Archive for the ‘ Villa Puerreydon ’ Category

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, “Cardiorespiratory 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”



The fascist like overthrow on June 4, 1943 of the elected government did not augur well for poet Celedonio Flores…the dictatorship’s censors, in a misguided attempt to raise the moral level of Argentine society, began to prohibit precisely the kind of language he used to describe the tough underworld which he was familiar with…Celedonio Flores, of mixed african descent, was born in the neighborhood of Villa Crespo to a poor and sometimes violent family…he was restless in school and was often in trouble and so he quit to seek his fortune in the outer world…he worked at a number of odd jobs including having been a boxer…in the evenings, he led a wild, bohemian life among Buenos Aires’s clubs, cafes and houses of prostitution…it is in this dark underworld that he crossed paths with life’s tragic stories which would be the themes of his tangos…in 1920 he happened to send a simple poem entitled “Ultima Ora” to a newspaper which to his surprise was published and for which he was given five  pesos…that might have been the end of it had not Carlos Gardel happen to read the poem and created the tango “Margo” from it…


Carlos Gardel would go on to record twenty-one of his tangos in the process making Celedonio a famous poet and financially secure…for a number of years he wrote exclusively for the legendary Rosita Quiroga who was the incarnation of the characters he spoke about in his lyrics…Rosita  recited her tangos as she strummed her guitar not averse to using the slang and vulgar language she heard on the streets of her neighborhood of La Boca; the same one where her neighbor and teacher Juan De Dios Filiberto lived in…Celedonio Flores wrote many successful tangos like “Viejo Smoking” which was a great hit for Carlos Gardel in 1930 and “Mano A Mano” which would be a great hit for Julio Sosa 30 years later…in an interview Celedonio Flores was to say about his work, “I search for an piece of life, I live it personally in my mind, and slowly and carefully I begin to craft it with words”…Celedonio would attain much success in life but he would die embittered at the relatively young age of 51…Robert Farris Thompson in his celebrated book “Tango, The Art History of Love” called Celedonio Flores, “the poet laureate of the people”



Resigned to his fate, a man looks back and remembers the “Cafetiin”, the small neighborhood tavern, a microcosm of the world which as a curious child he first saw with his nose pressed against the cold window pane...” you taught me to smoke to drink to gamble… it is there that I first learned to dream, to believe in true love…it is there, that later as an adult, I cried over disillusionment”…this was one of the masterpieces of the legendary lyricist Enrique Santos Discepolo, a close friend of Eva Peron, who would himself die of disillusionment when his friends rejected him for his ardent support of Peronism…Discepolo, the pessimistic philosopher, the “philosopher of spare change”  has been quoted by a variety of writers…the renown activist French historian Pierre Vidal-Naquet cited Discepolo’s  “Calambache” in his study of the causes of neo-nazism


Tania, born in Toledo Spain and renown for her sense of humor, was a famous singer of “cuples”, brief satirical Spanish songs…her first husband was a famous dancer whose stage name was “Mexican”; together they formed  “Tania-Mexican Dancing Partners”…..she first came to Buenos Aires with a theater company and thus discovered tango….Discepolo first laid eyes on her around 1927 at the “Follies Bergere” where she was singing “Esta Noche Me Emborracho” a tango for which Discepolo wrote both the music and the lyrics…it was Jose Razzano who made the formal introduction between them….one evening the shy, unassuming Discepolo invited Tania to his apartment for tea and as she was to recall many years later, “I was delighted…just in case, I took a small bag with a night dress…I spent the night and stayed forever”…while Discepolo died young at the age of 50, she lived until the age of 106…when asked the secret of her longevity she answered, “I always have a whiskey with lunch”



Dancer (Gemini) – during the dark period of military repression in the 1950s tango, which was associated with the overthrown Peronist regime, was repressed…tango artists were blackballed, jailed, many had to go into exile; lunfardo was banned, tango lyrics censured…Juan Carlos Copes however, was an untouchable…when he was performing, on one side of the theater were the military, on the other the mafia and in the middle the common people…Juan Carlos Copes was an institution with world-wide connections…his appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show was a resounding success; he was called back several times…he was the first to choreograph tango argentino on broadway…at the “cathedral of tango”, Cano 14, Juan Carlos Copes first began to put his choreographic ideas together, the knife fight between the neighborhood toughs, dancing on tables, tango among poor immigrants…these would become standard and be copied all over the world…Robert Duvall described him as “a rolls royce without a spedometer”


He choreographed the renown “Maria De Buenos Aires” by Astor Piazzolla…he starred in Carlos Saura’s academy award nominated “Tango” where he danced with his daughter Johanna…Juan Carlos Copes grew up listening to tango; his grandfather was the first professional tango flutist in history…he was planning a career as an electronic engineer when one day he shyly walked in to the milonga Parque Norte in his Villa Puerreydon neighborhood… it changed his life, he knew instantly that this is what he wanted to devote his life to against the vehement objections of his father…one fateful day, he and Nata, entered a dance contest but the judges chose their favorites as the winners; the crowd went wild with rage, the judges were forced to change their minds and award Juan and Nata first prize…later he would unfold his career with her sister Maria Nieves…sixty years later after a career of breathcatching breadth, he is still going strong.