Nada Más - Tango
© by Cosima Diaz Campos, 11 February 2022
The beautiful tango "Nada Más" is written by Juan D'Arienzo and Luis Rubistein (music & lyrics) in 1938. In this year, Juan D'Arienzo recorded his version with the singer Alberto Echagüe. This is probably the version that is most played at milongas, and that is often chosen for performances. The strong accents, the amazing syncopations and the sudden stops give dancers many options to be creative with their improvisations on the dance floor.
Two arrangements by Canaro: one for dancers and one for listeners
In the same year, Francisco Canaro recorded two arrangements to this tango: one with singer Robert Maida and one with Ada Falcón. Tango has a long history of being both a music for dancers and a music for listeners. In this case you can hear the difference very clearly: the...
© by Cosima Diaz Campos, 22 January 2022
Celebration Days in Argentina
In Argentina it is a custom to dedicate celebration days. These official and national Days of celebration are a symbol of recognizition.
Here are just a few examples: Día del Estudiante (Day of the Student), Día del Maestro (Day of the Teacher), Día del Camionero (Day of the Truck Driver), Día del Médico (Day of the Medical Doctor), Día del Niño (Day of the Child), Día del Artista Plástico (Day of the Plastic Artists), and the list goes on.
Día del Bailarín de Tango
The Day of the Tangodancers is celebrated 7th of February, in honour of the passing of José Ovidio Bianquet El Cachafaz, el 7 de febrero de 1942 en Mar del Plata at the age of 57, after his ultimate show on stage of El Rancho Grande. Since 1933 until...
Gallo Ciego (Tango)
© by Cosima Diaz Campos, 22 January 2022
Agustín Bardi (1884 – 1941) composed the tango Gallo Ciego.
Gallo Ciego is a children's game (see photo).
Litterally Gallo Ciego means blind rooster.
The first recorded version I have found is by Julio De Caro (1927).
The next recording I could find is 11 years later, by Ricardo Tanturi (1938 by Odeon).
Of course we don't know how many other tango orchestras have played Gallo Ciego at milongas, but we have at least these two recordings of 1927 and 1938.
It took another 21 years untill another version of Chiqué was recorded, played by Osvaldo Pugliese (1959 by Odeon). Although this was officially 'after the Golden Era', it still has the same signature style that Pugliese already had developed in the Golden Era, and the style that he played at packed full milongas with great success amongst the...
© by Cosima Diaz Campos , 21 January 2022
Let's listen to three interprations of the same tango: "Nada".
They were all recorded in 1944, the Golden Era of Tango.
The tango "Nada" was composed in 1944 by José Dames, and the lyrics were written by Horacio Sanguinetti.
Miguel Caló and singer Raul Iriarte were the first to record this new piece, with RCA-Victor. You can say it was an instant hit. A month later Di Sarli and Podesta recorded the piece with Odeon, and two months later Biagi and Alberto Amor recorded it with Odeon.
I can only imagine what it must have been like, in that time, when a new hit came out. The excitement of the dancers when they heard it for the first time! And the thrill for the musicians, when they found it and made the arrangements or made the improvisations of this new piece according to their orchestra style. Only one version...
Tango Dance | A few common Rhythms
© by Cosima Diaz Campos , 2 December 2021
The word rhythm is close to the ancient Greek word rhythmos, which is derived from the ancient Greek rhein, “to flow”. The ancient Greek concept of rhythmos probably refered to the momentary positions taken by dancers during the course of their performance.
Nowadays, in its most general sense, rhythm is an ordered alternation of contrasting elements. The philosopher Matila Ghyka synthesizes as follows:
“Rhythm is the experience of orderly flow of a movement”.
Rhythm in nature
the rhythm of our breathing and of our heart beating, our circadian rhythms, the circle of the earth around the sun (night and day), the circle of the moon around the earth (tidal ebb and flow), etc.
Rhythm in arts
music, dance, poetry, performance art, painting, drawing, sculpture,...
Photo taken during a performance for the opening of the cultural season in Amsterdam (Uitmarkt, main stage), during the time that I only trained solo. Photographer: Bert Verleur.
20 October 2021, by Cosima Diaz Campos
This blog is about what solo tango training means to me, and why I think it is so important for every tangodancer.
Why I started solo tango training
At the start of my tangolife I trained solo. Mariano had a dance partner with whom he trained at least three times a week for a couple of hours, for their theatre shows, and he did not want to train with me. He only danced with me at milongas. He had taught his ex-girlfriend tango from absolute beginner to professional, and he did not want to fall into the same trap again. So his plan was to never dance professionally with his girlfriend. We all know that plan failed, but let's save that story for another time. In this...
12 October 2021, by Cosima Díaz Campos
El Molinete is the name of the 'windmill' figure in tango. Classically, the molinete consists of a side step, front step, pivot forward, side step, pivot backward, and back step. The molinete can start in any of the four directions. When four steps are made around, we get a giro (full turn). When only three of the four steps are being made, we usually call it a media luna (half moon).
Although there are also combinations in which the leader walks the molinete around the follower, in most variations the follower walks the molinete around the leader in tango. The leader is in the middle, and can dance many different variations while the follower walks the molinete. The leader invites the follower to dance around him by continuously keeping the rotation in his spine to one side. The leaders' steps are build from combinations of changes...
1 October 2021, by Cosima Diaz Campos
In memory of the legendary tango singer Ikuo Abo (20 April 1937 - 1 September 2021).
Today I invite you to listen to the tango En Esta Tarde Gris (in this grey afternoon) played by Orquesta Típica Masaichi Sakamoto with singer Ikuo Abo, recorded in the 60's.
Ikuo Abo did not speak Spanish. He learnt all the lyrics of the tango phonetically.
His pronounciation is amazing, and his phrasing is impressive. Phrasing in tango singing is one of the most difficult aspects, and also one of the most important. The orchestra also plays impeccable, their timing and phrasing, their accents, the play with volume is wonderful.
26 September 2021, by Mariano Diaz Campos
"When should we start teaching navigation on the dance floor to our beginner groups?" This is a question we regularly get from Tango teachers who join our lessons. Navigation on the dance floor is a special skill to learn, that can be supported by the teachers.
For us the answer is undoubtelty: from the very first step. With an elegant balance and a caminada the navigation can be practiced really well from the very beginning. The caminada helps to dance in the ronda, and the balance is great to use to dance on the spot. Next is the cunita, a simple turn on the spot. This is useful for the leaders to learn to scan the dancers around them, and get a sense of the flow on the dance floor. Depending on the flow of the group of dancers, the leader can decide to walk forward, or to stay on the spot (turning or not). It is just as important to be...
12 Sep 2021 by Cosima Díaz Campos
Merceditas - Tango
Orquestra Símbolo Osmar Maderna
Direction: Aquiles Roggero (originally violinist)
Singers: Adolfo Rivas & Raúl Aldao
Composition & lyrics original chamamé: Rámon Sixto Rios
Arrangement for tango: presumably Osmar Maderna made the arrangement
Recorded in 1958.
Tangomusic & tangodance aficionados alike love the tango 'Merceditas'. The intro of this tango starts with the intense descending glissando by the violins, to continue with the peaceful and calming melody of this piece in e-minor. If the melody would be a landscape, I would see fields of granes waving in the wind.
After this intro the beat is picked up by the whole orchestra, with the sharp sounds of the bows of the violins on the string, to emphasize the rhythms. In this part, the violins continue with fast and accentuated...
Pugliese & Chopin
7 September 2021 by Cosima Diaz Campos ©
Osvaldo Pugliese loved Chopin's music. His wife Lydia Pugliese told us in an interview that he would practice Chopin's piano solo work daily. We asked her about Osvaldo's daily life routines. After breakfast he would go for a walk in the park with his wife every morning, and the rest of the morning he would play solo piano work from Chopin, before the rehearsals with his orchestras in the afternoon and the concerts in the evening. Pugliese gave concerts with his orchestra untill he was above 80 years old, a remarkable achievement.
Osvaldo Pugliese & Astor Piazzolla
6 September 2021 by Mariano Diaz Campos ©
Mariano is a certified journalist who writes about tango culture & history.
Musicians mentioned in this blog:
George Gershwin (1898 - 1937)
Julio de Caro (1899 – 1980)
Osvaldo Pugliese (1905 - 1995)
Anibal Troilo (1914 - 1975)
Astor Piazzolla (1921 -1992)
If you bring two of the biggest names in tango together, you are writing history. That is what Luis Aravena, musician, producer and theatreman, thought when he brought the two maestros of the Epoca de Oro of the tango to Amsterdam in 1989 to share the stage together in the Royal Theatre Carré. The only place and moment in history, where these two legends shared the stage. A unique event in the history of music & tango. The title of the concert was Finally Together.