Created by director, choreographer, and dancer Matías Jaime, Malevo is a high-energy and passionate performance with a contemporary take on the traditional Argentinian folk dance, the Malambo. The show opens with an energetic drumming performance executed with incredible precision and speed, their arms moving at a jaw-dropping, mesmerizing pace.
It was such a strong and bold opening, you couldn’t help but wonder where they could go from here or whether the rest of the show would be just more of the same. But this is where Malevo succeeds. The show is thoughtfully curated to provide a range of styles and tempos with quieter solo moments and smaller group performances amongst the heart-pounding full ensemble numbers. While there is no storyline, the changing costumes, range of dance styles and apparatus being used makes for an engaging 80 minutes and still creates a sense of journey for the audience. Malevo is like an Argentinian combination of Riverdance and Tap Dogs, with just a dash of Manpower thrown in. The topless opening number certainly had the hearts of some members in the audience pounding.
The strong opening drumming number is followed by a dance routine again performed with intense passion and physical dexterity. This time it was their feet that were mesmerizing. The dexterity of their dancing on not just the soles of their feet, but on the sides as well was astonishing!
The 13 male performers, are a tight ensemble, all delivering a flawless and passionately executed performance.
The four-piece band not only provide the musical accompaniment but also have their own moments to shine in the spotlight.
An excellent lighting design also creates focus for the solo moments and makes the Art Centre’s State Theatre feel much more intimate, ensuring the performance is not lost on the large stage.
Malevo is in Melbourne for a short season until Sunday 28 January, playing at Arts Centre Melbourne’s State Theatre for one week only.
23-28 January 2024
State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne
Tickets from $69.00 + booking fee