Ballet Pampa Argentina
DANCE ORIGIN: Argentina
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR/CHOREOGRAPHER: Pampa Cortés
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Patricia “Gigi” Jensen
First Appearance in SF EDF: 2011
Ballet Pampa Argentina was founded in 2010 by Pampa Cortés and is a program of Tango & More Argentine Dance. It is a newembodiment of Cortés’ troupe originally founded in 1980. Group performances honor the depth and breadth of Argentine folkloric dance and music. Artistic director Pampa Cortés is a master Argentine tango and folkloric dancer, director, and choreographer, trained by Santiago Ayala “El Chúcaro” and Norma Viola, founders of El Ballet Nacional Folklórico de Argentina; and maestros Mario Machaco and Norma Ré.
TITLE: En La Fiesta Santiagueña
DANCERS: Brooke Byrne, Pampa Cortés, Martha Gallego, Patricia “Gigi” Jensen, Janis Llamas, Gilma Pereda, Luis Valverde
Edmond Badoux (guitar), Francy Vidal (bombo), Daniel Zamalloa (violin)
En La Fiesta Santiagueña presents dances from Argentina’s Santiago del Estero, a northern region known for folkloric dance. The style is norteño, brisk and flirtatious. The dancers exhibit two-hundred-year-old European geometric formations and waltz meters, traditional masculine bravado, and zapateo (footwork), showcasing the men’s quick pie volcado, danced on the side of the foot.
The first piece, Fiesta Linda is a chacarera doble, a group dance enjoyed at festivals and parties. The region of Santiaga del Estero claims this dance as its own. The second piece, De Las Trincheras Santiagueñas is an escondido. The name means “hiding”, and the dance is known for its picardía (spice). The men compete for the ladies’ attention, and the women carry themselves with flirtatious bravado, ruffling their skirts with a sexy swish. The set ends with Malambo de Boleadoras, a solo by Pampa Cortés. Malambos performed with weapons are a late 1950s era invention for the stage. (The wooden boleadoras were originally three rocks on a leather strap.) The combined rhythms evoke horses’ hooves across the expansive Argentine pampas where everything is bigger, faster, and better.
The dancers wear typical country clothing, with the ladies in cotton dresses and the men in bombachas, the wide-legged Cossack-inspired gaucho pants. Musicians play guitar, violin, and bombo, a wooden-barrel drum—played on its head and also on the encircling wooden bands.
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