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Discover Che Malambo, show created by Gilles Brinas, and feel the strenght and the beauty of Argentina!  (description under the video)

CHE … MALAMBO !

First and unique performance in the world of Malambo, they have the strength and the power of a horde in full gallop, the grace and spirit of Argentinean dancers, the beauty of those that are free. There are fourteen performers on stage. Only the men dance the malambo, a gaucho tradition, (cowboys from the pampas). A genuine outlet that asks for dexterity and incomparable energy, Malambo carries everything in its way and leaves us astounded and exhausted,.

They stamp their heeled boots or their bare feet on the roughly treated floor, keep the rhythm with the bombo – a drum made of wood and hide, and  hold & turn the boleados – originally 2 or 3 leather straps full of stones. Not simply folk dancing here but well-trained dancers who have a strong technique that allows for very physical sequences. Gilles Brinas, dancer and French choreographer fell in love with malambo. He has conceived a series of scenes capable of showing all the richness of this unbridled tradition.

Originally, the Malambo is an individual dance, exclusively masculine. Two men face to face defining the rhythms, confronting each other in a rhythmic duel of zapateado – stomping their feet competitively and fiercely until one of them gamely declares defeat.

The solitary gaucho rarely comes down from his mount upon which he lives, sleeps and eats – thus expressing his inner strength. Without doubt expressing what is going through his body:  his horse’s rhythm.

According to Pedro Berruti in his « Native Dance«  manual, “Malambo” is the name of an African district in a Peruvian town. The mixture of types always has a good outcome, all immigrants, willing or not,  African, Slave, Latin , Anglo-Saxon and certainly some Indigenous peoples – will have tried their best to make a contribution to this unusual and spirited way to dance at the beginning of the 19th century in Argentina .

Two essentially predominant styles : El Brio del Norteno and La Elegancia del Sureno.

El Norteno – The North, characterized by its strength, agility and dexterity, sustained by a natural rhythmic force translated by the bombos (Argentinean drums) for an unbridled and wild cavalcade. The dancers’ boots are long, in thick leather, with substantial  heels for strong zapateados .

El Sureno – The South , contrasts with the North by its sustained strength. The interpreter must prove his ingenuity and leave flexibility  aside.

Explosive, external exuberance contrasts with a serious and solemn interior. The dancer wears light boots made of pony skin: the foal’s thigh is stripped, the hide is put straight on to the leg, toes stay un-covered. if the legs stay bare, the floor will be struck with the same intensity .

In the north and the south, we see the boleadoras. These balls hit the floor in perfect unison with the dancer’s feet and the bombos launch an  amazing dynamic movement .

// The Concept

Vibrating to the rhythm of galloping horses in the pampas .

Gauchos’ grandsons  who rocked to rock’ n roll, have now unleashed  their dance. Che Malambo! is a contemporary energetic ballet wherein is expressed all the virtuosity of malambo and the uncommon strength of its zapateados, bombos and boleadras .

Like a wild horde, carried away, enigmatic, there are fourteen male dancers, half-man, half-horse offering from the first breath a rhythmic dance, physical and impressive. They come from the far away pampas to tell us about their various traditions to the present time .


// Programme

1) In the beginning there was La Pampas

2) The Horses

3) The Northern Horsemen

4) Las Boleadoras

5) Los Bombos

6) The Southern Horsemen

7) Celebration

This danced play has nothing to do with the folklore image largely diffused today in Argentina. It is a rhythmic symphony of ZAPATEADO. Humans have always stomped their feet on the earth for both pain and joy. The first written forms of this celebration come from India’s Kerala region.

Today we present the Argentinean ZAPATEADO to you….

Gilles Brinas