Chantecler (cabaret)

El Chantecler was a luxurious Buenos Aires cabaret located on Parana 440, between avenida Corrientes and Lavalle. It was initially owned by a french man named Charles Seguin who was also owner of the Casino and Tabari. It was briefly named Vieux Paris in the 1930s.

Built and designed chanteclerin 1924 to be a most modern and luxirious cabaret, the Chantecler featured a driveway for automobiles to drop guests at the door, 3 dance floors and a large theater with VIP boxes which were equipped with telephones for guests to place orders at the bar. It featured an interior pool where beautiful young people were swimming and playing games. The doorman and host of the house was Ángel Sánchez Carreño, also known as El principe cubano. Another well-known character of the legendary cabaret Chantecler was Giovanna Ritana, or Jeannette, who managed the place with her husband after the death of Charles Seguin. [1]

For more then 30 years, El Chantecler attracted tourists and wealthy locals to enjoy some of the finest dining and entertainment experience in the city. It was inaugurated by the Sexteto Julio de Caro which was composed of Julio de Caro himself, his brothers Emilio and Francisco de Caro, Pedro Laurenz, Pedro Maffia and Leopoldo Thompson. In the 1930’s it became the primary scene of Juan D’Arienzo and the headquarters of a new process of rejuvenation of tango. This is where D’Arienzo began working with Rodolfo Biagi in 1935 and met Pablo Osvaldo Valle, director of Radio el Mundo.

Like other Buenos Aires cabarets, the Chantecler became inactive as tango fell out of fashion in the 1950’s. It was demolished in 1960. Two tangos were composed to celebrate it, “Adiós Chantecler” by Enrique Cadicamo and “Glorioso Chantecler” by Juan Polito. A 1948 movie, “El cantor del pueblo”, was filmed inside of it, allowing us to see couples dancing to the orchestra of Juan d’Arienzo. [3] A musical entitled “Chantecler Tango” was produced in 2015 by Mora Godoy.

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[1] Parise, Eduardo. El templo de la vieja noche porteña. Clarín, mayo 2015. Online. https://www.clarin.com/ciudades/secreta-buenos_aires-chantecler_0_rkEDoFYDml.html(1)

[2] Palacio, Jorge. Los cabarets de los anos cuarenta. Todotango. Online. http://www.todotango.com/historias/cronica/163/Los-cabarets-de-los-anos-cuarenta/

[3] Juan D’Arienzo performing at the Chantecler. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAEeBRbwhJk

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