Happy birthday D’Arienzo! Juan D’Arienzo was born 116 years ago and more than anyone, he changed the way we dance tango today. Some people even say that without him, we might not be dancing tango today…
Like almost all other musicians of his era, D’Arienzo started playing tango as a boy.
1935 was a pivotal year for D’Arienzo. This is the year where he fired his pianist who was one too many times late for performance and hired instead Biaggi who was a regular patron at the theater where D’arienzo performed.
Biaggi at the piano came up with the nervous sound that is so characteristic of D’Arienzo orchestra – funny enough, on a day when D’Arienzo himself was late and Biaggi took the liberty to play the way he really felt the music. The public loved it and D’arienzo carried on with this sound until the end of his career.
By contributing a fresh, juvenile, enlivening air to tango music, D’Arienzo brought the dancers back onto the dance floor. He also made possible the tango renaissance called La Década del Cuarenta (the 40s), and often defined as the Golden Age of tango.
As D’arienzo himself put it: “In my point of view, tango is, above all, rhythm, nerve, strength and character. Early tango, that of the old stream (guardia vieja), had all that, and we must try not to ever lose it.”
Listen to selected tandas by D’Arienzo
Here is a selection of tandas by D’Arienzo, all great to get you on your feet!
- Tango – Featuring pregonara
- Tango – Featuring Jueves
- Tango – With Armando Laborde y Alberto Echagüe
Check our song translations – beautiful music and lyrics
D’Arienzo’s version of Adiós Arolas, written by Ángel D’Agostino and Enrique Cadícamo is widely recognised as being the most beautiful rendition of the song.
|Con tu bandoneón querido,
Eduardo Arolas te fuiste,
enfermo de amor y triste
en busca de olvido.
With your beloved bandoneón,
Eduardo Arolas, you left,
love sick and sad,
in search of oblivion.
We love D’Arienzo’s version of Pregonera, written by Alfredo De Angelis and José Rótulo. It’s lively and full of energy.
Princesita rubia de marfil,
dónde fue tu risa tan sutil,
junto con tus flores muertas
muere mi ilusión.
|Fair-haired ivory princess
Gone is your soft laughter
Gone, my daydreams, dead or dying
Like a bunch of faded blooms.
Add new steps to your repertoire for rhythmical orchestras like D’Arienzo
Improver / Intermediate class – Theme: Rhythmical orchestras Part I
In this class, we worked on musical adornments, the little musical themes that close most tango phrases on 7 and 8. The closing of a musical phrase is a good time to use half beats. We saw a couple of simple steps to help you start listening to the music more and adapting what you do to what you hear. For the class, we listened to D’Arienzo.
Improver / Intermediate class – Theme: Rhythmical orchestras Part II
In this class, we continued our exploration of some rhythmical steps that can be used with rhythmical orchestras, like D’Arienzo. We saw a sharp boleo and a classic step from the Golden Age of tango: Petaca’s unique walking step, apparently inspired by a galloping horse.
Beginner class – Theme: Corridas
In this class, we worked on corridas, little repeated side steps that can be led on the beat or on the half beat. The idea of corridas is to introduce simple steps that can help break the monotony of always stepping on the beat, and gradually develop the skillste to dance on more rhythmical orchestras, like D’Arienzo.
Nati y Bruno
Image: www.malena-tango.com1500 – Aníbal Troilo y Juan D’Arienzo