London (AFP) – While struggling to gain a foothold in the Argentine scene, the malambo, a dance from Pampas folklore, became internationally known on a world tour, a first for the most emblematic band Malevo.
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“In Argentina, it is very difficult to perform in theaters because of the current economic situation. It is difficult for us to present our show, and we almost only do it on special occasions. It is a pending task that remains for us in our lives,” the group’s director and founder, Gustavo Matias Jaime, told AFP in London. , one of the stops on the tour: “It seems like it’s our turn to show it abroad and come back at some point.”
The tour began in Russia in September (Vladivostok, Moscow and Yekaterinburg), passing through Saudi Arabia (Riyadh) and concluding the first part of the tour in London next week.
Then comes a stop in India and a break, continuing between January and March across Australia (Sydney Opera House and State Theater in Melbourne) and 22 cities between the United States and Canada.
Jaime decided to create the Malevo group in 2015 “out of the need to work on what I love, which is Malambo. Until we arrived, it was not considered a work item for professional dancers.”
A year after its establishment, the group obtained the “Qatari Brand” stamp, in recognition of its promotion in the world of Argentine culture.
Between March 2019 and January 2020, they worked in Japan, until the arrival of the Covid pandemic.
Now, nearly two dozen members of the group, along with their bass drums and polydoras, are in London to perform at London’s Peacock Theatre.
“The malambo is a local Argentine dance from La Pampa, which is a challenge between the gauchos to see who has the best skill, and who has done the best in their movements to win the competition,” explains the artistic director and founder. From the group.
Jaime started “as a kid in Malambo” and in 2015 invited friends and dancers to “get started.”
The choreographer and dancer, who has collaborated with Ricky Martin and Cirque du Soleil, began uploading dance videos online and received calls from production companies. “This is where it all started.”
Almost all members are from Buenos Aires, with the exception of dancers from Formosa and Santiago del Estero.
“The malambo is a very brave dance. It’s like flamenco. It shows our spirit and what we are about. We dream that the world knows the malambo. I’ve dreamed for a long time of doing this show here in London.” He explains.
“Just like tango”
“It is the discovery of a very important part of Argentina, just like the tango. It is part of Argentine folklore. We try to include all this historical part with modernity, because we are young people who love the roots of our country. I think we are achieving on the road,” he adds. Little by little, the audience begins to feel what Malambo is.”
But Gustavo Matías Jaime is disappointed that the path they seem to be taking outside Argentina to popularize this dance has no parallel in his homeland.
“We are appreciated in our country, because we brought Argentine roots to the world. The malambo has gained a value that it never had before and has increased its prestige, but the situation in our land makes it difficult to put on a show. We have already tried,” he says. Things went badly for us, and one of the producers even cheated on us on one occasion. “It’s difficult but I don’t lose hope that I can do it.”
“The few times we have been able to perform in Argentina have been successful,” he concludes. “People feel the same warmth as we do on stage, even though our steps are always outside.”
© 2023 Agence France-Presse
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