Eva Yerbabuena/Ballet Flamenco’s Lluvia (Rain) at New York City Center, as part of the city-wide Flamenco Festival, was fantastic. The curtain rises and we see feet, plenty of them, most in shoes and few without—it was quiet. Then, from the audience, Yerbabuena, in a bright red dress and barefooted enters. She makes her way to the stage, meanders through the “crowd,” pauses then falls to ground, on one side, legs outstretched and arms close to her body. Soon, all but four from the crowd, also barefooted, are left on stage. They too fall to the floor, collapse into fetal position, roll from side to side, and in alternating sequences, rise and fall out of the floor, assuming terse arm and torsos foreshadowing what is to come. Then, and only then, does the music begin, and Yerbabuena who returns (didn't realized she’d left), commands the space tapping out rapid sounds from her shoes. Charged then with the intensity of flamenco (guitar, song and dance), the dancers and musicians alike prompt each other with simply an inhale. Yerbabuena mixes pure Flamenco with contemporary styles and what follows is a generous dose of both: a duet/trio with Yerbabuena, a male dancer and a malleable table where arms push through from one side to the other separating the dancers, or a lively Spanish café with music and dance and lots of prompting - baile! Yerbabuena’s spit-fire solo framed by singers Jose Valencia, Enrique “El extremeno” and Juan Jose Amador, finely capped with the donning of a red shawl brings the evening to a close. More please!
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I am a performer, historian, consultant and dance writer. I am a faculty member at Hunter College, Sarah Lawrence College (Guest), Empire State College's online program Center for Distance Learning. I am also a former faculty member of The Ailey School and the Alvin Ailey/Fordham University dance major program, Kean University and The Joffrey Ballet School's Jazz and Contemporary Trainee Program. I write on dance for The Amsterdam News, Dance Magazine and various publications. Click below to read more about me at my home page - "About Me."