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Arts Festival Review: Eva

Photo: Jose Luis Alvarez


Reviewed by Lorraine Ward

Ballet Flamenco Eva Yerbabuena
8 - 12 March
Opera House

The Opera House is packed and hushed. The huge orange curtain rises on a single seated woman (Eva) dressed in red and blue, listening to a scratchy old-fashioned gramophone. She dances a dance that seems to embrace her solitude, and then returns to sitting.

The stage is bare again. A single, singing man dressed in black walks into a spotlight. He sings his impassioned song, and another man walks into another spotlight to sing his song. A third man does the same. The trio then joins the musicians - guitars, drums, flute and saxophone - at the back of the stage, to form the musical accompaniment of the dancers.

The music is beautiful and flawless. The sound and lighting changes are also beautiful and seamless, adding to the overall excellence of the evening.

The stage is taken by two male and one female dancers who give us a full-on flamenco. Each performs a solo, and the trio co-ordinates movement in such a way that stomping can turn to flowing at the click of a heel.

An undulating woman in white dances to poignant guitar chords and song, rippling the flounces of her dress and moving with such controlled passion as to conjure for me the image of a white egret at the water's edge.

Much of the dancing involves the stomping and clapping we traditionally associate and enjoy with flamenco. Yet three women in white can give us a whimsical piece, involving the choreographed twirling of orange fans. And much of it, particularly the solo pieces, evokes the power of silence and stillness.

The ninety-minute performance led to a curtain call, with the audience showing its appreciation with a great measure of shouting, stomping and clapping of its own.

As I walked along Cuba Mall, on my way home, I heard a lone busker picking out flamenco chords on his guitar.


Arts Festival: Eva
Arts Festival: Festival Debut for Flamenco’s Finest
Scoop Full Coverage: Festival 2006

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