Trapped in a shoe store in Buenos Aires during an end-of-world hailstorm in 2001, I gritted as ice the size of ball bearings struck the steel roof like shotgun blasts.
Later that afternoon, while at a dinner theater in Recoleta, it seemed to me someone had created a dance out of the Southern Cone climate. On stage, an Indian from Argentina’s pampas (plains) rhythmically pounded the floor with plum-sized rocks whirled on a lasso. Over six feet tall, wearing an embroidered leather jacket with a white shirt and tight black pants typical of the Argentine gaucho (cowboy), he performed in a way that introduced me to the folkloric dance rhythms known as the malambo.
Imagine the scene described above multiplied by 14, as a line of nimble giants drum, stomp, and shout rhythms from a stage like a bank of cannons. Che Malambo, the Argentine folkloric dance company, is on its way to South Florida this weekend.
Gilles Brinas, the show’s
Like tornadoes spinning off from colliding weather fronts, specific dances emerged from all this blending. The well-known tango and milonga are two examples. Outside the cities, the malambo first took the form of a kind of fight between gauchos testing skills of speed, strength, and dexterity. As
The malambo soon evolved to include its hallmark
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The dancers of Che Malambo initiate and pound out their rhythms accompanied by the
In addition to the
- Sean Erwin
Performing Saturday, February 6, at 8 p.m. at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, 10950 SW 211 St., Cutler Bay; tickets: $15-$35; www.smdcac.org/events/che-malambo.