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Famous Tango Dancers

By Edited May 21, 2016 0 0

El Virulazo

Real Name: Jorge Martin Orcaizaguirre
(October 10, 1926 - August 2, 1990)

His personal dancing style was special and brilliantly highlighted in the context of the show Tango Argentino, which was a complete success in New Yorl. After many years of engaging in various occupations, interspersed with performances in cabarets in Buenos Aires and Rosario, Virulazo and Elvira were found in 1983 by Claudio Segovia and Hector Orezzoli, tango dancers seeking dancers for the music magazine that they were going to debut in Paris that same season.
Coming from a modest home in the neighborhood of San Justo, his nickname “Virulazo” appeared when he was 18 and played bowls for cash in the back of the stores in his city, San Justo (suburb city of Buenos Aires).

His birth name was Jorge Orcaizaguirre. He had Basque and Italian origins from his mother’s side. His grandparents were the ones to raise him because his parents separated soon.

Upon retiring from the stage, shortly before his death, Elvira Virulazo boosted by the establishment of a municipal school of tango dancing, installed at the Centro Cultural San Martin in Buenos Aires, an started a whole new generation of fans in the 90s.

Juan Carlos Copes

He was a dancer and choreographer. Born in Buenos Aires in 1931. When he was only 21 years old, he won the dance competition organized by the Luna Park in Buenos Aires.
His dancing couple was Maria Nieves. He conducted tours round the country and abroad.
He formed the "Conjunto Juvenil de Tango Moderno" and later the “Conjunto Coreográfico de Tango”.
He later traveled to the United States to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show with his group "Tango Ballet", under the musical direction of Astor Piazzolla.
He spent 10 years working abroad; when he returned, he worked for the television and in different parts of the Buenos Aires night life.

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Real name: Elías Borovsky

He was born in Buenos Aires to a couple of immigrants; his father was Russian and his mother was Polish. He grew up in an atmosphere of tango. From his early teens, he shared the long hours of practice that his older brother had with his friends. His brother, Simón, later married Rosita who was also a dancer and kept on going to the dances for years after getting married. Elías was not meant for the world of business, religion, formality or the worship of money. His religion was the tango, and he was a perfectionist. He was a house painter, a true handyman, skillful with his hands as he was with his dance. But he never really became interested in work as much as he was interested in dance. He actually never considered dance as a profession. He spent his life teaching groups, professional dancers, perfecting choreography or teaching couples how to act in theater or television, free of charge. It was by pure perfectionism, as he could not stand seeing mediocre dancers perform on theaters or TV shows. Since he was a teenager, he spent years practicing, perfecting steps and turns and creating figures. At eighteen or nineteen he painted the tango dance hall "La Buenos Aires" and quit his parents’ house to sleep on a shelf in the closet instead. During that time, he got to know Humberto Martucci, another great tango dancer who later became his brother in law, and who became his friend that very night he saw him dance. Martucci also left his parents’ house and started to sleep on another shelf of the wardrobe. Later on, these friends became close family, as they married the sisters Felicia ("Nilda") and Anita ("La Gallega"), two girls they used to dance with at exhibitions and shows.

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El cachafaz

Real name: José Ovidio Bianquet
Short name: Benito
(February 14, 1885 - February 7, 1942)

The story of "The Cachafaz" is part of the tango mythology, a legend. Today there are few left who can testify to his life and his art.

His image was recorded on the TANGO film, released in 1933, where he can be seen with his partner Carmencita Calderón, just a youngster at the time.

He appears inelegant under the waist, his torso up straight, but with too much movement of the feet, possibly by order of the director of the film, to get attention.

The Spanish dictionary translates “cachafaz” as shameless, impudent, mischievous, and lazy.

He might have been or not, but definitely his face raised doubts. Combing hair gel, with his hair tightly pulled back, Indian features and pockmarked, always posing very serious in photos and film.

His real name was Ovidio José Bianquet, although for some his name was Benito.

He was born on February 14, 1885 at the corner of Boedo and Independencia, today’s Boedo neighborhood.

In 1911 he traveled to the United States and when he came back in 1913 he set up a tango academy.

Between 1910 and 1929 he had two partners, both in love and in dancing: Emma Bóveda and Elsa O'Connor, who was later recognized as an outstanding actress of theater and cinema. He then danced with Isabel San Miguel and since 1933 exclusively with Carmencita Calderón.

In 1919 he went to Paris, apparently to act in the mythical "Garron" where he met the Argentine musician Manuel Pizarro and his brothers, but the European way of life didn’t please him and he came back.

He then started giving expensive dance lessons to wealthy people.

He died at the end of a performance in the city of Mar del Plata on February 7, 1942.

The Tango Fundamentals: Volume One - Basic Elements
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