Category Archives: Dancers

Alfredo Eusebio Gobbi

Alfredo Eusebio Gobbi was an acrobat, guitarist, signer and one of the first lyricists of tango history. With his wife, Flora Rodriguez, he formed a duo known as Los Gobbi or Los reyes del gramofóno. Together they traveled in Europe and the US performing and recording tango. Their son Alfredo Gobbi is a well known orchestra director of the golden age.

Alfredo Eusebio Gobbi was born in Paysandu in 1877. Little is known about his youth, except that he stood out as a signer and used to work as a clown and acrobat. He was 18-years-old when he first came to Buenos Aires with the circus Ansemi, and in 1900 he traveled to Spain with a theater company presenting  the argentine play “Juan Moreira”.

In 1905, Alfredo Gobbi married the chilean actress Flora Hortensia Rodriguez with whom he formed the duo Los Gobbi. Their repertoire was composed of folk songs and popular european rhythms, as well as tango and they were among the first voices to be recorded in Argentina both on cylinder and discs.

In 1907, they traveled to France where they recorded for Gath y Chaves. There they remained for 6 years, performing in prestigious venues such as El tabarín and taught tango to a dance teacher from the Faubourg St-Denis, E. Giraudet. This is where their son Alfredo Gobbi was born in 1912.

When the war broke out in 1914, Los Gobbi came back to Buenos Aires where they continued recording and performing. They were featured in the silent movie “Nobleza gaucha” (1915) and various sound films and radio programs until Alfredo died in 1938.

Alfredo Gobbi is the author of many tangos including “Sin madre”, “La entrerriana”, “Aguardate china”, “El criollo argentino”, “El tigre”, “El urugayo” and “La mimosa”, many of which were recorded in Paris.

Los reyes del gramofóno left 250 recordings on cylinder only and many more on disc. They worked with a wide range of labels including Victor, Odeon, Columbia, Atlanta, Pathé, Homokord, Polyphon, Gath y Chaves, Edison, Tocasolo and many others.

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Tango: 100 anos de historia .Vol. 3. Print.

Indart, Hugo. Los Gobbi. Latino America Viva. Online. https://web.archive.org/web/20131021065453/http://w ww.latinoamericaviva.com.au/morepages.aspx?pageid=losgobbi

Rudolph Valentino

Rudolph Valentino was a dancer and Hollywood superstar. He is famous for a scene in the 1921 movie “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” where he dances the tango with Beatrice Dominguez.

Rodolfo Alfonso Raffaello Pierre Filibert Guglielmi di Valentina d’Antonguella was born in 1895 in Castellaneta, Italy, of a French mother and Italian father. In 1913 he traveled to the United States in search of new opportunities and this is where he learned to dance the tango, possibly with Casimiro Aín.

These were the years when tangomania was taking over New York. Valentino worked as a taxi dancer in restaurants such as Maxim’s Restaurant-Cabaret where dancing tea parties were held in the British fashion. In 1917 he was entangled in a scandal with a married woman which led him to leave the city. This is how he began traveling and working with theatrical companies which took him to the west coast.

After traveling for a few months Valentino settled in Los Angeles where he worked as a dance teacher. He began looking for work as an actor and landed his first major role playing Julio Desnoyers in the silent movie “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse”, the 1921 movie where we can see him performing the tango in his gaucho attire. [2]

Valentino’s good looks and seductive attitude on the dance floor made a strong impression on the american public and quickly turned him into a superstar. [1] The popularity of “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” and the so called “latin lover” was such that men were seen wearing gel in their hair and young people were suddenly interested in learning to dance the tango.

With his wife Natacha Rambova, Valentino toured the country to perform the exotic dance in his own particular style. He also pursued his career as a Hollywood actor and was starred in fourteen films including The Sheik, Blood and Sand, The Eagle, and The Son of the Sheik before he died in 1926 following a surgery. He was only 31-year-old.  π

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[1] GROPPA, Carlos G. The tango in the United states. Jefferson: McFarland & Company Inc. 2004. Print.

[2] QUIN, Eleanor. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921). Turner Classic Movies. Online.