi, and Aldo Raspanti wait on the sidelines while other couples dance.

Elba Biscay’s beautiful feet and shoes were also featured in one of my videos.  New female dancers should study Elba and learn from this milonguera who has danced for many decades in the milongas.

After the finale, they lined up for a bow with applause from an appreciative audience who enjoyed every minute of the dancing and singing.  It was so well organized.  No one missed a cue.

Elba came over to greet Jorge after the show.  It was an unforgettable night for Jorge.

The entire cast went on stage for photos.  Oscar Hector had a photographer recording the entire show.

Oscar Hector Malagrino took a bow with his cast on stage in Salon El Pial.  He has organized milongas and shows for decades, and at 80 years of age, he hasn’t slowed down one bit.

Oscar Hector’s son, who handled the music, came over to see Jorge.

Carlos Tedeshi was pleased to see that Jorge could attend the performance in Salon El Pial.

Oscar Hector was happy to see Jorge after the long time he has been away from going to dance.

Luz Chavez joined Jorge, Oscar Hector, and Aldo for this photo.  She enjoyed the night as much as I did, and she was constantly taking photos and recording.  I got to know her during a visit with Jorge after his 91st birthday a month ago. She is such a joyful person and a perfect companion to help Jorge at home.

My YouTube channel includes a video of Haydee and Jorge dancing in Confiteria Ideal for a performance of Milonguisimo.

Ruben doesn’t dance tango, but he knows tangos.  He was singing along during the show at our table.  He ordered pizza and wine before the show.  Ruben and Luz insisted on driving me to my door in Balvanera, so the four of us had more time together after the show.  I arrived home minutes before 11pm, so after they got Jorge to his apartment, they had the long drive to El Tigre.  It was very late when they arrived. What a happy couple they are.  It was so nice that they wanted to be with Jorge that night.

Elba Pateiro

September 21, 2021

September 21, 1934 —

I called her today, not only to wish her a happy birthday, but to ask if she wanted to attend the performance of Milonguisimo on Thursday at Salon El Pial.  Then I reserved our tickets online for the show that Oscar Hector Malagrino has produced with milongueros/as on stage for years.  This special performance is part of TANGO BA Festival and the World Cup.

A visit with Mario Camartino in Parque Chacabuco

September 18, 2021

I was passing by the cafe two blocks from my apartment yesterday and recognized Carlos Greco’s curly hair as he was seated at a table with a group of friends.  I tapped on the window to get his attention, and he came outside to talk with me.  The Mistica Cafe Bar is where I regularly saw Carlos with Roberto Bonavota, both of whom I know from the milongas.  Carlos wasn’t wearing a mask and neither was I, but that was not a problem for either one of us.  He greeted me and then we embraced one another.  He hasn’t danced in two years.

Carlos seemed cheerful as always.  I didn’t see Roberto at the table, so I asked Carlos about him.  He reported the news, that after being hospitalized, Roberto Bonavota passed on in January.

February 2020 was the last time I saw Roberto at the Mistica Cafe at the corner of Av. Independencia and Pichincha.

I walked three blocks to catch 126 to Parque Chacabuco where Mario has been living since January, so he is closer to his daughter Gabriela’s house.

My timing was perfect.  The cleaning lady was leaving at the same time I arrived.  Mario came down to the entrance of the high rise apartment building to greet me.  When his wife passed on in January, Mario’s daughter rented a fifth floor apartment with a northern exposure for him.

When I arrived at the building, I thought to myself, I would love to live here, but can’t afford to. The area around the building has a garden with benches, and is impeccably maintained.

Mario lives a two-bedroom apartment with a balcony with all the furnishings from his former home in Lugano.  He has an impressive music collection of LPs and cassette tapes of tango and jazz.  As Mario told me a story about each of the framed pictures on the bookcase, I had to take photos to share here.

Mario received this certificate on a Night of Milongueros organized by Oscar Hector Malagrino.

Mario wore a suit when he was only five years old!  Isn’t he darling?

This is a photo from his daughter Gabriela’s wedding.

Cuqui is one of Mario’s favorite tango partners.

Mario’s wedding photo.  Now that’s a handsome couple!

Bonsai is one of Mario’s hobbies.  That little tree in the center is actually an ombu that he has kept from growing to full size.

Mario has lots of plants to tend in his balcony garden.

We sat at the dining room table where I filmed Mario talking about work and the milongas for two hours.

Then he put on some romantic music by one of his favorite singers. He opened his arms and I entered his embrace.  I closed my eyes and was in another place. It was a surprise that we were dancing since Mario has back and knee problems.  I hope he will be able to dance in Nuevo Gricel one day soon.

The bus stop was only a half a block away, but Mario escorted me there.  I kissed him on the cheek and thanked him for the evening.

Mario will turn 93 on October 10th.  Can you  believe it? I can’t.

The milongas are opening in Buenos Aires!

September 17, 2021

This is what we have been waiting for since March 2020. The city of Buenos Aires just isn’t the same without the milongas.  You can find a listing of milongas by day at Hoymilonga.com

The annual TANGO BA Festival and Mundial began last night with the opening concert in Usina del Arte.  There are virtual events that you can enjoy from today until September 26.

You must be patient for another important announcement from President Fernandez that the country is open to tourism.

InfoBA reports that after November 1 entry of all foreigners to the country is authorized (“Desde el 1 de noviembre se autoriza ingreso de todos los extranjeros, se solicitará para el ingreso al país“).

A visit with Jorge Uzunian in Flores

September 5, 2021

 

I called Jorge and asked if a visit at 5:00 would be okay for him. The trip to Flores would be the farthest I’ve traveled in the city in years. It took me only a half hour bus ride and a three block walk to reach Jorge’s apartment building.  I once considered that a long trip for dancing when I went to Salon El Pial in Flores.  I had my camera with me and took this photo minutes after my arrival.

These are two photos of Jorge with a former girlfriend, when they were a young couple (right) and on his 90th birthday (left).  She wanted to marry Jorge, but he preferred being single all his life.

No, that’s not a photo of Fred Astaire.  That’s Jorge who was a professional tap dancer.  He performed on stage and had an agent.  That leap onto one leg takes practice and strength. I learned about this part of Jorge’s life for the first time yesterday.  That’s why I had to take shots of these photos on the wall.

Jorge could have doubled for Gene Kelly with this photo.  He was an elegant dancer who was elegantly dressed.

Jorge has more pairs of shoes than I do.  He took out one of his tap shoes to show me.  This proves to me how much he loved tap dancing, known as zapateo Americano here.  I learned to tap in my teenage years and attended classes at the nearby park where my mom was the pianist.  I couldn’t resist buying a pair of tap shoes a few years ago that I found at a house sale in BA.

The one large room is his bedroom and dining room.  The apartment has a large balcony with lots of plants and a small vegetable garden.  Jorge’s work was landscaping, so of course “El Jardinero” has a garden.  The walls are full of photos and memorabilia.   We watched videos when Jorge danced for the last time for his 85th birthday in Plaza Bohemia and also a special tribute to the milongueros several years ago at the National Congress.

This happy young woman is Luz, who is a nurse and his full-time caretaker. She prepares his meals and takes good care of him.  She is full of love and joy.  If you want to connect with Jorge, you can send your message and/or photo to her email.

I had a wonderful three-hour visit with Jorge and Luz.  I’m invited back anytime for another visit.

Rosa Cove

August 30, 2021

August 30, 1928 —

 

I called Rosita to wish her a happy birthday.  She still thinks of Pocho and misses him very much.  They were quite the couple to watch in the milongas.  Her apartment was a block from La Ideal on Suipacha where Rosita danced regularly with Pocho.  Now she is living in Martinez with her daughter and the family.

When I began writing this blog, I focused on the milongueros since they are the ones with whom I danced and conversed.  Readers wrote asking why I didn’t write about the milongueras.  Of course!  So I began taking photos and talking with them.  After all, it takes two to tango.

Haydée Ofelia Sorsonito

August 29, 2021

August 20, 1934 —

When we talked a few months ago, I promised to call on her birthday.  Her phone was so busy that I kept leaving messages.  Today I finally had a phone call with her.  These are my favorite photos, especially the one of her with Ruben Harymbat.

Jorge Uzunian

August 29, 2021

August 29, 1930 —

I’m hoping to have a visit this week with Jorge at his apartment in Flores after not seeing him for several years.  I stay in touch with him by phone.  I want to give him a CD I made for him.

If you know Jorge and would like to give him a call for his 91st birthday, he would be delighted to hear from you. His phone number is (54-11) 4637 3936.