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LED BY ONE OF SPAIN'S MOST ACCLAIMED FLAMENCO ARTISTS, BALLET FLAMENCO EVA
YERBABUENA ARRIVES AT THE PILLOW
Becket, MA- A major presence in the flamenco world, Eva Yerbabuena comes to
the Ted Shawn Theatre at Jacob's Pillow July 26-30 with critical accolades
for her sheer magnetism. Bringing with her the phalanx of percussionists,
guitarists, flautists, and dancers of her company known as Ballet Flamenco
Eva Yerbabuena, this German-born Spaniard performs the acclaimed program,
"Eva." Yerbabuena is widely acknowledged to be Spain's most gifted flamenco
dancer, and in these hurricane-force performances, audiences will experience
why. Yerbabuena's appearance continues the Pillow's commitment to offer the
finest dance artists from anywhere and everywhere in the world. In a
related free event, Eva Yerbabuena discusses her career on stage and in film
in an hour-long PillowTalk, Wednesday, July 26 at 5pm on Sommerspace at
Blake's Barn. For a glimpse of Yerbabuena at work, watch the 2006 season
overview video at www.jacobspillow.org
Performance and Ticket Information for Ballet Flamenco Eva Yerbabuena:
Evening performances are Wednesday, July 26 through Saturday, July 29 at
8pm, with matinées on Saturday, July 29 and Sunday, July 30 at 2pm. Tickets
are $50 each, with a 10% discount available for seniors, students, and youth
age 13 and under. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Box Office at
413.243.0745, faxing orders to 413.243.0749, or ordering online at
. Jacob's Pillow is located on George Carter Road in
Becket, MA, 10 minutes east on Route 20 from Mass Pike Exit 2.
Eva Yerbabuena's penetrating, emotional interpretations allow all audiences,
not only aficionados, to appreciate and comprehend this 500 year-old form.
For her pure, concentrated eruptions, which contrast with the flashy,
external style and staging commonly seen elsewhere, she epitomizes the
unadulterated technical prowess and soul-stirring rhythmic ciphers that make
up one of Spain's most enduring art forms. She has sometimes engendered
debate among purists, who question whether Yerbabuena is performing truly
traditional flamenco-albeit to maximum effect, her costuming runs toward the
subtle and the stage is often left spare. No one, however, can doubt her
physical and emotional preeminence. Yerbabuena herself says it best:
"Flamenco is the best
vehicle to say what you want to say. It's so rich and versatile, and at the
same time so technical, it's unsettling. I don't see any limits." That
sense of limitlessness has resulted in her many credits. The recipient of
Spain's 2001 National Dance Prize (additional awardees in years past include
Nacho Duato and Royal Ballet principal dancer Tamara Rojo), Yerbabuena is,
at just 36 years old, a major presence all over the world, toweringly so in
her native country. She's been in two films by Mike Figgis (director of the
Oscar-winning Leaving Las Vegas), including the documentary Flamenco Women,
and his more wide-ranging feature Hotel. She's also a star of the IMAX
presentation of Stomp!, and has collaborated several times with avant-garde
choreographer Pina Bausch. Said to be "like multiple gyroscopes, and a
mystifying warmth you don't want to resist" in London's Evening Standard,
Yerbabuena packs her work with richness, whether in costuming, evocation of
the spirit, or rhythmic layering.
For Yerbabuena's program, she brings a mix of the differing forms that make
up true flamenco. Called palos, these subsets of flamenco number more than
fifty, each evoking a specific mood and intended for differing occasions.
In interpreting these dances (she brings seguidillas, martinetes, soleas,
and bulerías), Yerbabuena carries on a tradition whose exact ethnic and
historical origin has not been conclusively pinpointed by flamenco
specialists. Even the source of the word flamenco is open to debate.
Experts agree that its roots are in the poorest classes of, Jews, and Arabs,
and the Roma people (more commonly known as Gypsies) of 15th and
16th-century Andalusia, in southern Spain. Flamenco originally consisted
only of unaccompanied vocalizations, often describing the pain of oppression
with otherworldly force, and was later joined by guitar, rhythmic claps, and
stomps. It went through a so-called "Golden Age" for forty years beginning
around 1870, when cafés began to host informal performances by local
interpreters of the increasingly popular dance.
Notable in flamenco is the difference between movements made by men and
those by women. For men, the focus is typically on complex foot movements,
with relatively minimal upper-body adornments, although increasingly there
are contemporary exceptions. Women are allowed more freedom overall, with
graceful and distinctive hip, hand, and arm gestures along with complex
foot- and legwork. Through Yerbabuena's power, these standard features
receive inventive, seemingly spontaneous amplification.
Born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1970, Eva Maria Garcia Garrido began dancing
at age 12 in her
native Granada, Spain. After studying drama in Seville, she left for Cuba
to learn choreography, and upon returning to Spain, began dancing
professionally when she was fifteen. In Seville, she met her husband Paco
Jarana, the musical director, composer, and guitarist for her company.
("Yerbabuena" is actually a nickname given to her by a dancer friend; it
means the herb "mint" in Spanish.) Following a well-received number of
flamenco performances in her late teens, she began the series of
collaborations for which she is known. Mike Figgis' Flamenco Women appeared
in 1997; in 1998, she appeared as part of the 25th anniversary extravaganza
at Pina Bausch's studios in Wuppertal, Germany, sharing the bill with
hundreds of international artists selected by Bausch from diverse fields.
She has won the Flamenco Today prize for 1999, 2000, and 2001; for her
British debut in 2002, she received Best Performance from Time Out London.
Of Yerbabuena, The Times of London reported, "This woman is touched by
Free Events at the Pillow This Week
PillowTalks in Blake's Barn: Eva Yerbabuena discusses how her passion
translates to the screen on Wednesday, July 26. On Saturday, July 29, Tim
Rushton of Danish Dance Theatre talks about Bach's influence on his new
piece for the company, and examines the approaches of other choreographers
to the music of this great composer.
Inside/Out performances at 6:30pm: Wednesday, July 26, Pillow audience
favorite Danish Dance Theatre previews work from their upcoming run in the
Doris Duke Studio Theatre. Thursday, July 27, the lithe, appealing dancers
of New Chamber Ballet move to music by a host of great classical composers.
Friday, July 28, the lively and precise Irish step dance troupe Solas An
Lae, based in the Hudson Valley, performs. Saturday, July 29, students of
the Contemporary Traditions program show work learned under the directorship
of master teacher Milton Myers.
Ongoing Free Events include: Ted Shawn First, the first overview exhibition
ever mounted at the Pillow on the Festival's influential founder, in Blake's
Barn; Philip Trager: A Pillow Retrospective, featuring insightful images
from this master of portraiture, in the Ted Shawn Theatre lobby; Basil
Childers, with work from a rising star of the international dance
photography scene, in the Doris Duke Studio Theatre lobby; Picturing Shawn,
a survey of two-dimensional depictions of the man by diverse artists, in the
Reading Room at Blake's Barn; and the latest Highlights of the Collection,
on view in the venerable Bakalar Studio whenever rehearsals and classes are
not in session.
Jacob's Pillow is located in the town of Becket in the Berkshire Hills of
Western Massachusetts. The Pillow was originally the Carter family farm in
the 1700s, and in the 1800s served as a station on the Underground Railroad.
Its pioneering spirit was furthered in 1933, when legendary dancer, teacher,
and choreographer Ted Shawn founded the Festival as a showcase for his
company of Men Dancers and as a home for dance in the U.S.
Jacob's Pillow now encompasses an acclaimed international Festival (the
first and longest-running dance festival in the U.S.), a professional
School, rare and extensive Archives open to the public free of charge, an
Intern Program, year-round Community Programs, and a Creative Development
Residency program. The historic site includes
161 acres, 31 buildings, three unique stages (including the first theater in
the U.S. built specifically for dance), three dance studios, exhibition
spaces, restaurants, the Pillow Store, residential housing, administrative
offices, a health center, gardens, trails, and woodlands.
The Pillow presents dance from all over the world in all forms, styles, and
traditions, plus approximately 200 free events each season, including
performances, lectures, tours, film showings, exhibits, and talks with
artists from all over the world, which attract approximately 80,000 visitors
Pillow Founder Ted Shawn was instrumental in beginning the careers of Martha
Graham and Jack Cole, and the Pillow has continued this mentoring role by
providing early opportunities to artists such as Alvin Ailey, José Limón,
and Mark Morris. Companies such as Dance Theatre of Harlem and the Parsons
Dance Company have been seen at the Pillow for the first time anywhere, and
international groups such as The Royal Danish Ballet and Nederlands Dans
Theater have made their U.S. debuts here. World premieres have been
commissioned from masters such as Merce Cunningham and Paul Taylor, and
legendary artists such as Margot Fonteyn and Mikhail Baryshnikov have been
showcased in new works.
In 2003, Jacob's Pillow was declared a National Historic Landmark by the
federal government as "an exceptional cultural venue that holds value for
all Americans." It is the first and only dance entity in the U.S. to
achieve this honor. The Pillow looks forward to celebrating its 75th
anniversary in 2007, and has launched its first endowment campaign, The Fund
for Jacob's Pillow, to help ensure its eminence and longevity for others to
enjoy in years to come.
Major support for Jacob's Pillow, as of April 2006, has been provided by:
The Dana Foundation; The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation; Francis Alexander
Family Fund; The Harkness Foundation for Dance; The William and Flora
Hewlett Foundation; The Leir Charitable Trusts in memory of Henry J. Leir;
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Mertz Gilmore Foundation; Evelyn Stefansson
Nef Foundation; The William J. and Dorothy K. O'Neill Foundation; The
Prospect Hill Foundation; The Ira M. Resnick Foundation; The Ridgefield
Foundation; The Shubert Foundation, Inc.; The Starr Foundation;
Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency; National Endowment for the
Arts; U.S. Department of Education; ALEX®; Altria Group, Inc.; American
Express Philanthropic Program, Ameriprise Financial, Inc.; Berkshire Bank
Foundation; Canon, U.S.A., Inc.; TD Banknorth Charitable Foundation; The
Pillow Business Alliance; and Jacob's Pillow Members.
Jacob's Pillow is funded in part by the National Dance Project of the New
England Foundation for the Arts, with lead funding from Doris Duke
Charitable Foundation. Additional funding provided by The Ford Foundation
and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Major endowment support is provided by The Barrington Foundation, Inc.; The
William Randolph Hearst Foundation; Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state
agency; The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Onota Foundation; The Prospect Hill
Foundation; and the Talented Students in the Arts Initiative, a
collaboration of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Surdna
Foundation; and Jacob's Pillow Members.