Laura Tate, November 28, 2006.
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Orlando Paiva: Dec. 1, 1935-Nov. 28, 2006
Orlando Paiva was born December 1, 1935 in Rosario, where as a young man he fell in love with the dance of Argentine tango.
He was known to the tango community around the world as one of the most elegant, distinctive and respected Argentine tango dancers and teachers.
Paiva taught the salon style of Argentine tango in his birthplace, the United States, Chile and Japan for more than 45 years, creating at least 160 exclusive figures. The most famous of them is called "the bridge" known worldwide, as a hallmark of his style. He spent countless hours in front of a mirror in his room working on every detail of his posture, foot placement, arm holding and desired look.
And the result enchanted lovers of tango everywhere.
Paiva's intensely personal style, his impeccable footwork, the sweetness and sensitivity he brought to his partner and the dance itself are legendary.
That sweetness and sensitivity was not only a part of his dance, it was a trait he demonstrated in his love for his family--his sons Oscar Paiva and Orlando Paiva Jr., his daughter-in- law Alejandra, and his two young grandsons and granddaughter Lucia-- and to his many friends, and his partner, Yvonne.
A dancer's dancer, Paiva has been called one of the best of his generation by Nito Garcia and by Juan Carlos Copes. He performed with Osvaldo Pugliese's and Miguel Caló's orchestra, and with singers like Edmundo Rivero, Tita Merelo and Julio Sosa among others.
Having immigrated to the United States in the early '70s with his wife, Rosa, and two sons, he was one of the first to teach salon-style Argentine tango in the U.S. Paiva gave the San Francisco and Los Angeles tango community its founding spirit. During November and December, 2003 he had been deservedly honored.
On November 14th the government of Rosario in a very emotive act, put a plaque with his name in the corner of the streets Ovidio Lagos & Guemes. Since that moment that corner is named as "Orlando Paiva Corner."
A month later he was declared as "Distinctive Artist" of the city, celebrated by the entire Tango community.
After returning to Rosario, Argentina in the '80s, Paiva continued to teach until his last days. Students would arrive every hour, eight hours a day to study with his son Oscar, and to receive a precious bit of advice about the dance from the Master teacher. On Saturdays, the one day of the week that he taught a group class, his studio would be filled to capacity with students eager to learn directly from source of this beautiful and timeless style of Argentine tango dancing that made him a legacy.
We will always be thankful to him for giving us more than a lesson; he gives us every day the force needed to continue with his legacy.
Orlando Paiva died Nov. 28, 2006 in the hometown of his birth, Rosario, Argentina.
- Orlando Paiva Sr. and his son, Orlando Paiva Jr.
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Orlando Paiva Junior and Laura Tate demonstrate Apilado Tango position:
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A message from Brian Cochran, Sent: Saturday, July 30, 2011 20:41
"I liked your tribute.
It was a hot Burbank dance studio. It wasn't at the end of the earth, but from there you could see the end of the earth. Orlando was teaching a class with his partner.
He said "you only need to master the basic step in tango." From there he proceded to dance around the circumfrance of the studio doing the basic step. Before he had gone 1/2 around the floor, thunderous applause followed them.
One day, I accompanied him to a drug store. One of his students simply walked up and gave him a big hug - he was that kind of guy.
He left a video and there is a youtube video of him. I study them.
As I age, I appreciate the dedication that he had for the dance. "