• U.S.

Music: Argentinita

2 minute read

If any man in the U. S. were asked to name a Spanish dancer, he would probably call to mind the late sultry, supple-waisted La Argentina. To dance fans in Spain La Argentina was distinctly hotstuff, but the place of Spain’s No. i dancer has long been held by a heftier, black-haired woman with a somewhat similar name: Argentinita.

To Dancer Argentinita this similarity of names has been a jinx. When, eight years ago, she made her U. S. debut as a featured dancer with Lew Leslie’s “International Revue” in Manhattan, Manhattanites ignorantly thought she was trying to cash in on La Argentina’s reputation. Her U. S. appearances were pretty much of a flop.

Last week Dancer Argentinita made another try with a concert in Manhattan’s Majestic Theatre. This time Manhattanites, finally aware of who she was, thronged the theatre, stamped and yelled, gaped at castanet playing that would have made Gene Krupa sit up, footwork (zapateado) that would have made Bill Robinson’s eyes pop. Though Dancer Argentinita is known to be an ardent Spanish Loyalist, Manhattan’s Spaniards called an armistice for an evening. Both Leftists and Rightists turned out to give her a big hand.

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com