Saturday, 30 March 2013

Villa Urquiza

Thanks to Jantango for passing on the link to another of those remarkable archives of videos that grow day by day on YouTube. This one is the channel of José Luis Ferraro, and Jantango characterises it as Villa Urquiza tango, some 80-odd videos filmed in Sunderland, Glorias Argentinas, Sin Rumbo, and elsewhere, and uploaded over the last seven months.

Perhaps it's a good time to remember what Villa Urquiza really stands for, since many of the wildest young Argentine teachers who come to London claim to dance Villa Urquiza. Watch El Chino Perico, his utmost calm and effortless sophistication on the floor: I get the sense of someone marvelously courteous, and I believe that is real Villa Urquiza, not the antics young teachers try to impress us with. I get the impression that tango was a civilizing influence: that young kids came in off the streets and learned how to behave with courtesy and dance with elegance, and if they didn't they weren't welcomed back. Tangoandchaos has a bit of the history, the story of El Chino and his friend Alberto Dassieu and their tutelage under Luis Lemos, the patron of tango in the Villa Urquiza barrio.

There's a variety of dance styles in these videos too. There's a marvellous clip of Carlitos Anzuate, a kind of dance I suspect goes back to the 1930s in which it is the man who has all the 'decoraciones' and the lady follows him around in a kind of minimal tango. It reminds me a bit of Osvaldo and Coca. (A number of these clips share the same opening sequence of social dance before the 'solo' sequences.) Then there's another couple in the archive who dance a tango that seems much closer to canyegue.

It's José Luis Ferraro's chanel, and about half the clips are of him. This is where I find it a bit less edifying, as I don't find triple voleos and high kicks that impressive. Just my opinion, but I believe it's far harder and much more impressive to dance like El Chino than to dance like Ferraro...


Irene and Man Yung said...

Dear Tangocommuter,

Thanks for the link to the video of Carlos and Porota! Irene has danced milonga with Carlos but this is the first time we have seen him dance with Porota while she was still in good health. Everyone we have talked to in Buenos Aires has told us that they were stuff of legend together - this video is a gem.

Irene and Man Yung

Tangocommuter said...

& thank you for the clip of Irene dancing with Carlos a year or so ago; I only looked at this video because I remembered his name, and I hoped you might pick up on it. What a treat it is! It's really great there are records of some of the variety of 'tango'.

Hope you'll soon have a chance to get back there and enjoy some more similar encounters!


Chris said...

Nice article, TC. Thanks.

"many of the wildest young Argentine teachers who come to London claim to dance Villa Urquiza"

I've been watching the string of adverts for these people's classes and the video demos of the product from the organisers that most hire them, such as Carablanca. I'm counting the number of videos that actually present some evidence of social dance experience. So far: show dance videos 23, social dance videos 0.