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 Post subject: Eva Yerbabuena
PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2002 2:21 am 
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Image <P><B>Viva Eva the Flamenco queen</B><BR>by Sarah Frater in The Evening Standard<P><BR>Eva La Yerbabuena will change the way you think about flamenco. Or even the way you think. Admittedly, that's being said about flamenco dancers all over, and few live up to the claim. However, in the case of La Yerbabuena, who stole every scene in Mike Figgis's Flamenco Women, it might just be true.<P>It's not her obvious sublime ability to dance, nor her charismatic stage presence, nor her musicians - among flamenco's finest. What makes La Yerbabuena different is her restraint. That may sound odd given that flamenco deals with powerful feelings - indeed, it's often called the Spanish blues, with whole dances devoted to the pains of desertion or the passions of love. <P>La Yerbabuena is well able to convey all this, but she holds back on the histrionics. The galactic egos of some flamenco stars, or the 'unplugged' (that is, 'a bit crap') style of others is not for her. Instead she gives the dancing the dignity it deserves, and thereby dignifies the passions it conveys. And, of course, she dignifies our passions in the process. <P> <A HREF="http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/dynamic/hottx/theatre/dance_review.html?in_review_id=629903&in_review_text_id=600970" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A> <p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited July 04, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: Eva Yerbabuena
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2002 2:03 am 
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Image <P><B>The stamp of greatness </B><P>Spain's high-priestess of flamenco, Eva La Yerbabuena, is bringing her mesmerising show to London. Ismene Brown (The Telegraph) met her in Madrid <P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>It is 2am in a dark-brown, cave-like restaurant in Madrid, and we've been talking about flamenco for five hours, but there's no indication yet that my five Spanish companions are running out of things to say. Hearty quantities of rioja and tortilla have warmed our hearts and filled our bellies, and the waiters are running for brandy. A stream of delighted people have swung by our table to address the little, quiet, serious young woman on my left, who is feted in Spain as a flamenco dancer without rival today.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=%2Farts%2F2002%2F07%2F06%2Fbtisme06.xml" TARGET=_blank><B>more...</B></A><P>


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 Post subject: Re: Eva Yerbabuena
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2002 2:55 am 
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Good stuff from Ismene Brown. I checked yesterday and there are currently tickets available on all nights.<P>Sadler's has given us an astonishing 4 weeks of dance from around the world - NDT 1, Ailey, PNB and now Yerbabuena. Congratulations to Alistair Spalding and all the team at the theatre.


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 Post subject: Re: Eva Yerbabuena
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2002 5:35 am 
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I have tickets to see Eva Yerbabuena at St David's Hall Cardiff, tommorrow night, so I'm really looking forward to it1 Expect a reveiw!


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 Post subject: Re: Eva Yerbabuena
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2002 12:24 pm 
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Ooooh!! Yes please Kate!


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 Post subject: Re: Eva Yerbabuena
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2002 11:47 pm 
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Feature in the Independent.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Clever Spain for having the richest identity in Western Europe. Its culture is famed worldwide, from paella to Picasso, from castanets to Buñuel. True, bullfighting is not an obvious export, but flamenco... Bring over any raggle-taggle collection of fire-and-angst foot-stampers and the emotionally constrained Brits will be clamouring for more. These days, there are as many forms of flamenco as there are ruffles on a fantail dress. There is jazz-flamenco, narrative flamenco, and glam-flamenco of the egregious Joaquin Cortes ilk.<P><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/theatre/features/story.jsp?story=313142" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A>


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 Post subject: Re: Eva Yerbabuena
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2002 2:47 am 
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I am looking forward to seeing this company. My experiences of flamenco on stage at Sadler's Wells have not been good - looking down on flamenco is not the best way of viewing it generally and Sadler's Wells seems to lack atmosphere for flamenco when it does not usually. Of course the problem is that flamenco is best viewed looking UP at the dancers in a smaoky bar in Spain. Add to that live music and lots of wine and you have yourself one Hell of an evening. Once flamenco is transported on to the stage of a theatre in London, it loses its gut-rending passion and I find myself becoming very 'picky' about technique and footwork. So later on you can read my review - I am seeing it tonight - knowing my prejudices and considering it against that backdrop!!


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 Post subject: Re: Eva Yerbabuena
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2002 3:07 am 
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I adore nearly all the Flamenco I see on stage in London. Whether it be the rapid and precise steps of Angel Munez, accompanied by Paco Pena, the extrovert passion of some ladies of a certain age or the dramatic excellence of the Antonio Gades Company. I draw the line at the bare chest and Armani antics of Joachim Cortez and his followers.<P>From what I read, Eva La Yerbabuena should be a big treat for me. <P>


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 Post subject: Re: Eva Yerbabuena
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2002 1:53 am 
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<B>Eva's spirit of a gypsy</B><BR>by Judith Flanders for The Evening Standard<P><BR>If flamenco means lime green flounces, castanets, sequins and men flashing their oiled pecs at the audience, then Eva La Yerbabuena is not for you. If it means a return to simplicity, to a search for the traditional basis for this most stylised of dance vocabularies, then Eva La Yerbabuena is one to watch. <P>She and her five dancers and seven singers and musicians form a compact troupe for a show that sets out to work its way through the basic flamenco dances - bulerias granainas, seguirillas, soleás and tangos. <P>The structure of the show has Eva sitting listening to an old-fashioned wind-up Victrola at the beginning, dreaming of the possibilities for her as a woman and a dancer. <P>At the end, she is back in place again, imagining what might have been.<P><A HREF="http://www.thisislondon.com/dynamic/hottx/theatre/dance_review.html?in_review_id=629903&in_review_text_id=607316" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A> <P><BR><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited July 10, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: Eva Yerbabuena
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2002 5:29 am 
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I'm hoping to get Standbys or Access tickets for the performance on Sunday. I'm all excited - i learn Flamenco myself but I'm not very good at it, I lack the something that the better and greatest dancers have. Maybe I'll find out how to show it by watching on Sunday...with a name like La Yerbabuena she must have that something!


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 Post subject: Re: Eva Yerbabuena
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2002 10:56 pm 
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Review from The FT.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Heralded with many an Ole' from her publicists; identified on the cover of the Sadler's Wells programme as "the hottest name in flamenco", Eva Yerbabuena with an attendant troupe of singers, musicians and dancers, and an awful lot of amplification, has arrived in Rosebery Avenue.<P>I did not find the evening - pace the vociferous fans - anywhere near as exciting, or as rewarding, as those earlier visits to this same theatre by the flamenco groups of a decade ago, nor La Yerbabuena a patch on such heel-rattling marvels as Carmen Cortes or La Chana. And no one, I suppose, will ever be like that brightest and most tragic flame, that cyclone of passion, Carmen Amaya.<P><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1026311884899&p=1012571727132" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A><P>And in The Telegraph.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Eva Yerbabuena's flamenco show opens pianissimo, with a woman dozing next to an old brass horn gramophone, like the girl in Le Spectre de la Rose dreaming of her last dance. The scratchy sounds of a flamenco record alert her, and we are off with her into a survey of flamenco's moods and styles, before the dream ends in the gloaming and with the scratchy record once more.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=%2Farts%2F2002%2F07%2F11%2Fbtisme11.xml" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A><P><p>[This message has been edited by Joanne (edited July 11, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: Eva Yerbabuena
PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2002 8:25 am 
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I will be posting a fuller review shortly but certainly I recommend this with a 3 stars out of 5. Eva is extremely good and it is ill judged to say that she hogged the stage and we wanted more from the rest of the company. She is such a good artist, it is good to see that the star billing does actually carry the show with more than mere name.


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 Post subject: Re: Eva Yerbabuena
PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2002 10:57 pm 
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Review in The Telegraph.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Astonishing footwork, tasteful restraint — Eva Yerbabuena does flamenco the right way for David Dougill. Olé<BR> <BR> <BR> <BR>It is as well to acknowledge one’s limitations, so let me come clean and say I think it highly unlikely that I would ever choose a flamenco performance as a desert-island video. But that would hardly make a dent in the roaring trade. Flamenco is immensely popular and invariably packs out theatres. Sadler’s Wells was no exception last Tuesday — all a-buzz for the latest big name in “new flamenco”, Eva Yerbabuena. <BR> <BR><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2101-352435,00.html" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A><P>And in The Observer.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>A flamenco artiste in full fig is a pretty preposterous sight: her train of flounces follows her around like a peacock's tail, while the singer's harsh cries sound like the bird's mating call. The costume restricts the woman's ability to move, hiding her legs while drawing attention to her arms, breasts and hips. <P>Eva Yerbabuena deflects interest back down by fixing her gaze on the skirt. She hunches her shoulders, drawing her power from the solar plexus. Her arms writhe, her wrists and fingers oddly delicate. She glares at her appendage of white flounces as if it were a python's coil, kicking it out of her way. Finally, she flings her arms up to heaven, defiantly proclaiming her freedom. <P><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.observer.co.uk/review/story/0,6903,754770,00.html" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A><p>[This message has been edited by Joanne (edited July 14, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: Eva Yerbabuena
PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2002 2:40 am 
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Lamps of crystal<BR>and green mirrors.<P>On the darkened stage,<BR>Parrala maintains<BR>a conversation<BR>with Death.<BR>She calls Death,<BR>but Death never comes,<BR>and she calls out again.<BR>The people are<BR>inhaling her sobs.<BR>And in the green mirrors,<BR>her long, silk train<BR>sways back and forth.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><B>“Flamenco Cabaret” by Federico Garcia Lorca<BR>from “Poem of the Deep Song” (translated by Carlos Bauer)<P>Eva Yerbabuena<BR>9-14 July, 2002<BR> Sadler’s Wells Theatre</B><P>‘Yerbabuena’ means ‘mint’ and it was indeed refreshing to see “Eva” – the person and the show – at Sadler’s Wells last week. La Yerbabuena is somewhat of a cult figure in Spain so that should tell you something about the quality of her flamenco dancing. In Spain, flamenco is not just a sentimental folk dance loved by nationalists, rather the various dances and songs that fall under the broad umbrella of ‘flamenco’ add up to an art form that is savoured and appreciated by all echelons of society – from King to pauper. Garcia Lorca wrote whole books of poetry on the subject.<P>Flamenco shows have been ‘done’ many times before and invariably they leave the discerning audience cold. The rhythmic stamping of feet, the flashing of kohl-lined eyes and the wailing of the ‘cantaores’ (flamenco singers) can always raise a resounding applause amongst the uninitiated because, like a bullfight, flamenco is a spectacle. In a smoky bar in downtown Seville, one would pretty much enjoy anything served up as flamenco after two large whiskies. (It is the custom for flamenco to be danced in a small, improvised theatre at the back of the bar with the audience crammed around little tables. Since you can’t move and so can’t leave, you really have no choice but to grit your teeth and enjoy yourself.) Yet the true heart of the flamenco - the authentic expression of the soul through dance and song - is rarely found in its purest form. La Yerbabuena and her company “Ballet Flamenco Eva Yerbabuena” come damned close to that perfection in “Eva” eventhough the performance takes place on a large impersonal stage with none of the intimacy of a smoky bar. <P>There is an attempt at a story line in “Eva.” In the opening scene a girl in a long, plain, brown jersey dress, seated on a bent-wood chair in front of an old gramophone, wakes from a dream. Yet she continues in a dream-like state, conjuring up musicians and singers as she takes centre-stage in a journey of self-expression through different gypsy dances that make up the generic dance-form that is flamenco. It is a weak story-line and the dancing turns out to be so good that any kind of justification for it is unnecessary. Two male singers walk into the spotlight and begin their lament. A third appears and then the lights lift to show that the musicians were there in the shadows all the time. (I was relieved that we were spared the feminine wailing that can clutter up flamenco shows.) One male flamenco dancer appears, then a second, then a third. Dressed in well-cut black suits and white shirts, the sexy trio of Pedro Cordoba, Juan Carlos Cardoso and Luis Miguel, dance a ‘bulerias,’ a driving, energetic gypsy dance. Eva appears in a long, white figure-hugging dress with frills at the bottom – the type of dress that is featured on postcards in Andalucia. As she struts and turns her ‘granaina,’ the dress follows her like a snake caught round her ankles – it inhibits her and then she masters it; it slows her movement and then she kicks it away to reveal slender ankles and feet that drum the stage as if a humming-bird is lightly brushing the floor with its wing. <P>One of the elements that sets flamenco apart from other dance forms is that the torso is kept very still and controlled. The arms move around it, striking poses and positions, to express the feeling and the mood, whilst the feet beat out the rhythm. Eva adds another dimension to this that I haven’t seen before – whilst maintaining the torso straight and taut, she tilts it from side to side as she flicks the skirt with her feet. Whereas other dancers can appear stiff and angular, she moves the body as an organism so that a mere movement of the head sends a shock-wave down through her diminutive body to move her feet.<P>With her dark hair pulled back severely to accentuate her black eyes, and with her long brown muscular arms flashing indignantly around her body, Eva is clearly the exponent of the heart of old Spain. This is her stage persona for she is in every sense a modern young woman. At 31 she not only runs her own company but is a wife and mother. Her composer/musician husband, Paco Jarana, is part of the company. He composed the music for “Eva” and plays the guitar during the show. Yerbabuena is credited with modernising flamenco and whilst her inspiration and technique are clearly traditional and faithful to the glorious past, gone are the layers of ill-fitting frou-frou, fringed shawls, castanets and wailing gypsies. The costumes chosen by Eva, and made by Jimena San Roman, cleverly integrate the traditional flamenco aesthetic with modern design. In the final ‘tangos’ (a gypsy flamenco originating in Cadiz), the other two dancers in the company, Mercedes Ruiz Munoz and Sara Vazquez, wear plain white, round-necked ‘designer’ dresses. The tiers of material that drop from the waist, although clearly Spanish in style, are cut with a modern simplicity that produces a sleek and elegant look that would equally be at home in St Tropez. <P>“Eva”, the company’s first show, was premiered at the biennial flamenco gathering in 1998. Since then Eva has won many prizes in Spain and critical acclaim throughout the world of people that know about flamenco. That includes Pina Bausch – Eva was invited to dance in Wuppertal as part of the celebrations for the 25th anniversary of Bausch’s company – and Mike Figgis who made a documentary around her entitled “Flamenco Women”. <P>There have been musings from various quarters that Eva dominates the company and the other dancers barely “get a look in.” I disagree – if the master’s name carries the billing, you want to see the master more than a token amount. To integrate other dancers around such a plainly brilliant dancer is not an easy feat. Yet la Yerbabuena has produced a well-balanced performance which shows off the musicians in a way that doesn’t dominate and drown the noise of the artistry in the dancers’ drumming heels, that shows off the other five dancers in a way that is more than token, but which stops short of a breach of the ‘Trade Descriptions Act.’ If I pay for Eva, I want Eva.<P>Eva Yerbabuena & co. will be performing their latest show at the 12th Flamenco Biennial in Seville at the beginning of October this year. She is also currently touring “5 Mujeres 5” around <BR><p>[This message has been edited by Emma Pegler (edited July 16, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: Eva Yerbabuena
PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2002 6:54 am 
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Image <P>Eva Yerbabuena is an astonishingly good dancer. I have deliberately not said Flamenco dancer, as for me she is most interesting when she is extending or moving beyond the borders of her original dance form. In this respect I see her in a similar way to Akram Khan. Both exhibit movement quality of the highest order and, while showing complete mastery of their respective dance styles, are keen to develop their art form.<P>As regards Flamenco, Yerbabuena has it all - poise, wonderfully expressive arms and hands, the sharpest footwork I have seen or heard, lightning turns and an overall musicality that marks her as a dance artist of the highest order. But at the start and end of "Eva" she dances in a freer style and it will be fascinating to se how this develops in the coming years. You can see why Pina Bausch and William Forsythe appreciate her so much.<P>To give her a chance to catch her breath and change costumes, we also see choreographed Flamenco dance for combinations of 2 women and 3 men. In this respect the show is conventional modern Flamenco, although light years ahead of Cortez and his associates with the girls in Armani suits. Nevertheless, I can't see that it is a style that is going anywhere. Good though the dancers are, the various pieces were too similar and the traditional improvisations, that we see in the shows from Paco Pena and others, are more exciting. The women wear elegant, but much simpler dresses than we are used to seeing in traditional Flamenco, that I found attractive. However, I was less convinced by the outfits for the men and in a sequence late in the programme, the three of them dance in baggy jackets that detract from the shapes they are carving out of the air. <P>The music that accompanies all the pieces mostly inhabits a territory between Flamenco and jazz. A flautist makes a fine contribution and it is interesting that Yerbabuena's music director husband has gone for authentic singers with a lot of the edge to their voices rather than the sweeter tones that recent more commercial shows have opted for.<P>It's Eva that dominates the proceedings whenever she is on stage and in that respect it is in the Flamenco tradition of an inspired soloist. Tonight, Sunday is the last night of the week-long visit and I strongly recommend it to you. I have just checked with Sadler's Wells Box Office and there are still some tickets left - ring n 020 7863 8000. <P><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited July 14, 2002).]


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