Eva Yerbabuena dances her memories | Culture

Eva Yerbabuena and Fernando Suels, in a rehearsal of 'Al como tú', in the bailaora's studio in Dos Hermanas (Seville).
Eva Yerbabuena and Fernando Suels, in a rehearsal of ‘Al como tú’, in the bailaora’s studio in Dos Hermanas (Seville).Alejandro Ruesga / THE COUNTRY

Eva Yerbabuena is concentrated in her studio in Dos Hermanas (Seville), finalizing her new montage, Like you, that this Thursday opens the 25th edition of the Jerez Festival, the great event of flamenco dance. It is work that, he claims, removes the “foundations” of his own existence. For him, he has had the collaboration of the playwright and stage director Alfonso Zurro. “If they tell me that I can’t put on more shows, I don’t care, because with this one I feel very good, so full and so rich that I wouldn’t mind if it was the last one,” says the Granada-born bailaora and choreographer, before putting on her light gown. tail made with parachute cloth and painted with huge flowers that she uses to dance in rehearsals.

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Daughter of emigrants and born as Eva Garrido 50 years ago in Frankfurt, she is “cleaning” a seguiriya that she will perform with Fernando Suels, dancer and contemporary dance choreographer whom she met in 1997 on her first trip to Wuppertal (Germany) in search of the magic of the great avant-garde Pina Bausch. Suels, who has been part of the Bausch company from 1995 to 2018 and in which he now continues to collaborate as a guest artist, is the first time that he has faced flamenco.

“We have many points in common because, after all, everything is dance. I have the feeling that we speak the same language, we all drink from the same source. Styles are nothing more than labels, ”reflects Suels, a Venezuelan who has lived in Germany for three decades. “Since we started rehearsing in November, I feel like I’ve been absorbing a lot of things that I’m now bringing to my soleá.” It is the star style of Yerbabuena that, this time, she will not dance.

Essay by Eva Yerbabuena at her premises in Dos Hermanas.
Essay by Eva Yerbabuena at her premises in Dos Hermanas.Alejandro Ruesga / THE COUNTRY

Like you is the third production that the bailaora premieres at the Jerez Festival, after Rain (2009) and Appearances (2016): “I love to premiere there, it’s like a talisman”. A kind of fetish is also the skirt by couturier Elio Berhanyer with which she will appear when the curtain opens in Jerez. The garment is the petticoat of the Santa Casilda costume that Berhanyer designed for the bailaora and that recreates the painting of Zurbarán’s saint that was used in the montage. Devotion and persuasion (2013).

This new work brings together 12 artists on stage. For Garrido it means doing “a joint therapy.” “It scares me that we are getting used to not feeling. In this life, in which everything is rush and stress, you have to stop and realize the things you have. Alfonso Zurro has written the texts of the show from my memories. He told me: ‘Vomit everything you have’ and he has managed to capture it and put it in the mouth of the actress Maika Barroso, who also participates in the montage, ”says the choreographer, who insists that in her new creation, in which signs the address with Zurro, “all women” can be seen reflected.

The guitarist Paco Jarana, his partner in life and on stage, takes care of the musical direction and only anticipates that there will be “a lot of diversity”. Along with the tarantas, granainas, abandolaos or soleá, there will also be classical music and various international songs that the team prefers to keep secret until the premiere. “There are four voices, because they are all very different and each one removes something different from you. Also, for the first time and only on one song, I will be accompanied by my niece Ella Garry, who is 16 years old and has already participated in several children’s musical programs. I don’t know how I am going to manage so many emotions. In rehearsals we had to stop because my tears were drowning, ”explains the bailaora, who has singers Sandra Carrasco, Luis Moneo, Miguel Ortega and Alfredo Tejada.

Eva Yerbabuena and Fernando Suels are preparing the premiere of 'Al como tú', in the bailaora's studio.
Eva Yerbabuena and Fernando Suels are preparing the premiere of ‘Al como tú’, in the bailaora’s studio.Alejandro Ruesga / THE COUNTRY

“Like you, I keep quiet when I have to talk / I drink without being thirsty (…) / Like you, I make silk lie / I turn sincerity into rough sandpaper,” says the artist in a poem with which she presents the synopsis of his new show, the 17th since he created his own company in 1998. With it he has toured stages around the world and has garnered a long list of awards, including the Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts (2017) or the National Dance (2001). He has also won 10 Max awards and four giraldillos, the awards granted by the Seville Flamenco Biennial, in which he has participated since in 1998 he presented Eva, the first show of his company.

The scenography, by Curt Allen Wilmer and Leticia Gañán, is the translation into volumes of the nostalgia that Eva Yerbabuena has for the houses she has inhabited. “It evokes the metaphors that are condensed in the remains of a dividing wall, in the traces and sores that one building leaves on the other when it disappears”, advance the set designers. “In the dividing wall you can read signs of lives that disappeared, being recorded in the memory of the other in the form of memories lived in the kitchen, laughter and anguish shared in the living room, intimacies exposed in the attic … As if of a It was a great abstract painting, the whole is made up of traces of what was on what remains ”.

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