Scene: We are sitting at Lalo, one of my favorite restaurants in Buenos Aires and apparently it is also Gavito’s because I see him here all the time. It is no secret that Carlos is battling with cancer. This fight is acutely visible in his appearance and his weariness. Carlos is not feeling particularly well the evening of the interview so I kept it short.
Q: What fills your heart?
Gavito: Tic Toc. A heart is only a timer. It keeps us alive. Once it stops – you go. You don’t feel love in your heart. You feel it in your soul. All the feelings of this land…passion, hate, love – my soul feels so much the passion I love in life. The soul makes you feel passion – craziness. You can not see it. It’s inside. Sometimes it feels like it’s going to explode. I have always felt this way. Everyone feels this way, but maybe they are too busy. I am bleeding and hungry for the passion. My passion grew with age.
Q: Have you had sad moments in your life?
Gavito: Hundreds… kilos..sadness is a part of life. You have to say – that’s part of life because life is not easy. I say, “Well too bad”. We have life. We have to keep going. I have never felt defeated. I’m not well but I love my life. Only one will stop me. Death. And she will come when she wants.
Q: You haven’t allowed the illness to keep you from your friends. I see you at Milongas every night.
Gavito: Yes. People ask me why I go to the Milongas if I don’t dance. I say I’m going to the Milongas to learn … to see the mistakes. I can be a better teacher.
The Milonga is my life companion. Once I discovered I was ill, I didn’t change except I got closer to my family. I prefer my family to feel that life is life and to not feel sorry for me. One day you have to go. Thanks to death that let me live so long.
Q: How does the face of death look?
Gavito: Not pretty. I don’t know if it’s ugly. I don’t see the face. Peaceful? Who knows – here we suffer. Our faith tells us, we come here for punishment. You probably won’t believe this but I am a very spiritual person.
Q: What faces would you like to see after death.
Gavito: I would like to meet Mozart. Why Mozart? I am a lover of classical music. The poet, Julian Centella and Troilo.
Q: That’s interesting. What music moves you the most?
Gavito: Tango… but I feel many musicas. I feel very much Spanish and Greek music. Music that is full of heart and feelings. I don’t need to understand the words.
Q: And the moments of Ecstasy – simple pure joy in your life?
Gavito: I have so many. My life is full of happiness.. with passion. Passion is not only love and Passion is not always good. It is madness. Sometimes it is crazy. I try to keep a balance.
Q: How do you know when you have reached madness?
Gavito: You want to scream. You just know it inside. Peace is an aim to achieve. Peace and Passion at the same time. Those who just have Passion become empty.
Q: Are you satisfied in life?
Gavito: I don’t think anyone feels satisfied. We try the best we can. Satisfaction is not easy because it is the end. You must be willing to do more, love more, dance more. Most of the time, I feel I have no time. I wish for more freedom to enjoy life and to not suffer more.
Q: Carlos, when I look at you, I see a dancer. I also see a poet.
Gavito: And everyone of us is a writer – a musician. Our life is like colors. There are too many colors. We try to make sense of all of them, instead we should just accept our colors. I do not have a strong color. Some colors give me peace.
Q: Is there anything you wish you could change or do differently?
Gavito: I don’t think so. With all my fate, my pride, I would do exactly the same…maybe better.
Q: Better as a person …a dancer?
Gavito: Everything. More education. Yes, education is never enough.
Q: And who have you learned the most from?
Gavito: Too many. You learn from many people … on the street…the simple people…Sometimes so simple, you have envy and want to be yourself more simple and more honest. In the dance…to not be the one that moves more and does more steps but to be the one that gives more.
Q: Is there anything you want to say?
Gavito: In my life, everything is said. I ask.. what do you want to say to me?
Q: I would say that your words are poetry. I also feel the desire for passion in life and the need for balance and peace. I also seek understanding.
Gavito: Yes, but don’t worry … don’t fight.
Q: Is there anyone you would like to thank?
Gavito: Thank you. You didn’t ask a lot of questions. I liked this interview. ..and thank you to the beautiful life that we have that I can still enjoy. A toast to life.