Thursday, 9 July 2009

Carmencita Calderon

Welcome to the D'Agostino appreciation society! When I hear Adios Arrabal, I always listen out for the nostalgic, and mysterious verse towards the end:

El baile "Rodríguez Peña"
el Mocho y el Cachafaz
de la milonga porteña
que nunca más volverá...

Very roughly:

The “Rodríguez Peña” dance (hall?)
el Mocho and el Cachafaz
of the milonga of Buenos Aires
that will return no more.

Recently I found a video of Carmencita Calderon, who was the partner of El Cachafaz eighty years ago. There's a video of her dancing with Jorge Dispari on her one hundredth birthday last year, which isn't that clear, but this one is good. I don't know when it was made; not so many years ago, I guess. She not only dances but makes a very spirited, passionate speech about 'el tango', I think: I understand only a few words, but I love watching it as she's marvellously enthusiastic and cheerful. & it's followed by a very brief clip from a late 1930s film of her dancing with El Cachafaz, who died in 1942.

What struck me immediately is how clearly, decisively and unhurriedly she marks with her heels the milonga double time when it's in the music, without disturbing the flow of the dance. In fact, her rhythmic stepping, combined with short heels almost looks like flamenco, and really shows the excitement in the music.


Anonymous said...

Café Dominguez

Café Dominguez de la vieja calle Corrientes
que ya no queda
café del cuarteto bravo de Graciano de Leone
a tus mesas caian Pirincho, Arola, Firpo y Pacho
a escuchar tus tangos
era el iman que atraía
como el alcohol atrae a los borrachos
Café Dominguez de la vieja calle Corrientes
que ya no queda.

Tango commuter said...

'Noches bravas...'