Opera House, Wellington

08/03/2006 - 12/03/2006

Opera House, Wellington

08/03/2006 - 12/03/2006

New Zealand International Arts Festival

Production Details

Graceful arms coil, a black dress flicks up to reveal a flash of colour and delierate slow stamps become a rainstorm of heels – flamenco dancing embodies rhythm, passion and intensity.

Eva Yerbabuena
with a company of five

Dance , Flamenco ,

1 hr 30 min, no interval

Mesmerising rhythms

Review by Deirdre Tarrant 15th Mar 2006

A dark stage and a crackling gramophone provide the setting as Eva Yerbabuena moves out of the shadows to begin this evening of Spanish flamenco dance.

She is the star and the central figure and holds her authority close as the mesmerising staccato rhythms of her heels and the steely curve of her spine show us all that is best in this unique dance style.

The musicians were excellent and totally intrinsic to this display and although the amplification was almost intrusive, their infectious commitment to the dance won me over.

Striking silhouettes, flaring fans, flounced skirts, sinuous arms and dynamic claps were used to create the atmosphere but the staging and lighting were disappointing given the quality and power of the dancing. Somehow the proscenium arch setting did not help to create either the intimacy or the sense of spontaneity that would have given a real ambience to the evening.

That said, the intricate beats, the supine grace of the arms and contrasting stillness of the torso and the relentless repetition drew the audience into a state of total absorption as a variety of dances were performed by Eva and her company of five.

I can not tell from the programme who the dancers on stage were but they were a more than able support company. The climax of the evening was in the final number where sombre shades of chocolate brown and black changed from the monochromatic red, white and black of earlier settings and the faces and feet of the ensemble really ignited the theatre.

The audience went wild and the applause was certainly passionate and appreciative but for me the "spark was a little dark"!


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