Appearances can be deceiving: that beautiful pair of dancers who perform a love scene on stage—a pas de deux, a tango, a Zamba or a musical comedy number—separated spouses, hostile lovers, work Can be made of ordinary comrades or irreconcilable enemies. It is enough that a dance partner maintains a certain permanence for us over the years, seduced, Let us confuse artistic artifacts with reality.
Let’s take four couples who had this type of misunderstanding at different times: ginger rogers and Fred Astaire, “Chuckaro” and Norma Viola, Margot Fontaine and Rudolf Nureyev and Juan Carlos Kopes and Maria Nieves. From simple camaraderie to the most stormy bonds, the true feelings and relationships of these men and women were little known to the general public.
Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire
Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire
Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire first met in New York in 1931, and two years later their great careers began, which lasted for a long time. ten movies. Regarding that fleeting first meeting, Ginger Rogers later said in his autobiography: “If I had lived longer in New York, that budding romance would have turned into something serious.” However, it is more likely that this alleged memory was destined to feed off a legend for the consumption of nostalgic fans.
Fred Astaire had other dance partners but His association with Ginger Rogers is unbeatable. In the simple choreography they performed – a sophisticated extension of ballroom dancing with tap material – the understanding between the two was perfect. But this understanding was confined to the shadow of the veil: off set they had no relationship.
Although each of them had an intense social life, they never met at parties and meetings and They didn’t even know their respective homes. On the other hand, it was not understood how he waited for seven films, all with a romantic plot. kiss for the first time in the movie number eight; Some malicious people attributed this to the jealousy of Mrs Astaire and it was she who forbade these attempts; But Fred Astaire repeatedly explained that he and Ginger both considered their love scenes to be adequately expressed through dance and that they needed nothing more.
Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire had a budding romance, but it seems his wife reacted quickly.
El Chacaro and Norma Viola
For forty years Santiago Ayala, “El Chacarro”, and Norma Viola formed such a cohesive artistic duet that One name is incomplete without the other. Together they went through all kinds of artistic adventures: from large independent companies and international tours to a small group, in times of skinny cows, with whom they traveled through the provinces dancing the Zamba, Chacarera, Footprint and Cordoba Jota. And then, in 1990, the National Folklore Ballet was created, which, after Chukaro’s death, Norma Viola continued to direct.
Santiago Ayala, “El Chucaro”.
Since El Chucaro offered Norma the opportunity to create choreography, the relationship between the two became very close. They worked twelve hours a day and together composed about 160 works. “To this day, people,” said Norma, When he talks to me about Santiago Ayala, he says ‘her husband'”.
Norma continued, “Once we set up a barbecue for a Chilean businessman who was organizing a tour for us.” This man addressed me assuming that I was Chukaro’s wife and that my husband punched her. Goodbye roast, goodbye tour. but I’m sure that I loved Santiago Ayala in friendship more than my ex-husband, and forgive me, in our marriage.
“El Chucaro was a wonderful person, one of the last Creoles. I admired him a lot and It is said that love also comes from praise. Although I had no earthly love. Well, it was, but not as a couple. We had gotten so deep that he thought of something and I answered him. He was surprised that he had guessed his idea, but it was not that he had guessed; It’s that we were very artistically attached”.
Norma Viola and Santiago Ayala, El Chucaro. An indispensable pairing of our folktales.
Norma Viola has clarified numerous times that between her and El Chucaro there was no emotional connection: “I was at the time of his four marriages and the birth of his daughters. He lived my marriage and my separation. They were only forty years of artistic marriage. el chukaro was Loving relationship with all her dance partners. with everyone except me. I told him: “Teacher, the rules are not violated.”
Margot Fontaine and Rudolf Nureyev
The first time Margot Fontaine and Rudolf Nureyev danced together, she was forty-three and he was twenty-three. but Their professional relationship, surprisingly, spanned fifteen years. With a sustained, thumping success that ousted any other stardom.
Margot Fontaine and Rudolf Nureyev in a scene from “Giselle”.
Margot Fontaine wanted to start a gradual retreat; His career, as you know, has been very brilliant and he did not regret giving it up. Nureyev had left the Kirov Ballet in the middle of a major scandal and was beginning to generate great acclaim in Europe.
Ninette de Valois, director of the Royal Ballet in London, of which Fontaine was the great man, offered to dance. Giselle With Nureyev in Covent Garden. She dismissed the fearful thought: “No, by God! It would be like a sheep dancing with a lamb. Don’t you think I’m too old? But then Margot discussed it with her husband.” and he concluded that Nureyev was going to be a great sensation In the next season and either she got on that train or rather she retired completely.
At first there were frictions; When he started rehearsing in 1962 Swan Lake, Nureyev insisted on introducing changes taken from the Kirov Ballet’s version. “Rudolph,” said Margot angrily, “I’ve been doing this ballet since 1938!” And after a pause: “please don’t tell me it was before you were bornRudolf’s response, with a laugh: “No, I was born exactly that year.”
In her delightful autobiography, Margot Fontaine recounts that while they were both in New York and while they were having lunch, a woman came to Nureyev’s table to talk lightly in Russian. Margot explains: “I sat with my wide-brimmed white hat on, which I thought would suit me. Suddenly the woman turned to me, then to Rudolf and asked him in English, ‘Who is this, your mother?‘.
A photograph of Margot Fontaine in 1968. She was 20 years older than him. ap photo
But what difference did age make? their interpretations Giselle and in Romeo and Juliet they were Unusual passion and dedication.
In 1963 Frederick Ashton composed a ballet inspired by the duet lady of camellia. This is how Fontaine puts it: “There was a high level of anticipation before the premiere; for the choreography, for the design of Cecil Beaton, and for a romantic partnership that was established between Rudolph and me. No one knew where reality ended and fantasy began.”.
“A strange bond had formed between us and this could somehow be described as deep affection or love, if we accept that love can take many forms. But the truth is that Rudolf was someone at the time. (note: this refers to Danish dancer Erik Brühn) and for me Tito (note: Panamanian diplomat Roberto Arias, Margot’s husband) will always be the black-eyed guy I met when I was a teenager”.
Juan Carlos Copes and María Niveso
in a 2007 interview bugle, Maria Nieves warned that I was not going to mention the name of Juan Carlos Copes But she was going to name him as “the one who was my companion” and the historian as “the one who was his companion”. These gimmicks perpetuated through the entire story as the seemingly anonymous presence of Kops seemed inevitable.
Maria Nieves and Juan Carlos Copes. Photo Clarins Archive / Gerardo Otino
Copes and Nieves . romance between It started in the Milongas of Atlanta club.. She was a teenager, the daughter of a very humble family in the Saavedra neighbourhood. He, a student at Villa Pueredon, became passionate about tango and devoted days and nights, weeks and months to mastering the secrets of the dance, with so much effort that he was most admired by fans in the north. Identified as one of the Milongueros. city..
But his ambitions went far beyond the world of Milongas: he aspired to be the Gene Kelly of tango. Copes and Nieves, now formal lovers, practiced in a 3 x 3 room in the tenement where the Nieves lived or in a courtyard with a brick floor. From these modest beginnings, couple growing up For magazines on Corrientes Street, for New York, for the famous television program The Ed Sullivan Show, Display Argentine Tango and the whole world.
However, the tour was a difficult test for Maria Nieves: “A month before the trip I was already crying in the corners, my mother too, my younger brother. The day of parting seemed like a wake-up call; ‘Don’t go, Nivita. , do not leave us.’ I never stopped traveling, but I always cried; I cried when I went to New York, I cried when I went to Paris; later I got used to it, although I always loved very much”.
This characteristic of Neeves being so attached to his family and neighborhood troubled the Kopps, whose aspirations went far ahead; added to Other differences and various infidelities Controversy and controversy escalated. The tumultuous passionate relationship dissipated, though they continued to dance together for twenty more years: four and a half decades shared that ended with anger and resentment on both sides.
But in 2009, in a tribute to Juan Carlos Copes, organized by the Buenos Aires Tango Festival, the following happened: In groups before the performance, people in the tango scene believed that attendance was very, even more so, impossible. Maria Nieves. After the performance, waving to the entire cast—Kopps’ wife and their daughters added to the finale—Johanna Kopps approached the father and whispered something in his ear; He took the microphone and addressed the audience: “I’m so excited; they just told me that Maria Nieves is in the theatre.”
A light focused on the box where she was, that wonderful dancer, and something extraordinary, but inexplicable, happened between Kopps and Nieves: a meeting of seconds that was public, but also intimate and personal.