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During the Covid-19 shut down, "The Meaning of Tango" continues monthly on La Pandemia, a virtual milonga.



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  1. Hi Renee, I'm looking for a way to contact you book a table for Milonga Falucho on March 17, 2020, and found this blog. Please let me know what's a better way to communicate! Thank you!

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    1. This is John responding. Renée takes reservations at renee.rouger@gmail.com or by Facebook messenger if you are connected with her there.

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Popular posts from this blog

Se dice de mí

Although written for the Uruguayan singer Carlos Roldán in 1943, Tita Merello made Se dice de mí  her own in 1954, and it has been sung by women ever since. At Milonga Falucho at Café Argentino in Brooklyn, Renée mimed the lyrics as John recited his English translation of the version made famous by Merello. It was the first milonga in this series. Live music for the evening was provided by Emiliano Messiez (piano) and Adolfo Trepiana (bandoneón).

Se dice de mí (1943) Milona
Letra de Ivo Pelay Música de Francisco Canaro

They Say This of Me (1943) Milonga
Lyrics by Ivo Pelay, trans. J. Osburn Music by Francisco Canaro
Se dice de mí... se dice de mí... se dice de mí... Se dice que soy fiera, que camino a lo malevo, que soy chueca y que me muevo con un aire compadrón, que parezco Leguisamo, mi nariz es puntiaguda, la figura no me ayuda y mi boca es un buzón.
They say this of me… They say this of me… They say this of me… They say that I’m a beast, that I swagger like a tough, that I strut like I’m hot stuff wit…

Gitana rusa

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. Osburn Music by Juan Sánchez Gorio
Pintó tus ojos
el azabach…

Que nadie sepa mi sufrir

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. Osburn Music by Ángel Cabral No te asombres si te digo lo que fuiste, una ingrata con mi pobre cor…