Rainy Duende from Sparkling Flamenco Star at the Start of “GIFT” Festival

The 15th “GIFT” – Georgian International Festival of Arts - one of the most significant occasions of Tbilisi Autumn cultural life, has started. It was opened on October 15, at Tumanishvili Film Actors Theatre by the exhibition of famous and experienced Georgian painter Temo Gotsadze. The initial day was capped with the impressive soiree at Opera and Ballet Theater where Eva Yerbabyena, a dancing star from Seville, Spain, lit a real choreographic fire with her compatriot singers and dancers.

This is the world where human beings do not exist as they should, where there are only characters, faces and masks, when there is no music, but the harmonic cascade of sounds and rhythm, where there is no theatrical atmosphere of its classical meaning, but crystalized emotions and mood – this is Eva Yerbabyena’s unusual mystification, where emotion gives birth to the sound and sound gives birth to the moves. This is an absolutely different universe, radically different from that mythic, superior and full of passion life that we always imagine, when we talk about Flamenco. Here one would not see the Latin-American joy and carelessness. This is the world full of pain, disappointment, stories of destroyed people… The tragedy reaches such an extent that words become too feeble and here, the sorrow in songs that create the background for dancers, turns them into lamentation…So, there is no room to distract and entertain… This show was as tragic as life often is… This short woman Eva, without any special appearance manages to mesmerize and hold the whole audience thanks to Duende, which implies earthiness, irrationality, heightened awareness of death and a dash of the diabolical.  

The authenticity and vigor mesmerizes the foreign audience, as it surpasses all the imagination of a woman’s physical endurance. The female dancers started wearing simple clothes and ended up in Spanish expensive dresses… Eva Yerbabyena’s male partner was very strong too. Rain is coming from the ceiling, as if trying to smooth or purify all the spots that life gives a birth on human body… Or does it symbolize how nature cries in unison with the humans’ tears? Maybe both of them? The body tries to get rid of tortured soul – a Corrida between humans and inner demons, in which not only performers but also the audience gets involved too, in spite of the sophisticated Opera Chandeliers and glitter. This is the world of emotion and expression where everybody’s heart beats very intensely, waiting for the final minute… Here, Eva has combated her age too – she is already 46!  

Born in Frankfurt, Eva started dancing at the age of 11 with such propriety that soon it became obvious that she would joust Andalusian flamenco legends. Angustilla’s la Mona, Enrique el Canastero or Mariquilla were the first teachers who showed her the way that was continued into a distinguished career remarkable with its particular signature in flamenco and individual system. Eva was personally invited by Maya Plisetskaya at the gala in honor of 90th Anniversary of the Bolshoi Theatre, and she astonished vast audience, even though the Russian legend could not live up to that very day.  

Eva Yerbabyena’s career has been recognized with several awards which place her among the best choreographers and dancers of her generation: the National Dance Award, the Medal of Andalusia, several Giraldillo granted by the Bienal de Flamenco de Sevilla, the Time Out Award for Best Performer Women’s Dance, etc…   

 “This was a brilliant performance that has surpassed all the impressions. Generally speaking, Keti Dolidze (note: director, founder of the festival GIFT) knows how to make festivals and brings the best of the best of actors and artists. We are not indulged with such great performers and it is extremely nice that at least at festivals, we can witness such high-class shows,” Mamuka Pavliashvili, actor, told GEORGIA TODAY.  

At the end of the show, together with legendary Eva, Lasha Tabukashvili, well-known Georgian dramatist and writer, and Temo Gotsadze, famous painter, were handed over special prize for the lifetime achievement for their excellence in art by Georgian International Festival of Arts GIFT in honor of Michael Tumanishvili. Supported by the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection and Tbilisi City Hall, the festival “GIFT” will end on November 25 with the opening gala.

The long-awaited culmination came after 2 hours… Eva Yerbabyena came from the hall and ended up disappearing to the audience, where she emerged from… As if hinting that she is one of us, turning into an artistic monster on stage and then becoming a human again – dual life of a great dancer!!!


By Maka Lomadze




17 October 2016 10:50