Saturday, January 20, 2018

Las "Barras" del Tango (The Tango Orchestras' "Hooligans")

By Luigi Seta

Tango is not only its music or its dance steps… also there is something else… encompasses its poetry, its history, its sentiment, its  relationship with politics and how tango changed people’s everyday life… in other words, to understand tango is necessary to understand its culture.

El tango no es solo su música o sus pasos de baile... incluye también su poesía, su historia, su sentimiento, su relación con la política y cómo el tango cambió la vida cotidiana de las personas... en otras palabras, para entender el tango es necesario entender su cultura.

A good example is the passion that tango aroused on people in the Golden Age, similar to the one that we can found today in football (soccer) teams in the Argentina of today.

Un buen ejemplo es la pasión que despertó el tango en el pueblo en la Época de Oro, similar a la que podemos encontrar hoy en los equipos de fútbol en la Argentina.

The 1944 tango “Domingo a la Noche” by Juan José Guichandut and Oscar Rubinstein, recorded by Caló / Berón and Tanturi / Campos in the same year, is describing in first person, the typical and religious Sunday night friends’ get together at the usual cafe of the neighborhood, to comment on their news and happenings.

El tango de 1944 "Domingo a la Noche" de Juan José Guichandut y Oscar Rubinstein, grabado por Caló / Berón y Tanturi / Campos en el mismo año, describe en primera persona, las típicas y casi religiosas reuniones de amigos en las noches del domingo, quienes se reunían en el café del barrio, para comentar sobre sus novedades y acontecimientos.

Let’s find out in this lyrics that the tango orchestras was one of the preferred topics of discussion. /
Descubramos en esta letra que las orquestas de tango fueron uno de los temas preferidos de discusión.

"Domingo a la Noche "(Sunday's Night)
Tango - 1944

Café de un barrio porteño
En la noche de domingo...
Sexta edición, cubiletes,
El tema: fútbol y pingos.
Cuatro muchachos charlando
En la mesa de rigor,
José, Ricardo y Anselmo
Y el cuarto: un servidor.
Y mientras van discutiendo
Si es mejor River o Boca,
Si es mejor Legui que Antúnez
O qué orquesta es superior.
Anselmo cuenta sus penas,
Ricardo su mala suerte,
Y José, muy tristemente,
Que sus cosas van peor.

Café at a Buenos Aires neighborhood
On Sunday night ...
Sixth newspaper edition, goblets,
The topic: soccer and horse races.
Four boys chatting
At the usual table,
José, Ricardo and Anselmo
And the fourth: myself.
And while they are arguing
If it is better River or Boca,
If Legui is better than Antúnez
Or which orchestra is superior.
Anselmo tells his sorrows,
Ricardo his bad luck,
And José, very sadly,
That his things go worse.

Version Miguel Caló Orchestra 
Singer Raúl Berón - Recorded Aug-16-1944

Also, there are some urban stories about the different groups of followers of the tango orchestras, telling us that they were so passionate about their idols that the discussions were so heated that fights were quite frequent.
For instance the Pugliese followers identified themselves wearing a Band-Aid in the face, so if you were in a milonga where Troilo was performed and you saw a bunch of guys with Band-Aids, you knew that trouble was about to start!

Además, hay algunas historias urbanas sobre los diferentes grupos de seguidores de las orquestas de tango, que nos dicen que estaban tan apasionados con sus ídolos que las discusiones fueron tan acaloradas que las peleas fueron bastante frecuentes.
Por ejemplo, los seguidores de Pugliese se identificaban aplicándose una curita en la cara, así que si estuviste en una milonga donde tocaba Troilo y viste a un grupo de tipos con curitas, ¡sabías que el lío estaba por comenzar!

About this, let’s watch this interesant excerpt from a Pugliese’s documentary / Miremos este interesante fragmento de un documental de Pugliese sobre esto.

Excerpt from Pulgiese's documentary
"Soy del Pueblo" - Encuentro TV channel

In closing, let’s give us the opportunity to explore more an more about the tango culture, called “Tangueidad” to place ourselves a little bit closer to its sentiment.

Para finalizar, démonos la oportunidad de explorar más y más sobre la cultura del tango, llamada "Tangueidad", para estar más cerca a su sentimiento.

© Luigi Seta

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Ilegal Milongas in Paris

While the fever for tango gradually returns to Parisian streets, a group of young people organize several times a week and without the authorization of the authorities of Paris illegal "milongas" in the open air in which dozens of couples participate.

Article translated by DJ Luigi from Tango City magazine.

As in its golden years, that dance is once again the rage in Paris, but not only in the cabarets but also in the streets and the most emblematic places of the French capital, like the esplanade in front of the lavish Opera Garnier, the central courtyard from the Royal Palace and even the docks facing the Seine River. 

To these luxury backdrops is added a pinch of mischief, given that these milongas do not have the approval of the city authorities and therefore are "milegales", as the organizers call them using a play on words. 

Hundreds of people are inscribed on these mailing lists coordinated by the French Fabrice Ballion and Tonton Jojo (as they call themselves), who send a message the day before or just hours before announcing the place and time where the next call will be made. 

"When it began, about two years ago, there was a small group of about ten or fifteen people, and little by little that nucleus got bigger, people talked and then enrolled in the lists and then the rumor circulated for everyone. sides and quickly was aware, "he told Efe Ballion. 

In each milonga about 50 couples of all ages participate, who sneak in from all corners of Paris and who are always attentive to leave quickly when the police threaten to seize the music equipment they use to dance. 

"In general, the police are very understanding, we do not come to fight, we come to dance and have a good time," says an Italian tango girl of about 70, who prefers not to identify herself but confesses with mischief that when the agents arrive to cancel the dance "they run away" quickly from the place. 

Young people are also present, attracted by tango for different reasons, such as the one given by a young Algerian who lives in Paris and who knew the River Plate dance through the film "Perfume de mujer", when Al Pacino danced to the sound of " Por Una Cabeza". 

"I am a guitarist and for a long time I was interested in Argentine folklore, like the chacarera, and then I wanted to play tangos, but in order to do that I first had to learn to dance, and now that I dance it I do not play it anymore," the young man told Efe. 

Another tango player, about 40 years old, who participates in these milongas from the beginning and approaches several times each week, confesses that illegality adds a "spicy element" and "rekindles interest" in dance. 

For this man, of French nationality, tango is an addiction: "It has a great emotional charge, with the couple and with the music, and it transforms our lives". 

Such is the success of the illegal milongas that the organizers no longer seek the permission of the authorities, but prefer to keep this transgressive aspect and organize them in the places that occur spontaneously. 

"It must stay that way, wild, pirate and improvised, we do not want to ask for the necessary authorization from anyone," says Ballion, who adds the benefit of making them in the open air because they are free: "We do not want anyone to have to pay to come to dance tango. " 

When choosing the best place in Paris to dance, opinions agree that there is nothing better than the floor of the Opera Garnier esplanade, in the heart of the city, and also the Trocadero marble surface, which makes it possible to glide more easily and under the watchful eye of the Eiffel Tower. EFE

Hidden Milonga Miami Beach
a clandestine milonga 
every 2nd Saturday
organized by Lorena & Luigi

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Why the Tango lyrics are so important (Porqué las letras del Tango son tan importantes)

El Tango y la importancia de sus letras. Esta esa una cuestión que siempre se ha soslayado o minimizado. Muchas veces he escuchado a bailarines decir que la letra los distrae o les hace perder el ritmo musical. Pero están obviando algo crucial: la Cultura Tanguera o "Tangueidad".

Tango and the importance of its lyrics. This is an issue that has always been overlooked or minimized. Many times I have heard dancers to say that the lyrics distract them or make them lose the musical rhythm. But they are obviating something crucial: the Tango Culture or "Tangueidad"

El tango en sus letras representa gran parte de la identidad argentina porteña y uruguaya con cuyos elementos se sigue construyendo hasta la actualidad y con su poesía, el amor y el sufrimiento, la experiencia de vida transcurrida en cafés y bares, el vino, el puerto, la música popular, etc.

Tango in its lyrics represents a great part of the Argentine identity of Buenos Aires and of the Uruguay, whose elements continue to be constructed until today with its poetry,  love and suffering, the experience of life spent in cafes and bars, wine, the popular music, etc.

Por eso, tengamos muy en cuenta los que nos dicen estos grandes Maestros Sara Grdan e Iván Terrazas / Therefore, let us keep in mind what have to say these great Maestros Sara Grdan and Ivan Terrazas:

Superb Dancers and Maestros 
Sara Grdan and Iván Terrazas

Para acceder a muchos tangos traducidos, puedes visitar / For many translated tangos and more, please visit: 

© Luigi Seta

Moneda de Cobre (Copper Coin) - Tango 1942

Music: Carlos Viván / Lyrics: Horacio Sanguinetti
Ricardo Tanturi Orchestra / Singer Alberto Castillo 
Dec 4,1942 - Buenos Aires RCA-Victor 39807 84093


Tu padre era rubio, borracho y malevo,
tu madre era negra con labios malvón.
Mulata naciste con ojos de cielo
y mota en el pelo de negro carbón.
Creciste entre el lodo de un barrio muy pobre,
cumpliste veinte años en un cabaret.
Y ahora te llaman moneda de cobre
porque vieja y triste muy poco valés.

Moneda de cobre,
yo sé que ayer fuiste hermosa;
yo con tus alas de rosa
te vi volar mariposa
y después te vi caer...
Moneda de fango,
¡Qué bien bailabas el tango!...
Qué linda estabas entonces,
como una reina de bronce,
allá en el "Folies Berger".

*Aquel barrio triste de barro y de latas
igual que tu vida desapareció...
Pasaron veinte años, querida mulata,
no existen tus padres, no existe el farol.

Quizás en la esquina te quedes perdida
buscando la casa que te vio nacer;
seguí, no te pares, no muestres la herida...
No llores mulata, total, ¡para qué!*

Your father was blond, drunk and malevolent,
your mother was black with crimson lips.
You was born mulatta, with sky eyes
and specks in the carbon black hair.
You grew up in the mud of a very poor neighborhood,
you celebrated twenty years old in a cabaret.
And now they call you Copper Coin
because old and sad your value is very little.

Copper Coin,
I know that yesterday you were beautiful;
I saw you fly butterfly
with your rose wings,
and then I saw you fall...
Coin of mud,
How well you danced tango!...
How beautiful you were then,
like a bronze queen,
there at the "Folies Berger".

*That sad neighborhood of mud and cans
just as your life, disappeared...
Twenty years passed, my dear mulatta,
your parents do not exist, the street lantern
does not exist.

Maybe you will be lost in the street corner,
looking for the house where you born;
keep going, do not stop, do not show the wound...
Do not cry mulatta, so, for what!*
* Note: this part was not sung in the Tanturi's version, but illustrates the message of the tango.
* Nota: esta parte no está cantada en la versión de Tanturi, pero ilustr el mensaje del tango.

Danced to Moneda de Cobre, as the inhabitants of the River Plate do:
Singer Juan Villarreal / Dancers
Eric Dinzel & Flavia Kohut and 
Laura Murphi & Fransley Marcel

Moneda de Cobre in a open milonga, "Milonga Callejera" Providencia, Chile. Cheers!

interpretado por Natacha Traiman (voz), Federico Wolf (Guitarra) y Rodolfo Jorquera (bandoneón). Milonga Callejera en Castillito Sermini, el Sábado 11 de marzo de 2017.
© Luigi Seta

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Casablanca's film plot... a real Tango Story!

This Casablanca scene, from the excellent romantic film noir by Michael Curtiz, shot in 1942 and starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, well could be a plot of a tango. It has all its elements, a married woman who is unfaithful to her husband and who tries to rebuild his image according to what society imposes on her and who, in the end can not escape the true love for his lover.

Esta escena de Casablanca, del excelente film noir romántico de Michael Curtiz, rodado en el año 1942 y protagonizado por Humphrey Bogart e Ingrid Bergman, bien podría ser la trama de un tango. Tiene todos sus elementos, una mujer casada que le es infiel a su marido y que trata de recomponer su imagen de acuerdo a lo que la sociedad le impone y que al final no puede sustraerse del verdadero amor hacia su amante.

Actually this plot already existed a lot before, and I refer to the tango of Pedro Maffia and Jorge Curi "Te Aconsejo Que Me Olvides" (I advise you to forget me), composed in 1928.

En realidad este plot ya existía con mucha anterioridad, y me refiero al tango de Pedro Maffia y Jorge Curi "Te Aconsejo Que Me Olvides", compuesto en 1928.

Let us judge the message of this lyrics for ourselves...  /  Juzguemos por nosotros mismos el mensaje de esta letra...


Recibí tu última carta
en la cual tú me decías,
te aconsejo que me olvides
todo ha muerto entre los dos.
Solo pido mis retratos
y todas las cartas mías,
ya lo sabes que no es justo
que aún eso conserves vos.

Hoy reconoces la falta;
tienes miedo que yo diga,
que le cuente a que tu marido,
nuestra íntima amistad.
Soy muy hombre no te vendo,
no soy capaz de una intriga;
lo comprendo si es que hablara,
quiebro tu felicidad.

Pero no vas a negar
que cuando vos fuiste mía,
dijiste que me querías,
que no me ibas a olvidar.
Y que ciega de cariño
me besabas en la boca,
como si estuvieras loca
sedienta nena de amar.


I received your last letter
in which you said, 
"I advise you to forget me
everything has died between the two.
I'm just asking for my pictures
and all my letters,
you know that it's not fair
that you still conserving those".

Today you acknowledge the fault;
you're afraid of me saying,
telling your husband,
our intimate friendship.
I am very manly, I don’t  sell you,
I am unable to intrigue;
I understand if I speak,
I will break your happiness.

But you will not deny
that when you were mine,
you said you loved me,
that you will not forget me.
And blind of affection
you kissed me on the mouth,
like you were crazy
thirsty babe for love.

Here interpreted by / Aquí interpretado por

Fausto Carpino and Stephanie Fesneau

Belgrade Tango Encuentro 2017

As always... Tango was premonitory and always awaits with its advice...
Until the next Tango Pill!    Remember... take it at your own risk...

Como siempre... el Tango fue premonitorio, y siempre nos espera con sus consejos... 
¡Hasta la próxima Tango Pill!     Como siempre... tómenla a su propio riesgo...

© Luigi Seta