Like a troupe of gauchos storming the Pampas of Argentina, Che Malambo burst onto the stage at Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver. A breathtaking 90 minute spectacle of thundering South American rhythms and music.
Presented by Caravan World Rhythms, Che Malambo brings the spirit of the gaucho (South American cowboys) signature step dance styles, Malambo and Zapateo, to the stage. Two dozen feet moving as one, the dancers opened the show with a rousing number that matched their feet with beats of the drums. Choreographed and developed by renowned dancer and choreographer Gilles Barnes the non-stop action that followed was simply breathtaking, from stripped-down barefoot dances, to full-throttle, boot-stomping body percussion dance battles. The dancers performed their own music, either by accompanying the dance with guitar and drums, using body percussion, or matching their steps with the beats of illuminated bolas on the stage. Midway, the audience was treated to another talent as the dancers sang a set of Argentine folks songs, drawing the audience into the fold to clap along to the rhythms.
We were on the edge of our seats and there were many spontaneous whoots and cheers from the audience throughout the 90 minute performance. Inspired by their lightening quick footwork, the audience leapt to their feet to deliver a long standing ovation to see Che Malambo off-stage.
Caravan World Rhythms has more performances from around the world this year. Fiesta MexiColmbiana brings three Latin American acts to the Wise Hall, May 26, Noreum Machi from Korea is at Norman Rothstein Theatre in July to name just a couple, visit caravanbc.com for more.