By Sarah Gianelli EBS Senior Editor
BIG SKY – On Saturday, March 31 at 7 p.m., the all-male Argentinian dance company Che Malambo brings their percussive dance and music spectacle to the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center in the last show of the winter season.
Created by French choreographer Gilles Brinas, Che Malambo had its premiere in Paris in 2007.
Malambo, a dynamic blend of precision footwork, rhythmic stomping, drumming and song, is in the tradition of the “gaucho,” or South American cowboy. The Paris-based Brinas first learned about Malambo while researching traditional dances.
Malambo began in the 17th century as competitive duels that tested skills of agility, strength and dexterity among the gaucho. It soon evolved to include its hallmark, zapeteo, the fast-paced footwork inspired by the rhythm of galloping horses. In addition to zapateo, Malambo features the drumming of traditional Argentine bombos and whirling boleadoras, a throwing weapon made up of intertwined cords and weighted with stones.
Brinas soon fell under its spell and travelled to the Pampas region of Argentina to engage with the gaucho and further explore their traditions. He created Che Malambo to share this powerful, passionate art form with international audiences.
Reviewing Che Malambo’s performance at Jacob’s Pillow Dance festival in Massachusetts, Siobhan Burke of The New York Times said the dance group “sent the audience into uproarious applause … The pawing, galloping footwork and legwork, which often accelerate into a swiveling blur of motion below the waist; the astoundingly elastic ankles that support balancing, improbably, on the outside edges of the feet; the speed with which the dancers, their chests held proud and legs darting out from under them, can swallow up space.”
“To close out the fifth winter season, we really wanted to go out with a bang,” said WMPAC Executive Director John Zirkle. “Che Malambo is exactly that. Get your tickets now, because this show will definitely sell out. At the time of this writing, there are only 30 tickets left.”
Visit warrenmillerpac.org for tickets.