Archive for the ‘Private dance houses’ Category

Lo de Laura

May 3, 2009

lo-de-lauraLo de Laura was one of the most famous dance houses at the turn of the 20th century in Buenos Aires.  It was owned by Laurentina Montserrat. This photograph shows the building as it stands today in Recoleta on Paraguay 2512 near Av. Puerreydon.  There was more than dancing going on.  Lo de Laura was not a brothel in a strictest sense of the word, but it was one although she was very careful not to admit it.  City laws did not permit dancing and a brothel to coexist.  Only 20 blocks separated the private house of Maria La Vasca from that of Lo de Laura.

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Maria La Vasca

March 22, 2009

maria-de-la-vasca-carlos-calvo-2721Maria Rangolla was born in 1866  in the Basque region of France, hence the name La Vasca . The earliest documentation about her was that she had a dance academia on Pozos and Independencia where she got her start as a dancer in 1884.   Maria La Vasca opened her private dance house in 1903, and she was the madam.  Rosendo Mendizábal premiered his tango El Entrerriano (Man from Entre Rios) at Maria’s house, located on what was then called  Europa near the corner of Jujuy in the neighborhood San Cristóbal.  The façade of her house still stands today at Carlos Calvo 2721.  Her partner Carlos Kern (called the Englishman), a well-known dancer in those days, managed the house for Maria from 1903-1909.  In 1914 Juan Carlos Bazán dedicated his tango La Vasca to Maria. 

After reading Hector Benedetti‘s article about Maria La Vasca, I had to go and see the house which is six blocks from my home.   The building is now a laboratory with the façade as it was a century ago.  If only the walls could talk, imagine the tales they would tell!