Caravan World Rhythms Society
BALLET FLAMENCO EVA YERBABUENA

Date: 7 March 2004
Venue
: The Orpheum Theatre

Reviewer: June Heywood

 

Eva Yerbabuena
On Sunday, Lucy, Eva, myself and hundreds of others spent an evening of passion at the Orpheum. Lucy is a friend from Peru. The hundreds were the people in the "sold-out" audience. Eva is 31 year-old Eva Yerbabuena who is "hailed as Spain's most treasured contemporary flamenco dancer…a powerful presence noted for her vivid, expansive approach" in both the traditional and contemporary style. 

Passion permeated the performance in the rhythms of clapping hands, strumming instruments, and wildly tapping feet.

Eva and her company of six dancers and seven musicians wowed the audience in "an intimate evening of theatrical dance--magnificently imaginative" and stunning in its ability to draw on human emotion.

Flamenco usually consists of a "conversation" between the dancer, the singers, and the musicians. In this performance, the musicians, led by Paco Jarana (composer, guitarist and Eva's husband) remained in the background except when featured.
The dancing was marvellous. There were solos, trios, ensembles, and imaginatively choreographed entrances and exits.


 

 

 

 

The heart of the show was a long solo by Eva which began with her subtle body arched backwards at 45 degrees. Then she danced, as a woman possessed. One moment her zapateado (footwork) sounded like hailstones on a window. The next her brazos (arm movements) seemed like flowers fluidly rising to greet the sun. Unlike traditional flamenco where the body is held taut and the attitude is haughty, Eva's body was lithe and sensuous.

The costumes were splendid. The black dresses lined with flame red petticoats could have been worn to a dinner/dance. The simple white fitted dresses would not look out of place on a bride. The male dancers' suits almost could be worn on the street.

The lighting changes, colours, and spots detracted at times from the dancers, singers, and musicians.
At the opening and closing of the show, Eva sat beside an old horn gramophone listening to a recording. An innovative idea but it wasn't clear whether this was meant to signify the beginning and ending of a story or to just be a theatrical device.

This was Eva Yerbabuena and her troupe's only stop in Canada. We were treated to a memorable show. Audience members came by bus load from the lower mainland and beyond to enjoy this flirty, sensuous evening of passion. They left sated and satisfied.

2004, June Heywood

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