I recently found an example of an older and also iconic dancer, Eva La Yerbabuena, at the Bienal in Sevilla in 2006. She is surrounded by a crowd of male musicians, also in an old-school ruffly dress and hair combs, this one bronze and coral. She is curvy and very tiny. The men look like they tower over her and yet, she is completely dominating that stage. This performance is the Fin de Fiesta, or "end of the party", which is what it sounds like--the last number in a show. This number is usually a bulerías, like it is here. Bulerías comes from the word burlar, which means to tease or kid around. Even though it's obvious in her dancing that she is having fun and sort of "joking around" in her moves, she's still demonstrating such a commanding presence. She's floating on Miguel Poveda's cante, coming in with amazing contestaciones, or percussive responses, and thoroughly enjoying the sense that she's obviously in charge of the scene. And they're all enjoying it too. One of my favorite parts is where, to the novice eye, it may seem like she's doing nothing. It's in the middle, when she's just standing facing the audience, with her hands on her hips, waiting. She's just waiting and enjoying the wait. That is something so hard to learn how to do in Flamenco, believe it or not. It takes great command to know how to be comfortable just waiting onstage. And to wait with her hands on her hips! I love it. It's such a classic womanly pose. ¡Ole!
Flamenco is beautiful and powerful for men and women alike, but there is definitely something to be said about seeing a woman in such a classic, feminine costume, holding her space, making her presence known and felt. ¡Ole a las guapas!