Rooted in Gaucho Dueling
Che Malambo dance company––April 22
The men in black are carrying drums like barrels slung across their chests. They rap the sides and the heads in counterpoint to their feet. In vests and riding breeches, they face off across the stage, locking eyes like duelers. Che Malambo performs the dance traditions of the gauchos, the cattlemen of the pampas in Argentina. The dance company that swept Jacob’s Pillow with standing ovations in 2016 will return to the Berkshires on Sunday, April 22, at 2 p.m. at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield.
Parisian choreographer Gilles Brinas learned the art form from dancers who had handed it down for generations, and the company he helped to form now travels the world. This is dance grown among cowboys, and it feels like it—the speed and coordination of riding, and driving percussion with boot heels and boleadoras, spinning weighted ropes. Malambo evolved in a mix of cultures and absorbed elements of South American Indian roots, African step dance, Cossack knee bends, Andalusian flair and Irish clogging.