Author: Isidro Aguirre
The “Chantecler” was an emblematic tango building, built in 1924 and demolished in 1960. It was located on the street Paraná 440, in the city of Buenos Aires. It belonged to French citizen Charles Seguin who had built it in order for it to become a Cabaret.
Its design fitted the purpose, the entrance allowed for cars to park and leave the attendants directly on the footsteps of the building, while being received by the buttons. The inside portrayed three dance floors, an enormous stage, red velvet curtains covering the balcony where you could directly order by phone what you wished to consume. At the back, the place had an exotic inside pool that gathered young and attractive women that entertained the guests while playing in the pool.
This cabaret used to be a meeting point for various artists, politicians, tourists and wealthy people that would enjoy drinking, eating, watching the shows (most of them were tango based). Figures such as Carlos Gardel, Leguisamo, José Razzano, Celedonio Flores, Cadícamo.
By the 1930´s, D´Arienzo he performed daily, every night and by 1933, when Argentina Sono Films made its first tape “Tango”, he was hired to participate in the movie´s orchestra, performing in the “Chantecler”, where he played the violin exquisitely at the rhythm of his song “Chirusa”.
But the most important fact of this time happened in 1935, when the orchestra consolidated its signature sound with the addition of Rodolfo Biagi, 27 at the time, who changes the rhythm of the orchestra (he used a 4×2, instead of the 4×8 that was used before) giving it its final signature: feverish, overwhelming and danceable. This is how D´Arienzo starts his tango reformation to a danceable rhythm, getting the audience on its feet and to the dance floor.
This earnt D´Arienzo his nickname as the “Rey del compás” by Ángel Sánchez Carreño (nicknamed the “Príncipe Cubano” who was in charge of public relations of the Cabaret).
In 1935, Víctor, offered D´Arienzo a contract, due to its success, that would last for 40 years, resulting in one of the most selling artists of the record label. His relationship with casa Victor allowed him to accentuate his fame, and he musically launched a new sound era of tango, that would live its golden years during the 1940’s.
Finally, we would like to remember the fact that the “Rey del compás” maintained his relationship with this mythical stage up to its demolish in 1960.