Argentinian dance company to display skills of the gaucho

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March 6, 2018

Che MalamboAmerica has cowboys. Argentina has gauchos.

The legendary agility, strength and dexterity of the gauchos fueled the creation of malambo, a native dance executed by men that tested the skills of the gaucho in competitive duels beginning around 1600 in the Pampas region of Argentina.

That dance form — one of the world’s most visually stunning dance forms — will be on display when Che Malambo performs at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 24, at the Stephen B. Humphrey Theater at Saint John’s University as part of the Fine Arts Series at the College of Saint Benedict and SJU.

Traditional malambo has no lyrics and is based entirely on rhythm. It is a dynamic blend of precision footwork, rhythmic stomping and drumming. The malambo dancer is a master of tap dancing wearing gaucho boots.

Since 2007, malambo has been a growing global sensation thanks to the touring of Che Malambo, which was created by French choreographer Gilles Brinas. He became interested in the form while researching traditional dances.

Brinas soon moved to Pampas to study and explore the gaucho traditions. Inspired by the dance and the talent of its exponents, Brinas created Che Malambo to share the powerful, passionate form with audiences around the globe.

Prior to the performance, Che Malambo will present “Riding the Rhythm: An Introduction to Argentine Folklore,” at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 24, at the Studio Theater, Benedicta Arts Center, CSB. It will cover the three main elements of malambo: footwork, lasso roping and drumming. 

The workshop is free to the public, but registration is required. No previous experience is necessary, but is recommended for ages 13 and up. Call the BAC Box Office at 320-363-5777 to register.

Che Malambo will also conduct a workshop with CSB and SJU theater students March 24. 

Tickets for the performance are $26 for adults, $23 for seniors, $19 for CSB/SJU faculty and staff, $15 for youth and students and $10 for CSB and SJU students. The event is sponsored in part by St. Cloud Orthopedics, the Club Total Fitness and Coborn's.

For tickets, call the Benedicta Arts Center Box Office at 320-363-5777 or order online.

The activity is made possible in part by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.