Thursday, November 19, 2009


Oh, well, you'd recognize it if I hummed it to you. It's 'La Cumparista,' and maybe the best known tango extant. The funny thing is that it's a Uruguayan composition. The Argentines swarm all over the tango, but Uruguayans have decent claim to a lot of tango history, though they seem rather staid for such inflamed music. The Argentines claim Carlos Gardel, the main man of tango, whom I have also seen identified as Uruguayan by birth, French by birth, and Italian by birth. Gardel is still a presence in Buenos Aires; we spent a few days in his old neighborhood, Abasto. He was a good-looking guy, always pictured in a snap-brim fedora. I wouldn't venture an opinion about his place of birth. Here's 'La Cumparsita,' along with wonderful old photos of Montevideo. A professional dancer told me that the tango is a fiendishly difficult dance, with complicating hooks and flourishes. To me it always sounded like a straightforward 1-2-3-4 or maybe 1-2, 1-2. But, then again, I can barely cross the livingroom without banging into the coffee table, so what do I know about any kind of dancing? The music knocks me out. We went to a concert in Madrid of music by Astor Piazzola, whom I recommend to you.

1 comment:

Edith Ann said...

Lovely! I've always thought the Tango was the best dance ever. So romantic, so beautiful, the best music. That's my favorite part of Dancing with the Stars, that and the Jive.

Thanks for sharing.