T he powerhouse all-male Argentinian dance company, Che Malambo, excites audiences with their percussive dance and music spectacle. Malambo, a dynamic blend of precision footwork, rhythmic stomping, drumming and song, is at the heart of the gaucho (South American cowboy) tradition and is now thrilling audiences around the world with this new production created by renowned choreographer Gilles Brinas. The Paris-based Brinas first learned about Malambo while researching traditional dances. He soon fell under its spell and travelled to the Pampas region of Argentina to engage with the gaucho and further his exploration of their traditions. Inspired by the dance and the talent of its exponents, Brinas created Che Malambo so as to share this powerful, passionate form with international audiences. 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. Since its premiere in Paris in 2007, Che Malambo has performed around the world, including a highly successful 32-city world tour in the 15/16 season. It returns to North America in fall 2015 for a limited engagement at New York City Center’s sold-out Fall for Dance Series, followed by a coast-to-coast tour in the 2015/16 season.
A renowned dancer and choreographer, Gilles Brinas performed with prestigious dance companies throughout Europe including Ballet de l’Opéra de Lyon (under the direction of Vittorio Biagi and Miklo Sparemblek), the Ballet of the twentieth century by Maurice Béjart at La Scala in Milan (choreographer Amedeo Amodio) and the Grand Ballet de France and in the company of Robert Hossein (choreographer George Skibine). In addition to founding the Ballet DEA in 1979, Brinas has choreographed works for Beinnale de la Danse. Amongst his many honours are awards from the Bagnolet competition and the Charles Oulmont Foundation.