THE TANGO REDEFINED: MEET VELOZ AND YOLANDA.
Frank Veloz and Yolanda Casazza were a married dance team that, beginning in the 1920s and continuing through the 1940s, are generally considered to have been the masters and greatest innovators of that ever-exotic dance the 'Tango'. Above are two clips that will show you why. The first, from the 1935 movie 'Under The Pampas Moon', is called the 'Cobra Tango' and apparently depicts a fight between a snake and a tiger. (I did not intuit this from viewing it; I learned it from a very helpful Wikipedia page that you should click here to read).
The act is most sensual and unexpectedly (and somewhat frighteningly) acrobatic. I was gasping several times as Frank clearly was ready to drop Yolanda on her head and somehow, at the last second, managed not too. There are many elements incorporated in their version of the Tango that are simply not seen elsewhere--the aformentioned acrobatics for one, but also sudden detours into tap-dancing as well. The second clip is from the Gary Cooper starring Lou Gerhig biopic 'Pride Of The Yankees', of all things. It, too, defies description. (By the way, give that clip 20 or seconds before the duo appear.)
I'm running out of time today so if you're interested in knowing more, read that Wikipedia article. The highlights: they began in New York in the 20s, appeared on Broadway and in nightclubs, appeared in a handful of films through the thirties and forties, opened dancing schools in Florida and raised a family in the 40s and 50s, divorced angrily in the early 60s and died--Frank in 1981, aged 75 and Yolanda in 1995, age 87. Convefe!
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Posted by Raymond De Felitta at 12:18 PM