Mere days before the Irish take up residence in Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre, the Argentinians arrive with their own international dance sensation.
Last seen in Vancouver in 2015, Che Malambo returns to the city with a brand new show, combining the lightning-fast footwork of Riverdance with the intensity of flamenco and tango.
“We were overwhelmed and thrilled by the demand to bring back their expert drumming, fiery dancing, and exhilarating dueling,” says Robert Benaroya, managing artistic director of Caravan World Rhythms, who are presenting Che Malambo in Vancouver.
Founded by French dancer and choreographer Gilles Brinas, Che Malambo has been touring the world since 2007. Captivated by the gaucho (South American cowboy) tradition, Brinas’ interest took him to the Pampas region of Argentina to study the signature gaucho dance style, malambo. Originally a form of competitive duel between 17th century gauchos, malambo evolved to include zapateo.
The zapateo style is characterized by its breakneck footwork inspired by the galloping of horse hooves. Its rhythms are drawn from the traditional Argentine bombos (drums), and the boleadoras, a throwing instrument used by gauchos to capture animals by entangling their legs.
“It’s hard to fully comprehend the pride, panache, and raw power of the South American gaucho tradition until you have encountered an ensemble like Che Malambo,” says Benaroya.
Vancouver is part of an international tour including stops in the United States, Malaysia, Belgium, Spain, and Ukraine.
Che Malamo plays the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver on April 11. Tickets are available online at Tickets Tonight.