Escuela de Tango Danza "DISCEPOLIN"






Interview by the journalist Guillermo Alfieri

True Name: Jorge Martín Orcaizaguirre
(10 October 1926 – 2 August 1990)

He was enjoying the full boom of the show “Tango Argentino” in Nueva York. He lived at a luxurious hotel on the Fifth avenue, when one morning his strong voice resounded along the corridors, he was angry: «Tell that old maniac that if he wants tango at ten in the morning he´d better dance it himself!... Ah! If he wants to see me he has to come to the theater...»
That old man, who had been at the premiere, moved heavens and earth so that a special show for the following morning was organized, and the disgust sprang out when Virulazo was told that due to protocol reasons, the special show had to be ad-honorem. And he added always shouting: «And tell him that for free I don’t dance for anyone!» And so it was, that old man was Henry Kissinger.
By then the dancer was 61 years old, he had 5 children and six grandchildren.
The nickname VIRULAZO appeared when he was 18 and played the game of bowls for money and the back of the grocery stores of his town, San Justo (a city in the Buenos Aires suburbs).
A little old Italian permanently encouraged him: «Mandale el virulazo, mandale el virulazo» («Give it the virulazo»), he had adopted that word as a synonym for “bochazo” (strike with a bowl).
His birth name was Jorge Orcaizaguirre, of Basque ancestry and Italian on his mother’s side. He was brought up by his grandparents because his parents separated very soon.
«I owe everything to my grandfather, he gave me the highest degree I achieved in life, that of man. I adored him.
«The few pesos he earned at the railroad company were not enough, I helped him by doing anything but three things: being a gossip-monger, vile and a creeper, the worst defects a man may have. I was a street vendor of any kind of things,I worked as a shoeshine boy at the whorehouses doors, I sold sausage sandwiches, I bought hair in Entre Ríos to bring it to Buenos Aires to sell it to wig manufacturers. Later I began as laborer at a slaughterhouse and ended as foreman and livestock buyer.
«Since I was thirteen I liked to dance tango at the clubs of the zone or neighborhood of Mataderos. Once “el Negro” Celedonio Flores (author of tango lyrics. See Section “Poets”) and the singer Carlos Acuña saw me dancing tango and they told me: “Boy, you can’t go on dancing for free”. The following day I debuted at the café “La Armonía” on Corrientes avenue, afterwards the cabarets “Chantecler”, “Tabarís” and all the classy places.
«In the year 1952 the Águila chocolate company organized a big national contest for tango dancers. 157 dancing partners participated and the finals were held at the radio Splendid auditorium. I won it. Thanks to that the tours throughout the country began and lasted until the hard times of the 60s when the rock programs on television made us terribly starve, we danced for a few coins. Only Juan Carlos Copes and I resisted. A life of bohemia is nice but you have to die of starvation.
«In the 70s we started to come out again, the first time it was a tour accompanying Hugo Del Carril. In the early 80s I made up my mind to give up dancing, but soon I was told of the idea of “Tango Argentino” and it aroused my enthusiasm.
«I am a professional only because I´m paid. Deep in my heart I keep on being an amateur, I don´t stick to a choreography, that´s what the dancers do and I am a milonguero, one of the few who dance tango-tango, that´s why they call me from everywhere.
«With the money I earned in the latest tours I bought three houses, a truck and two cars, for my kids, now I go out a few times more, I collect some dollars and, so long!, I quit. Each tour means five or six months and for me it is an ordeal, it´s like being “encanutado” (in jail) in Alcatraz. I suffer the worst a man can endure, to be alone in a crowd. In Japan I stood up on the corner of a street and I was surrounded by two hundred million “ponjas” (Japanese), and I didn´t understand a damn shit what the hell they were saying. I got into a restaurant, asked for a sausage and they brought it with honey, it was crazy! They eat uncooked fish as the indians do. Don´t pull my leg! I never ate so much chicken and spaghetti as in Japan. There are people who like that, but I don´t. I enjoy a good wine, a barbecue with friends, the little goldfinches I have in my own backyard.
«When I´m on tour, when I don´t perform, I sleep, I don´t care for anyone, I take with me a pile of pocket books of detective and cowboy stories and so I´m OK. They fucked me with Venice. But what´s Venice? The Chacarita cemetery but flooded, and please that Chacarita forgives me. I´m fed up by those who start shouting for the sake of status or snobism: Ay, how beautiful is Venice! The pampa is beautiful!, there you can see the trees, the animals, the colors of the grass in the immensity, it is not a city that is sinking and, each time that a gondola with an Italian passes by, it leaves such a smell of decay; then the Riachuelo (a bad smelling river), in comparison with that, smells like Atkinson lavender water.
«My weight now is 128 kilograms, but I don’t care; with a black suit, a bow tie in Gardel’s fashion and smart clothes I feel as I were relieved of that excess.
«In Broadway during a performance, I was hearing a voice that shouted at me: Bravo, gomina, bravo, gomina! (a sort of gel to straighten men’s hair). It turned out to be Nureyev. Anthony Quinn and Robert Duvall became friends of mine. The latter, each time he comes to Argentina, comes here to my place to eat some little barbecue.
«I love my wife Elvira, I idolize her, if I should lose her..., I don’t know, me tiro bajo el tren.
«I’m a sentimental, I can’t stand to be alone and even less without a partner like her. It means 28 years of going to bed and getting up together. But it’s more, because we have been lovers for 44 years. Elvira was my first fiancée, but I don’t know why we didn’t marry. Each one led one’s own life, but one day in 1959, I was already separated from my first wife, when I was riding a horse somewhere in La Tablada, I saw a bus passing by with Elvira in it, I made gestures for her to get off, but to no avail, then I galloped after the bus until she finally got out, otherwise I would have followed her up to her house. We talked and here we are.»
«Rudolf Valentino was a brazen faced guy, he didn’t know dancing».
«Tito Lusiardo, a good comedian, but as a dancer, he’s a scarecrow. But anyway, he was with Gardel, who’s gonna argue about?»
«Travolta. A sissy. Just like that Michael Jackson. Those things do not become history. That’s not dance, dancing is Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly.»
«A tango dancer? Petróleo. Just a few know him, only those who go to the milongas.»
«The tango I like most is "Berretín", by Pedro Laurenz. And as for lyrics "El motivo" by Pascual Contursi.»
«I don’t listen to new Argentine music, not even if I were mad. Those are young guys who are empty. In tango you will always find something that portrays your life. Did it happen to any of you that your girlfriend fell into a cesspit? That’s what those boys say in one of those lyrics. Maybe no one has stories to tell. People who get up at six in the morning to go to work all day long, should not be cheated. Those people deserve art like the one Gardel offered to them. Those people are not touched by four assholes who don’t work and smoke marijuana.»
«I was never involved in politics, but I always vote for democracy. In this country the military men and the priests are a cancer... Ah, I have a dream, I wish I died dancing a tango.»
Originally published in the daily paper Página/12 of Buenos Aires.

Source: Todo Tango

It debuted at the 12, dancing with their mother in a kermese. It was friend of Robert Duvall and admired until for Nureyev. And an incredible character.

A lot before teaching Robert Duvall the secrets of the tango and of the roasted one, Virulazo was not Virulazo. Jorge Martin Orcaizaguirre was, in the western villages from Buenos Aires, Basque. Its talent with the bowls changed her the nickname.

It was, in accordance with the time, a normal type: capable of tirotearse for polleras ("that they were not mine", it would clarify Elvira, their wife later on) problems, anxious for the trampera of the goldfinch of San Fair, good friend's patio, lifter of numbers, great dancer.

It had paid, hardly, the powerful mythology of Tablada, San Fair and Slaughterhouses if Héctor Orezzolli and Claudio Segovia had not decided to make a razzia of the ugly, dirty and bad of the milonga to arrange the show Argentinean Tango that excelled in the world starting from 1983.

Virulazo debuted to the 12 years in a kermese dancing with its mother. At the 18 he shone in the tracks of Defenders of Tablada, Almafuerte, New Chicago. One day, Celedonio Flores saw it and he told him/her: "Pibe, pará of dancing. Or empezá to get paid." In 1952, with their wife Aída, obtained the first prize of a competition in Radio Splendid. Their style was simple: he knew how to walk the track and he/she had presence.

It was unusual he saw it to him for where. He cleaned the fingernails with a jack-knife, memory of their butcher past. He said that the chocolate was "for maricones." He Hated Piazzolla. When they asked her, for example, by Venice, he responded: "Venice? Chacarita with water." A scar that crossed her the face rounded the character.

In 1957 he separated Aída and he entered with Elvira Santamarina. He had been their first girlfriend and soon he/she would transform into their great love and in the great dance partner. It was thin as a rush and he/she knew how to make comfortable among the 130 kilos of Virulazo. They shone in each one of the suburban milongas. Segovia and Orezzolli saw that chemistry. And when they summoned them for Argentinean Tango they knew the risk that you/they ran: Virulazo was the antithesis of the image of the tango in the exterior, that that Valentino is plentiful in the trilogy, sensual & erotic. He/she says you Surround, also integral of Argentinean Tango: "First people laughed. Virula and Elvira seemed Brutus and Olivia. When they began to dance, they stopped to make fun and they stayed in silence. And at the end, always, the ovacionaban"

With the silver of Argentinean Tango it could complete the dream of being bought a chalecito in San Exactly. The grill and the quincho were almost bigger that the house. He boasted of always having "the clever" ember. here, Duvall learned the secrets of the gizzard "crocante" to diffuse them in Beverly Hills. There, Duvall counted him/her how its brave international bar grew: Anthony Quinn, Leslie Caron, Combat Minnelli, Rudolf Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov.

The close contact "with the alienage" made proud it, but until there. When they asked him/her what place he had liked more, he always responded: "The turn" airplane.

Beyond the anecdotes that are their genius's unavoidable wrapping and figure, Virulazo was the most picturesque and prototypical representation in a species in extinction: that of the milonguero of the decades of 40 50. They died Petroleum, Todaro, Lavandina, Pepito Hazel grove; today, that memory rests in the feet of you Surround and Gerardo Portalea, among some other one.

The choreographer Claudio Segovia said: "The ferocity with which he/she surrendered, the union of beauty and it forces that it achieved with Elvira, it was in the mind of all those that have seen" it. That way was like a metaphor danzística of the scar that had in the face.

At the end of their life he/she knew that it had won to the malaria definitively. Good of money (I "made a pretty internode") was, it was well with Elvira and their children. He/she said: I "believe that my success is directly bound to the authenticity, to dance the tango like they send the codes. The codes of the feeling, those that encourage to any milonguero."

He died ten years ago after half century of three bundles of daily cigarettes. He had 63 years and all the conditions for the legend.

Published in TRUMPET the 02/08/2000 for Mariano of Maz