Malevo, created by director, choreographer, and dancer, Matías Jaime, is an all-male dance troupe that has appeared on America’s Got Talent and Cirque du Soleil, and has residency in Disneyland Japan. 

Malevo performs its take on the Argentine Malambo, a traditional dance handed down from older Argentinian Gauchos (South American Cowboys). The 90 minute programme consists of the full ensemble, small groups, and solo pieces. Performances include drumming, pounding movements, stomping (zapateados) and fast accurate footwork (cepillados). A dance of virility and skill, the Malambo is not a dance I am familiar with, but I could see how these movements would have been performed around the fireside to entertain and compete. Bare chests, black trousers, leather-studded open shirts, and cowboy hats solidify the Gaucho image. 

The show opens with the full ensemble drumming in unified movements with incredible accuracy, reaching over to strike the next person’s drum, and pointing and striking sticks with increasing speed. Not a beat is dropped, and the energy is maintained throughout – a fantastic opener.  

The whole programme is passionate and invigorating. Pounding rhythms are combined with elegant and precise movements. The show is full of performances so mesmerising I was afraid to blink in case I missed anything! I particularly loved a section of barefoot choreography. With such an emphasis on strong stomps and strikes of the foot, it is fascinating to see the precise movements of the feet creating the rhythms. 

The use of boleadoras – a leather and stone hunting tool used by Gauchos – is astounding. We were first introduced through a solo, where the red leather is spun to create a vivid white tipped red circle. Circling and spinning beautiful shapes, the performer cracks the stones to the ground during the spin to add additional rhythmic percussion. The effect is spellbinding with only a solo performer. By the end of the show, we were treated to the entire company moving and striking the boleadoras in increasingly complex choreography

A thoroughly enjoyable evening, I highly recommend seeing a Malevo performance.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

{🎟 AD – PR invite – Tickets were gifted in exchange for an honest review}

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