“El Turco” José Brahemcha — a short biography

2010 March 9
by Simba

El “Turco” José — as he is commonly known — was born in Buenos Aires, in the neighborhood of Saavedra, July 17 1931. He was a dedicated bicycle rider when he was a kid, until his mother (who was a tango singer) suggested that he learn to dance “to get to know some girls”. At the age of 16, he started to practice with his friends from his neighborhood in the house of one of them, where they had a gramophone player.

They had only one shellac disc with two Pugliese recordings: “La Yumba” on one side, and the milonga “Andá que te cure Lola” on the other. They were practicing what they remembered from the dance from the movies or what they had seen at the neighborhood dances. When he knew a little, he started to go to the dances and carnivals in the club “Ausonia Montañeses” in Colegiales.

El Turco worked with wicker, making fine objects like purses. As he wished to learn more dancing, a friend from his work, who already danced, recommended him to go to the practices where people usually learned to dance. Thus, for some time he went with his uncle in the neighborhood of Martelli to the practices in the clubs, among them the “Huracán” (The hurricane).

The practices were held in the basket courts and they were full of men learning to follow, how to lead, the salida (basic step) and lots of others figures of tango. Later, he returned to the neighborhood of Urquiza, and since he liked that elegant style especially, he studied how “Milonguita” danced in particular, and adapted to his way of dancing.

José’s style can be described as a tango of the floor, with a great variety of original figures and a smooth and elegant way of moving with energy and precision, the figures always in harmony with the music. Presently he is dedicated to teaching private lessons and group lessons all over the country as well as abroad.

Humbly translated by yours truly. This is the original text as posted on  the now defunct website of the Academia de Estilos de Tango Argentino (ACETA):

El “Turco” José — como habitualmente se lo conoce — nació en Buenos Aires, en el barrio de Saavedra, el 17 de julio de 1931. De dedicó desde chico al ciclismo hasta que su madre (que cantaba tangos) le sugiró que aprendiese a bailar “para relacionarse con las chicas”. A los 16 años, junto a los amigos del barrio, empezaron a practicar en la casa de uno de ellos que tenía fonola.

Tenían un solo disco de pasta que conenía dos grabaciones de Pugliese: “La Yumba” de un lado y la milonga “Andá que te cure Lola” del otro. Practicaban según lo que recordaban del baile de alguna película o lo que veían en los bailes de barrio. Ya sabiendo un poco, empezó a frecuentar bailes en los carnavales del club “Ausonia Montañeses” en el barrio de Colegiales.

El Turco trabajó haciendo bomboneras de mimbre y más adelante armando carteras y otros objetos finos en mimbre. Como tenía intención de aprender a bailar más, un amigo de ese trabajo (que ya bailaba) le recomendó ir a las prácticas que en ese entonces se solían hacer. Así que durante algun tiempo frecuentó junto a su tío en Villa Martelli las prácticas que se realizaban en los clubes, entre ellos “Huracán”.

José cuenta que se hacían en las canchas de básket y que estaban repletas de varones aprendiendo a ser llevados, cómo llevar, la marca, la salida, y tantas otras figuras del tango. Más adelante volvió al barrio de Urquiza y gustándole sobre todo ese estilo elegante, estudió en particular el modo de bailar de “Milonguita”, adaptándalo a su manera.

Su estilo puede definirse como un tango al piso, con una gran variedad de figuras originales y un modo de moverse suave y elegante con energía y precisión, armonizando las figuras con la música. Actualmente se dedica a enseñar en clases particulares y a grupos tanto en el país como en el exterior.

Thanks to Janis for saving and sharing it. As always, I appreciate any contribution to improve the translation. Especially the part about the wicker bombonera (it only rings a bell as the CABJ stadium to me) and the llevados/llevar/marca part.

The fourth seminar with José is March 14, so if you are in Bs As at that time, you know what to do…

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