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October 17 , 2009

I Wanted to Dance: Carlos Gavito: Life, Passion and Tango


CARLOS EDUARDO GAVITO (4/27/1943 – 7/1/2005) was born in La Plata, Argentina. He spent his youth in the barrio of Avellaneda (to the south of Greater Buenos Aires) and the rest of his life circling the globe.

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He traveled for more than forty years and visited more than ninety countries. He spoke English, Italian, French and Portuguese fluently and could make himself understood in German, Russian and Japanese. He was a universal man who took the tango from the barrio to the world.

He began dancing not too long after he started to walk, and then there was no stopping him: tango, rock, folklore, Latin rhythms, swing. On stage and off, there was no dance he didn’t try. Over the years, he searched for his own place in the dance world, and then his own tango: the absolutely unique style that brought him to fame.

In the mid 90s, after being out of Argentina for many years, he gained international renown with the company of Forever Tango and word got back to Buenos Aires. From then on, he was an important and imposing figure in the porteño milongas. Julio Fernández Baraibar, who wrote the prologue of the first Spanish edition of this book, said that any milonga that Gavito went to became “the milonga to attend,” and that when Gavito got up to dance, “the dance floor became transformed.”

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