Carlos Gardel - Tango to the New World
Argentinian dancer Fabian Salas discovers the power and emotion in the music of tango singing legend Carlos Gardel.
Tango dancer Fabian Salas explores the nostalgia and drama in the music of Carlos Gardel. He is the most famous figure in Tango and yet, the story and music of Argentina's national hero is barely known outside Latin America. A hundred years ago, Gardel recorded Mi Noche Triste (My Sad Night), and for listeners who are Argentinian or Uruguayan, the song can stop time.
It is the first tango song sung with haunting beauty by the legendary Gardel. Before this song almost all tangos had been purely instrumental. With it Gardel captured the hope, loneliness and violence of life of the early European immigrants to Buenos Aires.
He soared to fame as a singer and then as movie star. He was the archetype Latin lover who established a new audience for this intense, passionate music in Argentina, and the wider world.
We hear how Gardel is still the beloved mascot of Argentina. Always pictured wearing an expensive suit, with a stylish hat - the suave singer was an immigrant who triumphed. His versatile voice and the dramatic phrasing of his lyrics made masterpieces of his three-minute tango recordings, which his fans describe as miniature operas.
Fabian talks to historians and musicians, including leading tango composer and bandoneon player, Marcelo Nisinman, Cultural Minister of Buenos Aires, Angel Mahler, tango singer Martin Alvarado, cultural historian and writer, Alicia Borinsky, president of the Tango Academy in Buenos Aires, Gabriel Soria, Argentinian entrepreneur Juan Fabri and El Arranque host, Luis Tarantino among others.
(Photo: Tango singer Carlos Gardel watching a bird in a cage, taken in 1930. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)