Che Malambo Stomps Across The Stage

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.

Picks of the Week – April 11, 2018

We’d better see some spectacular May flowers based on these April showers, come in out of the rain and choose from these ample picks of the week to keep you entertained.

Talks: Once again, TED returns to Vancouver. Since most of us don’t have tickets to #TED2018 The Age of Amazement, Vancouver Public Libraries is livestreaming most of the sessions.

Dance: Wednesday, experience the heat and passion of Latin dance sensations, Che Malambo as they bring their powerful rhythms to Queen E Theatre

Scott Bellis, John Ng, Toby Hughes in Nine Dragons. Photo by Tim Nguyen

Mystery: The world premier of Nine Dragons, a 1920’s murder mystery set in Hong Kong opens at Gateway Theatre on Thursday, running until April 21st.

Photos: The 5th Annual Capture Photography Festival continues to bring all things photographic and lens-based to galleries and public spaces around the city throughout April.

Snow: Up the Sea-to-Sky Highway, the Whistler Ski & Snowboard Festival brings 5 days of music, arts, sports and culture to Whistler Blackcomb

Dorrance Dance

Tap:  DanceHouse brings to the stage the acclaimed American tap dance troupe Dorrance Dance for two nights, Friday and Saturday.

Balls: Vancouver Whitecaps are hoping Friday the 13th brings luck against the MLS new kids, LAFC at BC Place.

Sh!t: Boca Del Lupo’s spring micro series brings Niall and Marcus Talk About Sh!t Niall Likes for an intimate show onstage at The Fishbowl on Granville Island April 11-14.

Cuban: The Chan Centre for Performing Arts brings a thrilling double-bill, Afro-Cuban neo-soul singer Daymé Arocena and Havana-born piano virtuoso Roberto Fonseca on Sunday April 15th.

Once On This Island: Michael Gnansounou and Brianna Clark
Photo: Tina Clellan

Island: Fabulist Theatre brings the tropics Granville Island with Once On This Island,  running at RedCard Review Stage until April 14th

Suspense: Stephen King’s thriller Misery brings a fright  to the Arts Club Granville Island Stage until May 5th, while the Tony-Award winning family drama, The Humans is onstage at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage until April 22nd and starting April 12th, the sibling rivalry of Me and You is at the Goldcorp Stage.

Cohen: The Firehall Arts Centre continues to celebrate its 35th Anniversary with its award winning Chelsea Hotel: The Songs of Leonard Cohen on stage until April 21st

Haida:  Museum of Vancouver is presenting, Haida Now. A collaboration with The Haida Gwaii Museum bring 450 works together in a one of a kind collection of Haida arts and culture, until June 15.

Culture: Musqueam, Squamish, Lil’wat, Heiltsuk, Nisga’a, Haida are collaborating for the first time so you can learn more about the cultures of these First Nations and the importance of their cultural centres at the Museum of Anthropology at UBC’s exhibition Culture at the Centre, until October 8th

Comedy: Looking for some killer laughs and murderous improv? Check out Murder on the Improv Express – A Killer Comedy at Vancouver TheatreSports League debuting April 12th

 

Che Malambo coming to Vancouver April 11

Photo: Diane Smithers

Next week, Caravan World Rhythms brings world class dance troupe Che Malambo to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Combining the lightning-fast footwork of Irish dancing with the heat and passion of flamenco and tango, Che Malambo takes the  Vancouver stage April 11th with a new program that promises to thrill audiences with pulsating rhythms, magnetic physicality, and a delicious hint of danger.

Photo: Diane Smithers

“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,” said Robert Benaroya, Managing Artistic Director of Caravan World Rhythms. “At their 2015 Vancouver premiere, audiences were mesmerized by the artists’ charisma and ferocity. We were overwhelmed and thrilled by the demand to bring back their expert drumming, fiery dancing, and exhilarating dueling. We can’t wait for Che Malambo’s triumphant return!”

Celebrated for their strength, sensuality, and speed, Che Malambo’s 14 dancers display their hypnotic rhythms and technical prowess with humour and confidence. Night after night, they create an edge-of-the-seat experience showcasing the inherent precision in every member of this highly skilled ensemble.

Founded by renowned French dancer and choreographer Gilles Brinas, Che Malambo has been delighting audiences around the world since 2007. Captivated by the South American gaucho 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, and its bravado is summoned with the same boldness as the gaucho tossing its whirling boleadoras (percussive lasso). Inspired by the theatrical dynamism of this art form, Brinas created Che Malambo to share it with the world.

Experience the electrifying thrills of Che Malambo in person when the troupe takes the stage at Queen Elizabeth Theatre, April 11th. Tickets available from Tickets Tonight

Picks of the Week – April 4, 2018

April Showers seems to be fulfilling the first half of the proverb, but will they bring May flowers or more crazy weather? One thing is for sure, the Picks of the Week will keep you entertained to start your month.

Rock: The Darkness brings their glam pop/rock sounds to The Vogue tonight

Photos: The 5th Annual Capture Photography Festival opens this week, bringing a month long celebration of all things photographic and lens-based.

Once On This Island: Michael Gnansounou and Brianna Clark
Photo: Tina Clellan

Island: From Broadway to Granville Island, Fabulist Theatre brings a diverse cast to Once On This Island, a current hit on Broadway, opening April 6th, running at RedCard Review Stage until April 14th

Dance: Norwegian Dance Company WEE and Italian Choreographer  Francesco Scavetta collaborate on Hardly Ever an entertaining look at truth and falsehoods, at Scotiabank Dance Centre April 5 – 7

Take 6
photo: John Shyloski

Choir: Chor Leoni’s VanMan Male Choral Summit takes place this weekend, getting underway with a show from award-winning a cappella group Take 6 at Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Friday

Cohen: The Firehall Arts Centre celebrates its 35th Anniversary with its award winning Chelsea Hotel: The Songs of Leonard Cohen playing until April 21st.

Comedy: Letterkenny Live brings the Canadian sitcom to life, onstage at Orpheum Theatre

Haida: Until June 15, Museum of Vancouver has a new exhibition, Haida Now. A collaboration with The Haida Gwaii Museum bring 450 works together in a one of a kind collection of Haida arts and culture

Culture: Musqueam, Squamish, Lil’wat, Heiltsuk, Nisga’a, Haida are collaborating for the first time so you can learn more about the cultures of these First Nations and the importance of their cultural centres at the Museum of Anthropology at UBC’s exhibition Culture at the Centre, until October 8th.

Ice: Your last chance to catch Henrik and Daniel before they retire is Thursday night at Rogers Arena as Vancouver Canucks hosting Arizona

Family: The Arts Club Theatre Company has the Tony-Award winning family drama, The Humans onstage at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage and Stephen King’s Misery brings a fright to the Granville Island Stage

Vancouver International Dance Festival Takes The Stage

Shen Wei Dance Arts Photo: Christopher Duggan

The 2018 Vancouver International Dance Festival (VIDF) is now on stages around Vancouver until March 24, 2018.   The 2018 VIDF features a diverse and dynamic roster of internationally celebrated artists plus local favourites, over the three weeks of performances, workshops, and other dance activities. The Festival presents three Canadian premieres from New York’s acclaimed contemporary company White Wave Dance, Mexico’s Compañía de Danza Experimental de Lola Lince, and Hungary’s Ferenc Fehér; as well, a Western Canadian premiere of New York’s Shen Wei Dance Arts; a West Coast premiere from Montreal’s Lucie Grégoire Danse; and a world premiere from Vancouver’s own Amber Funk Barton/the response..

Harbour Dance ITP
Photo: Ernest Von Rosen

“Dance as a primal human instinct transcends language, cultural norms, and international borders. It has the potential to communicate any aspect of the human experience,” says Barbara Bourget, Co-Producer of VIDF. “In the current international climate of parochialism and division, it is more important than ever to connect with individuals from around the globe in a spirit of inclusion, connection, dialogue, and empathy. This year’s festival hopes to achieve this goal by bringing communities together through the presentation of innovative, thought-provoking, and breathtaking work of world class artists from the United States, Mexico, and Hungary, as well as trailblazing artists from Vancouver and Montreal.”

Vancouver International Dance Festival performances take place around downtown Vancouver at; Vancouver Playhouse, Roundhouse Community Centre, ScotiaBank Dance Centre, Woodwards Atrium and KW Production Studio.   For the full March 1 – 24, 2018 calendar of events and to purchase tickets visit vidf.ca

Picks of the Week – February 28, 2018

The end of February…already!? Let’s see what March has to offer in these picks of the week.

HipHop: Tonight at The Vogue, Ty Dolla $ign brings his hip hop, soul blended sounds to the stage

Coastal First Nations Dance Festival

Dance: The 11th Annual Coastal First Nations Dance Festival at MOA brings together Indigenous Music and Dance from the Pacific to Scandinavia, until March 4th

Rain: 7 Tyrants Theatre’s 10th Anniversary season continues with A Steady Rain at the Penthouse Studio Theatre until March 3rd.

Folk: Canadian folk artist Bahamas brings his sunny sounding moniker to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Thursday

Comedy: Laughter reigns supreme as JFL Northwest bring the best and funniest of comedy stars to Vancouver from March 1st to 10th

Rock: Touring on behalf of their latest, Grace Street, rockers Big Wreck take to the Commodore Ballroom twice this week on Thursday & Friday

Trucks: The weekend gets raucous at Pacific Coliseum as Monster Jam has 4 shows over Mar 2-4, 2018

Theatre: The Arts Club has the Tony award winning Fun Home at Granville Island Stage running until March 10

Pucks: The Vancouver Canucks take to the ice on Friday as they play host to Nashville at Rogers Arena

Pss Pss photo: Pipo Gialluisi

Clowning: Taking inspiration from classic comedic works from Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin,  Pss Pss by Compagnia Baccalà runs until March 4th at The Cultch York Theatre.

Exhibition: The Vancouver Art Gallery celebrates the opening of Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg with a birthday bash, preview, dinner and party, the day before the opening of the Japanese artist’s first Canadian retrospective.

WhitecapsFCKicks: Whitecaps FC bring soccer back to BC Place to kick off their 2018 season on Sunday with a roster of new and old faces

Dance House & Toronto Dance Theatre Celebrate Anniversaries

Toronto Dance Theatre

This weekend Vancouver’s Dance House welcomes cross-county compatriots Toronto Dance Theatre to the Vancouver Playhouse.  As Dance House celebrates their 10th anniversary, Toronto Dance Theatre celebrates their 50th with House Mix, a retrospective of the works by Artistic Director and Choreographer Christopher House.

Dance House has a goal to connect Vancouver with the world of dance, including the best of what’s right here in our country. 50 years is a feat for any organization, let alone an arts group, to celebrate, Toronto Dance Theatre assembled a collection of pieces from the last 3 decades to showcase the diversity in their company’s performances and artists. Their 90 minute showcase included;

Martingales – first performed November 2014 in Toronto
An energetic piece filled with rapid movements and playful rhythms.

Fjeld (excerpt) – first performed March 1990 in Toronto
A sculptural work inspired by the films of Ingmar Berman & Renaissance art.

Thirteen – first performed November 2017 in Bogota, Columbia
Revisiting an early Christopher House work from 1983, with the movements repurposed with a new score.

Echo Dark – first performed November 2015 in Toronto
A modern, dance set to a dark, heavy beat.

Toronto Dance Theatre

Vena Cava – first performed November 1998 in Toronto
A fast-paces, energizing show set to the music of composer Robert Moran.

Dance House continues to bring world-class dance performances, next up Betroffenheit, a collaboration between Kidd Pivot & Electric Company Theatre, March 14 – 17, 2018 at Vancouver Playhouse. Tickets online at dancehouse.ca