Eva la Yerbabuena
Biography and readers' comments.

5 mujeres 5
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» Festival de Jerez 2000
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Eva La Yerbabuena
September 2000. Seville

Two years ago, she started her own dance company, with an extensive tour of the show, "Eva" from which the public and the critics agree. Eva is original, credible and solid. For many, Eva is the best representative of flamenco dance today.

What is "5 Women 5"?

It's a flamenco show with a theme that takes a sentimental and emotional journey through the personality of a woman who confronts her own self. With love, ambition, madness and loneliness.

Is there an autobiographical reference or inspiration from another author?

No, it's based on concrete experience, they are feelings that are present the day to day, it´s not based on any specific woman. There are many women who are simply homemakers, which is already a lot, and they confront this everyday.

Why five?

Because we speak of four feelings and the fifth would be me.

Does loneliness stand out a lot?

Yes, I think that it's one of the best friends we have. It's difficult to confront it but we have to do it from the moment we are in our mother's womb, it's like an innate state of human existence.

How do you work to create the choreography and the music?

The music is very important, Paco Jarana hasn't had it easy. They are five very different feelings. The same goes for the lighting engineer Germinal Ruiz, who had to help create the climate for each moment. We depended on the stage designer Hansel Cereza, and Javier Latorre who choreographed "Madness."
There are people who never come on stage that are very important for the show... wardrobe, stage design.

What do you hope for when you see a flamenco show?

I have always said that whatever you do, one has to do what they feel in the moment. I am flamenca and whatever I do, I can't forget who I am.

Do you think of the public when you choreograph?

Madre mía, if I had to do a piece that everyone liked I would go crazy. I think its important to feel the necessity to do it, if you believe in it, this is the best way that the people can see you enjoying yourself and feel what it is you are feeling. Getting an easy applause is simple, if this is what you want. You can be a sensationalist and provide moments for applause, but the goal is something else.

The idea came from Lola Maistegui, it's something that we talked about a long time ago. This initial idea has changed a lot over the past 5 years.

How is the daily life preparing for a show?

We work 10 or 12 hours in the studio, and in the spare time you have for sleep you still think about the show - eating, talking, you go sharing your concerns with the stage director, with the musicians, with the lighting designer- each day you polish things.

We have a very special collaboration with Conchi García, she is a light soprano. In this case her voice hit me as a way to draw on other types of feelings.

You are a dancer who is very dependent on the rhythms but also the melodies.

The music has to make me feel, but the singing is the most important in flamenco, it's the mother of that which is flamenco, a voice is so much. It's like the umbilical chord.

I'm also lucky to have one of the best guitarists for dance on my side, not only because he´s my partner. Paco has worked with Farruco, Mario Maya, Matilde Coral, Güito, and he lives for his work. Plus, there is the advantage that he knows me better than anyone. It's never an easy role.

The group that accompanies you sounds very solid and secure.

There is a lot of work behind it, there is a big contrast between the singing of Arcangel, Enrique Soto, and Segundo Falcón. Not only are they good musicians and good people, it's also the ambiance when we work as a team. Some of them have been working with me for many years.

What are your plans for the coming months?

There's going to be a tour in Italy with the previous show, "Eva" and in respect to this, we hope that it works out at least as good as the last time.

Is there space for improvisation in works created for the theatre?

Above all in the singing, although you have your structure and dance is at a level today that you can't just say, "play and sing what I'm going to dance." Also it's the environment, how the environment has changed, and the work being done in theatres. The things are being done in another way, but I don't like to loose this feeling of, "sing and play and see what happens," especially in the things that I do alone because with a group of nine people it's impossible.

There are moments in your life when you start to miss people that you love very much, and this makes you think and feel in a different way.

These four feelings have been interpreted in very a different way than if a man was to dance them?

The truth is that I don't know how to answer. It depends on your lifestyle, on how this man is. The differences are there since a person is born, and more so in flamenco. Flamenco for me has always been a little sexist.

For me, Flamenco doesn't need a point of view. When you are dancing there is already an interpretation. You don't dance just to dance, at least me, for me this doesn't exist. From the moment you are in the dressing room, you are already thinking about things. I don't dance to dance. Naturally you can't dance the same at eleven as you do at thirty like I am now. I couldn't understand at eleven what it was like to be a mother, to have a child. I couldn't miss things then that I do now. They are many things, good and for bad, its all there.

How has your life changed now that you have formed your own dance company?

Firstly, you have an enormous responsibility, now you're not alone, there is a body of dancers that you have to look after. There are chirographies. I have to transmit to these people how I am, it's not easy. Little by little you have to get to know the people, share your points of view, let them know what you like, what you don't, what is flamenco for you, and apart from that the responsibility. I've had the luck of having a manager that I work very well with, he respects and knows where we want to be and where we don't, he also doesn't have it easy because there is no marketing.

You think that flamenco is still sexist.

Look, when they ask you why women aren't present in flamenco- I know why...women have always been present, but you know that before, the simple fact of wanting to sing or dance or be an artist was looked down upon. It was almost impossible. Now your father will support you in it.
There are many husbands that have taken their women off the stage.
Well! Of course you see this woman singing and dancing and get bothered, so...but even then you see that there was La Niña de los Peines, Rosalía de Triana, many women.

There aren't many women playing the guitar or other instruments

This is something that I've always asked myself. I think they are working on it, little by little.

It's difficult to maintain the illusion when you have to present a show everyday.

If you like it, you like it more each time. Look, its something that nobody asks you, the people arrive at the theatre and think that it's good or bad. They say that there is this magic of the theatre and everything, but what do you think when you are in the dressing room? What is you motivation? This is something nobody plans out. One day you are better, another day worse.

Daniel Muņoz

Review. Eva La Yerbabuena, 12th of May 2000

Review and pic of the Premiere of "5 mujeres " at the Bienal of Flamenco in Seville.

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