What does tango mean to those who dance it? How can it mean even more? Renée Rouger thought the answer might lie in the poetry of the lyrics. When she saw John Osburn perform a Shakespearean sonnet in Central Park, she asked him to join her in reciting tangos at her intimate bohemian milonga. At Milonga Falucho in New York, the meaning of tango comes to life in lively new translations spoken side-by-side with the Spanish originals.
This is a different sort of tango. Although the themes of love and loss are familiar, the Slavic style and setting are unusual and the narrator's relationship to the woman he addresses is enigmatic. The music and the lyric have a murky provenance; it may originally have been composed under the title "Tus ojos" ("Your Eyes") by Severio Sadán in the Ukraine in honor of his unseen daughter-in-law in Buenos Aires, then modified by orchestra leader Juan Sánchez Gorio, who registered it in his name and asked Horacio Sanguimetti to write the words with which we are familiar. More of this tenuous history may be read here. In the event, Renée and José Luis Lavayen taught the pre-milonga class, and live music was enjoyed from Maricio Najt (piano) and Javier Sánchez (bandoneón).
Gitana rusa (1942)
Letra de Horacio Sanguimetti
Música de Juan Sánchez Gorio Russian Gypsy (1942)Lyrics by Horacio Sanguimetti, trans. J. OsburnMusic by Juan Sánchez Gorio Pintó tus ojos
This vals criollo or Peruvian waltz is so-called because it refers to the waltz form created by European immigrants (criollos) in the Viceroyalty of Perú, the Spanish colony which traced a serpentine route from today's Panama, through Perú, to the mouth of the Rio del Plata. That part included Buenos Aires and became its own viceroyalty in 1776. Vals evolved as an important genre in the tango repertory, and both the composer, Angél Cabral, and the lyricist, Enrique Dizeo, were from Buenos Aires. John presented his translation at Falucho Chelsea; then the Spanish lyrics were sung by Carmen Currasco as a birthday vals for several attendees. Currasco also deejayed.
Que nadie sepa mi
sufrir (Amor de mis amores)
Vals criollo (1936)
Letra de Enrique Dizeo
Música de Ángel Cabral That Nobody Knows of My Suffering (Love of My Loves) Peruvian waltz
(1936)Lyrics by Enrique
Dizeo, trans. J. OsburnMusic by Ángel
CabralNo te asombres si te
digo lo que fuiste,una ingrata con mi