On April 11 at 8 p.m., Caravan World Rhythms presents Che Malambo at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre (630 Hamilton Street).
Founded in 2007 by award-winning French choreographer Gilles Brinas, the 14-man troupe performs dances drawn from the Argentine gaucho tradition, featuring lightning-fast footwork and the smouldering intensity of flamenco and tango.
Originally a form of competitive duel between 17th-century gauchos, malambo evolved to include zapateo, a style characterized by its breakneck footwork inspired by the galloping of horse hooves. Its rhythms are drawn from the traditional Argentine bombos, and it includes the fearless use of boleadoras (percussive lasso).
In a Georgia Straight preview of Che Malambo's last visit to Vancouver, Tony Montague wrote:
The ensemble’s powerful show includes some guitar music and songs to give the performers a pause. The high-energy dance and percussion sequences are spectacular, especially in their use of boleadoras to pound out fast rhythms on the stage.
According to Robert Benaroya, Managing Artistic Director of Caravan World Rhythms, “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.”