“Carne y Hueso” Dance: Eva Yerbabuena. Voice: José Valencia, Segundo Falcón y Miguel Ortega. Dance: Ángel Fariña, Mariano Bernal, Christian Lozano, Fernando Jiménez and David Coria. Auditorio Baluarte. Flamenco On Fire. Nearly full house.
With the thrill of the terrific show Eva Yerbabuena and her group offered on Saturday at the Baluarte in Pamplona still running through my body, I was talking with my admired colleague Paco Vargas about the amazing capacity of flamenco, to occasionally move the soul. The “little moments of glory” as Manuel Moneo used to call them according to Vargas.
I’m saying all this because it would be a lie not to admit that before going into the theater many of us were somewhat reluctant to see what the dancer would offer this time. Not because we doubted her artistic quality, her personality, her charisma or her undeniable role in the history of the artform, where she has been and continues to be one of the fundamental dancers, but rather because recently we’ve been seeing her going through a phase of darkness and negativity that had eclipsed the more powerful, clever and luminous Eva. The one we like best.
Which is why this show, Carne y Hueso, presented to the Navarra audience in the home stretch of the Festival Flamenco on Fire, was doubly well-received. On the one hand, because the work is technically and artistically excellent, impeccable, and on the other hand, because it allowed us to reconnect with that Eva we were longing for. A unique Eva, tremendous, with chilling self-assurance, dancing like no one else. “A different league” was what people were saying as they left.
The Granada dancer reprised her long career recuperating some of the best moments. With just three pieces she summarized a universe in which Eva’s wisdom, her instincts and her strength shone through. From the solemn soleá, which is her soleá (quite a feat!), to the alegrías, passing through peteneras based on shawl-work, in which Eva relied on her never-ending resources and expressivity. A style all her own that combines strength and sensitivity, command and candor in equal portions.
The high-quality back-up was headed by three of the best voices of the moment: Segundo Falcón, José Valencia and Miguel Ortega. Top artists whose names are always a guarantee and who, once again, put their vocal cords at the service of Yerbabuena, carrying her, protecting her, lifting her, sensing her needs and even anticipating them. Making her grow and putting her just where she wanted to be.
Just as Paco Jarana did with his guitar with which he directed and even scripted the show, marking with each note, each of the dancer’s steps and creating with his interpretations the opportune climax to weave Yerbabuena’s discourse, with an idiom that sounds completely new, inspired in the most classic forms.
The group was rounded out with the exquisite percussion of Antonio Coronel and a corps de ballet that offered some truly moving moments such as that of Fernando Jiménez in an original entertaining number that recalled Charles Chaplin.
The night sounds of tangos
After Eva Yerbabuena’s show, the nighttime venue of the Hotel Tres Reyes also filled up to receive Guadiana, accompanied on guitar by Carlos de Jacoba and the rhythm and choruses of Los Mellis.
The singer offered a classic recital that managed to provoke shouts of “ole!” from the audience, thanks to his naturalness and the beauty of his mid-tones.
Naturally the jaleos and tangos extremeños were outstanding, and the singer put his particular personality on each interpretation which is why the singer is so admired by flamenco fans and artists alike. People who didn’t hesitate to accompany him in a fiesta finale of bulerías in which Tomatito himself, still hanging around Pamplona, picked up the guitar and played.
Video Eva Yerbabuena
Photos Eva Yerbabuena