Archive for the ‘ Male Dancers ’ Category

1916, November 13 – LATIMER LOSES EYE TO TANGO !

That night Brent Latimer had taken the long train ride from Greenville to Ashville North Carolina to attend a tango dance which he had read about in the newspaper…once there he was quite smitten by a fashionable young lady and finally found the nerve to ask her to dance…he was totally immersed into the magic of the moment, when suddenly, during a turn, the quill in the girl’s hat somehow entered behind his glasses and pierced his right eye…he was rushed to the hospital but unfortunately nothing could be done and he lost sight completely in that eye…Tango was all the rage then and had been popularized primarily by the mythical dance team of Vernon and Irene Castle who made close dancing chic in America with their success on broadway and with their best seller “Modern Dancing” published in 1914…


On a trip to Paris performing the latest American dances, the Castles were the rage of Parisian society and it is there that they discovered Tango…their success was widely reported in the United States, preparing their way for a triumphant return to New York in 1912 and their introduction of this new dance to American society eventually even popularizing an innovative hands free tango step…Irene was the daughter of a prominent New York physician and Veron was an aspiring actor from Norwich England…their marriage was not approved by Irene’s father but together they would attain fame and fortune….he died at the age of 30 as a decorated pilot in World War I; she would marry three other times but would pay tribute to him in her memoir “My Husband”


  • CLICK HERE – to see a clip of Vernon and Irene Castle dancing including an instant when they dance the tango…the later part of the clip shows a section from the the 1939 film “The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle” starring Fred Astair and Ginger Rogers

1937, November 12 – BIRTH OF HECTOR MAYORAL

Dancer, Choreographer (Scorpio) – In 2009  fictionalized film of this man’s life and career it describes him as “the greatest dancer of all time”…he plays himself in the film, The Man Who Dances,  which is a collage of the different stages in his life…he grew up in a tough Villa Pueyrredon neighborhood and had to leave school early but his salvation was his love of dance….during the day he worked odd jobs but at night he would hang around the milongas where the old milongueros took him under their wing and showed him how to dance…in one of life’s turning moments, one evening at a milonga he struck by a shy girl standing alone and he asked her to dance..


Elsa Maria Borquez was from the mythical neighborhood of La Boca who at the age of 8 had started studying ballet, music and art; she would become his life’s and career partner…their destiny would take them, as dancers in the award-winning “Tango Argentino” and “Forever Tango” all over the world….they have danced and taught people like Lady Di, Hillary and Bill Clinton, Robert Duvall, Frank Sinatra, Placido Domingo, Robert Deniro, Mijail Baryshnikov, Rudolf Nureyev, Liza Minelli, Julio Iglesias, Whoopi Goldberg…As innovators, they have developed a new health alternative therapy, “Cardio respiratory benefits during the tango dance”, together with professional scientists from the “Fundación Cardiológica Argentina”….Hector says “when you hear the beat of the tango and it travels through your ear annd into your heart, and it becomes your legs, you feel that you are telling the story of your barrio”


1933, November 9 – PREMIERE OF FILM “DANCING”

The dismal failure of this film almost destroyed production company Argentina Sono Film…it was the second of a trilogy of films, the first being “Tango” and the third being “Riachuelo” produced in quick succession…the idea of director Luis Moglia Barth had been that combining resources in the making of three films would reduce cost and risk; in fact “Dancing” resulted in the loss of two key money men and almost destroyed the company…company owner Alberto Mentasti had to sell his personal assets and cut costs drastically to go ahead with the third film “Riachuela” which was a huge critical and financial success…”Dancing”, based on a play by Alejandro Berrutti, premiered at the Teatro Porteno in Buenos Aires; no surviving copies of the film have been found


The film however was notable for two reasons…First, It was Tito Lusiardo’s first film and it would launch his success as a dancer and comedic actor…Tito Lusiardo started as a stage hand and was to become one of a handful of true friends of Carlos Gardel…Secondly, it was the first film of  singer Carlos Varela and in which he sings  “Desde pebeta”…Carlos Varela, from a struggling family of 10 children, had to quit school to work at a variety of menial jobs before he was discovered by orchestra leader Roberto Firpo…Luis Moglia Barth (April 12, 1903 – June 18, 1984, Aries), an early pioneer in Argentina’s nascent  film industry, did over 30 films  often screenwriting his owns films


c. 1975, October 17 – BIRTH OF PABLO VERON

Dancer – In September of 2009 while he was seated at the famous All Night Milonga in New York city, a fan came up to his table, asked him to dance and when he refused she assailed him verbally, threw a glass of wine at him and slapped him whereupon he slapped her back….such are the vicissitudes of fame of  which he has said, “I do not see myself like a celebrity at all. I don’t like people seeing me that way, I never looked for fame, it is just not my dream”


But famous he is; perhaps the best known tango dancer in the world today….Early on he was considered a  young tap-dance prodigy and he was sent to New York by his parents to continue his studies…his first professional job was in the musical comedy “Evita” in 1986…two years later he in his first film, ” Cepayos”, he is a member of  a troupe of tango dancers which commit acts of political sabotage…the seminal event in his career however was when English film director Sally Potter sought him out for tango lessons and from there the idea was born for the semi autobiographical film “Tango Lesson” whose immense success skyrocketed his career…Pablo say, “a good tango dancer is someone who has respect for the woman; he adapts himself to her, he makes her feel that she is the best dancer, he dances for her”


1890, September 29 – birth of “EL POLLO RICARDO”

Dancer, Pianist, Composer (Libra) – Ricardo Scandroglio was “El Pollo Ricardo” (Ricardo the chicken) in the immensely popular tango by that name…born in Montevideo Uruguay, he spent his youth mingling in the bohemia cafes of his day; places like “La Giralda” and the “Londres”…it is there that he got his first exposure to tango and attained some notoriety as a dancer even though he was self taught…one day he met Luis Alberto Fernandez and an instant friendship developed…


It is Fernandez who wrote  “El Pollo Ricardo” in 1911 inspired, it is said, by Scandroglio’s dancing  which reminded him of a  strutting chicken…it was first recorded by the Carlos Warren Orchestra and thereafter it would become one of the most recorded tangos in history…”El Pollo Ricardo” has been continuously recorded for almost 100 years, the last being by Quinteto Los Tauras in 2003…Fernandez was a government bureaucrat, a clerk in the Montevideo police station,  and self-taught musician


1957, September 17 – debut of “LUCY DOES THE TANGO”

TV Episode – on this date aired this episode of the TV comedy “I Love Lucy”…discouraged by the returns of his  new chicken-raising business, Ricky declares that he’ll sell all his hens unless they starting laying more eggs…hoping to mollify Ricky, Lucy (born Aug. 6, 1911, Leo) and Ethel purchase five dozen eggs to plant them in the hen’s nests…


Unfortunately, Fred  unexpectedly shows up, and rather than admit her subterfuge, Lucy stuffs dozens of eggs in her clothes…It is at this point that Ricky arrives home, insisting that he and Lucy rehearse their tango routine for the upcoming  PTA show…the slapstick routine that follows elicited the loudest and longest sustained audience laughter of any episode in the history of I Love Lucy


1896, September 13 – birth of TITO LUSIARDO

Dancer (Virgo) – he was born in El Ferrol but raised in the neighborhood of San Telmo in Buenos Aires… …as a young man of 14 he was selected to carry the tail of the dress of Princess Isabella of Spain when she was in Buenos Aires for the Centennial of 1910..he started working as a stage hand for the Teatro Nacional.


His break came in 1918 when he acted and danced, in a borrowed tuxedo,  in the play “El Cabaret”… from then on he was a favorite with the critics…he would appear in innumerable stage productions and  nearly 40 movies always playing essentially the same part, the happy-go-lucky dancer…in March of 1977 as a guest on “Grandes Valores del Tango”, he suffered a stroke from which he never recovered passing away 5 years later.


  • CLICK HERE – to see Tito dance in the film “Buenas Noches Buenos Aires”, 1969,…he is dancing to a milonga called “La Trampera” written by Anibal Troilo who is shown briefly in the clip playing his the bandoneon