Che Malambo dancers travel from Argentina to Beaver Creek, April 12
If you go …
What: Che Malambo.
When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 12.
Where: Vilar Performing Arts Center, 68 Avondale Lane, Beaver Creek.
Cost: $10 for students, $45 for adults.
More information: Tickets are available now at the VPAC box office, by calling 970-845-8497 or at http://www.vilarpac.org.
Editor’s note: From time to time, members of the Vilar Performing Arts Center community will provide insights into upcoming art, music and dance performances at the 535-seat theater in Beaver Creek Village.
BEAVER CREEK — There are many things that prohibit us from making international trips — health, finances, time, fear of flying, etc. There are, however, fun ways to get that worldly, cultural, international experience right here in our valley.
Coming up at the Vilar Performing Arts Center on Wednesday, April 12, is Che Malambo, an Argentine-based company that features Malambo, a dance which is a blend of defined footwork, rhythmic stomping, drumming and song. Malambo celebrates the gaucho, or South American cowboy, tradition and is executed by male performers.
Traditionally, it is a passionate duel that combines power and agility. This competitive enthusiasm and drive is unquestionably present in modern Che Malambo performances — precise, rhythmic and thrilling. Renowned choreographer Gilles Brinas was mesmerized by this unique style of dance and, as a result, created Che Malambo.
Enchantment of dance
A handful of audiences are familiar with flamenco, tango and tap, but before Che Malambo was born, not many knew of Malambo, “a cousin of those fleet-footed styles,” as The New York Times described it. Brinas, being the talented choreographer he is, has put in his own flair, such as a quiet barefoot section that changes from a mood of authority to an enchanting feeling of mystery.
One of the greatest parts of a Che Malambo performance is the amazing footwork. Zapateo is a quick, rhythmic movement of the feet that imitates the sound of galloping horses. The movements can be so fast and so swift, The New York Times explained it as, “… a swiveling blur of motion below the waist; the astoundingly elastic ankles that support balancing, improbably, on the outside edges of the feet; the speed with which the dancers, their chests held proud and legs darting out from under them, can swallow up space.”
Another gripping aspect of the performance is the harmonized use of spiraling boleadoras, originally a weapon made of interconnected cords and heavy stones. The sound of impact the stones make against the stage floor combines with the visual presence of the boleadoras as they are twirled through the air make a perilous execution of pictorial appeal and choreography. The performance also incorporates the pulsating drumming of bombos, large traditional Argentine drums.
I know there are many restaurants in Beaver Creek that offer spectacular cuisine that can, in a sense, transport you around the world for a night out. Make it an evening where you take the family all the way to Latin America by making a reservation at a place such as Revolution or pairing this performance with a tasty home-cooked meal featuring empanadas and grilled skirt steak with chimichurri followed by dulce de leche and, of course, some Torrontes wine.
Although we all have our favorite local watering holes, as well as the performance types we prefer, it’s good to mix it up and do something out of the ordinary now and again. The other great thing about making a night out to a performance or restaurant you might not be familiar with is the unexpected knowledge you gain when doing so.
From Zapateo to boleadoras to Malambo to Torrontes, it can be gratifying to explore new territory with those you love, and live performances such as Che Malambo are one exciting way of doing that.
So my suggestion would be, find a group of girls, a loved one, a child, a neighbor or whomever and get out on the town and explore — make it a themed night to discover or rediscover a culture you might not often get to experience in your everyday life.
Ruthie Hamrick is the marketing manager for the Vilar Performing Arts Center.
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