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Fellow Travellers: Eva Yerbabuena & Paco Jarana
Flamenco International London, 2002/7, 3,000 words; adapted extracts
STARTING OUT (DOS HERMANAS, 2007)
Vicky: Can you remember what you felt the first time you saw Eva dance?
Eva/‘It wasn't dance that impressed me as much as cante (song). I've always felt song is the mother of all flamenco.’
Paco: How could I forget?
Eva: He didn’t feel anything! There wasn’t time! [she laughs]
Paco: She was like a locomotive. She began, all feet, then wound up the speed - dow, dow, dow, dow, getting faster and faster - and I whispered to the other guitarist, "What's she doing? She's like a kid goat walking on rocks…" and he said, "Leave her be, Paco." She wanted to do it all with her feet. And I remember when she finally had Enrique el Extremeño singing for her, just three metres away - she admired him a lot, you know, and Enrique Soto too, from the beginning - she just stood stock still. [pauses] She didn't move an inch. [all three laugh] Enrique whispered to me, "What's going on? Why doesn't she dance?" So I said really loudly, "Okay, let's go then." And she said, "Impossible. I cannot move a foot, if I do, I'll mess it up."
FLAMENCO SONG (SEVILLE, 2002)
V: Eva, you're often quoted as saying just one flamenco performance you saw with your father made you decide to dance. I think Manuela Carrasco and Concha Vargas were dancing?
Eva: Yes, but it wasn't the dance that impressed me as much as the cante (song). I've always felt song is the mother of all flamenco. Take Paco de Lucía's work. You listen to his music and say, "Madre mía!", how blessed he is by the gift of knowing how to listen. I don't think I'd be a dancer if I could sing.
V: Is dancing another kind of listening? It's just occurred to me because you once defined your technique as "a process of knowing yourself and your body". Is that listening to your body?
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