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Che Malambo

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Gilles Brinas, Director

Created by director and choreographer Gilles Brinas, Che Malambo performs with a dynamic blend of precision footwork, rhythmic stomping, drumming, and song which originated in the 17th century in the South American pampas. Danced solely by men, malambo evolved from competitive duels amongst the Argentine gaucho that tested agility, strength, and dexterity. It soon integrated what is now its hallmark, zapateo, the fast-paced footwork inspired by the rhythm of galloping horses. Malambo also features the drumming of traditional Argentine bombos and whirling boleadoras, a throwing weapon made up of intertwined cords and weighted with stones.

The men dance with a power and passion that builds into a kind of ecstasy.

Boston Globe

Che Malambo Promotional Video from Che Malambo Live on YouTube.

Fun Facts

  • Gilles Brinas, founder, director, and choreographer for Che Malambo is originally from France.
  • Brinas first learned about malambo while researching traditional dances and travelled to the Pampas region of Argentina to learn more.
  • The malambo dance form blends African rhythms with the European dances introduced to the region by waves of immigrants from Italy, Spain, and Germany in the late 19th Century.
  • Brinas also founded DEA Ballet in 1979.
  • Boleadoras, intertwined cords weighted with stones, were originally a weapon used by the first inhabitants of the Argentine plains against one another. Now they're used by folkloric dancers as a percussion instrument.

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