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New Orleans Ballet Association presents Che Malambo: A percussive dance and music spectacle celebrating the indigenous dances of the South American gaucho

Written by  New Orleans Ballet Association
For the finale of the 2015-16 Main Stage season, the New Orleans Ballet Association (NOBA) presents the percussive dance and music spectacle from Argentina, Che Malambo, on Saturday, May 7, at 8:00pm at the Mahalia Jackson Theater of the Performing Arts (1419 Basin St.). With rapid-fire rhythms, precision footwork, drumming of the bombos, singing and whirling boleadoras (lassos with stones on the end), Che Malambo celebrates the unique South American cowboy traditions of the gaucho. Danced solely by men, the Malambo began in the 17th Century as competitive duels that would challenge skills of agility, strength, dexterity and zapateo (the fast paced footwork inspired by rhythm of galloping horses). Directed by French choreographer Gilles Brinas, this powerhouse, all-male company of 14 gauchos brings the fiery Malambo traditions to the contemporary stage for an exciting show that is perfect for the entire family. Sud-Ouest France hails, “Explosive Latin ‘stomp’…spectacular and pure magic.”
Tickets are on sale now starting at $25.50 and are available online at, by calling (504) 522-0996, in-person at NOBA’s Box Office (935 Gravier St., Suite 800), and through Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or Discounted tickets for groups of 10 or more, students and seniors are available.
About Malambo
Malambo is an indigenous dance form from Argentina performed only by men and based entirely on rhythm similar to Spanish flamenco and American tap. In the early 17th Century, Malambo began as a form of competitive challenges to show off strength, speed and agility, and was a way for solitary gauchos to pass time while isolated for long periods working in the grasslands of the Pampas region of Argentina. Men would confront each other in duels of zapateo, which translates as “shoe tapping”. With rhythmic stomping and virtuosic foot work, Malambo incorporates striking the heels, toes and all sides of the foot in either hard shoes or barefoot, creating thundering rhythms like the sound of galloping horses.   In addition to footwork, Malambo incorporates other elements to create syncopated rhythms, including singing, drumming of the bombos (a drum made of wood and hide), and whipping boleadoras or leather lassos with stones on the end originally used as a throwing weapon to capture cattle or game by entangling their legs or wings.
About the Company
Che Malambo is directed by French choreographer and former dancer Gilles Brinas who first learned about Malambo while researching traditional dances. Both fascinated and troubled by the Malambo, he travelled to Buenos Aires and the Pampas regions in search of this rarely seen dance style. Inspired by the extraordinary master artists he discovered, Brinas created a company of 14 authentic gauchos and a full-evening show that brings the bravura Malambo out of the grasslands and onto the stage in a stylishly modern way. Since its premiere in Paris in 2007, Che Malambo has performed around the world, including a successful three-city U.S. tour in 2013. The company was a smash hit in the sold-out Fall for Dance Festival at New York City Center theater in 2015 and kicks off its spring 2016 U.S. tour in New Orleans. Dance Tabs raves, “Fourteen men burst out of nowhere beating dangerously serious drums while nailing counterpoint rhythms into the floor with boots that double as acoustic weaponry. Testosterone rages full force in this Argentine import’s head-on assault of sound and movement by a highly refined dance troupe.” 
About Gilles Brinas
A renowned dancer and choreographer, Gilles Brinas performed with many prestigious companies in Europe, including Ballet de l’Opéra de Lyon under the direction of Vittorio Biagi and Miklo Sparemblek, Ballet of the twentieth century by Maurice Béjart at La Scala in Milan (choreographer Amedeo Amodio), Grand Ballet de France, and in the company of Robert Hossein (choreographer George Skibine). He has also worked with Peter Goss, Anne Beranger and Jean Golovin. In 1979, Brinas founded the DEA Ballet and won the prize of humor in the 11th Bagnolet competition. Then, in 1990, he was honored by the Charles Oulmont Foundation. In 2002, Brinas choreographed Bar Unión, a tango show with Sylvie Peron for Beinnale de la Danse. His teachers and mentors include Lucia Petrova, Raymond Franchetti, Andrej Glegolski Solange Golovin, Serge Golovin, Karol Toth, Vittorio Biagi, Miklo Sparemblek, and Peter Goss. Brinas has also practiced aikido with Hirokatsu Kobayashi and André Cognard and has studied Noh with the living national treasure, Hideo Kanze.
BRAVO Gala 2016: Una Noche en Argentina - ¡Viva el Malambo!
Ballet Resource And Volunteer Organization (BRAVO) presents Una Noche en Argentina - ¡Viva el Malambo!, a special fundraising event featuring an exclusive performance by Che Malambo, dinner, dancing, and more on Friday, May 6 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.  The evening will celebrate Argentina with traditional cuisine by Chef Adolfo Garcia of La Boca and Primitivo, Argentinean wines, a silent auction, and music by Julio & Cesar. Additionally, on May 4, all benefactors are invited to a grand seated dinner at Creole Cuisine Restaurant Concepts' newly renovated space, Marché, in the romance of the French Quarter with breathtaking views of the Mississippi River.

BRAVO’s fundraising activities provide critical support for the New Orleans Ballet Association’s award-winning youth programs, including more than 5,500 tuition-free dance classes and after-school activities at 13 community sites and the presentation of world-renowned dance companies on New Orleans stages. Ticket packages to Una Noche en Argentina - ¡Viva el Malambo! can be purchased by calling (504) 522-0996 x208, emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or online at
Che Malambo in the Community
On May 5 and 9, Che Malambo will do a series of residency activities in New Orleans, including lecture demonstrations in schools, Malambo master classes and workshops.
Che Malambo is sponsored by Pan-American Life Insurance Group. Accommodations sponsored by Sheraton New Orleans hotel and welcomed by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana and El Tiempo. Che Malambo is funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Louisiana Division of the Arts.
About the New Orleans Ballet Association (NOBA)
NOBA is the Central Gulf region’s premiere presenting and service organization dedicated solely to the art of dance.  NOBA’s dynamic Main Stage season annually features a diverse array of world-class companies and artists. Each year NOBA provides concerts, classes, workshops and lectures to more than 30,000 area dance enthusiasts of all ages.  In addition, NOBA’s nationally recognized award-winning education programs provide the youth of our community access to quality arts programs with over 5,500 free dance classes and workshops annually at ten sites throughout the Greater New Orleans area. 

NOBA is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA); a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council, and the NEA, a Federal agency; a Community Arts Grant made possible by the City of New Orleans and administered by the Arts Council New Orleans (ACNO); and a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council as administered through ACNO. Che Malambo is funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the NEA and the Louisiana Division of the Arts.
Last modified on Thursday, 21 April 2016
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