Yemayá

Yemayá
World premiere date
Premiere location place
Stanford, CA
Commissioner
Dance sections

I. La Engañadora

II. Agayú

III. Changó

IV. Yeggua

V. Obba

VI. Oyá

VII. Oggún

VIII. Yemayá

XI. Chan Chan

Total number of dancers
9
Runtime
00:22:44

Yemayá portrays the seduction of a young man by the Cuban water goddess of the same name. Tharp employs a number of dramatic techniques to present the story – flashback scenes that morph into dream sequences, memories dancing as shadows on the back wall, solos that function as soliloquies. 

The piece begins in a social club; the performers are paired up, dancing versions of the rhumba and cha-cha. Later, a male entourage partners Yemayá, lifting and rolling her above the stage. They are the waves on which she rides.

  • image
    Malone (lifted) and company dancers in performance. © Twyla Tharp
Video Description

Company dancers in performance.

Full music program

"Popular and spiritual music of Cuba."

La Enganadora
By Enrique Jorrin
Performed by Ruben Gonzalez
From "Introducing...Ruben Gonzalez"
Recorded by World Circuit/Nonesuch Records

Agayú, Changó, Yeggua, Obba, Oyá, Oggún, Yemayá
From "Oru de Igbodu para Yemaya" on "Sacred Rhythms of Cuban Santeria
Recorded by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

Chan Chan
By Francisco Repilado
From Beuna Vista Social Club
Recorded by World-Circuit/Nonesuch Recordings

Music details
Music track
webmusic-yemaya.mp3
Audio sample

Chan Chan
By the Beuna Vista Social Club

Heroes - Sweet Fields - Yemaya | Tharp!
Teatro Municipal
Santiago, Chile
Heroes - Sweet Fields - Yemaya | Tharp!
Theatro Municipal
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Heroes - Sweet Fields - Yemaya | Tharp!
Teatro Alfa Real
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Heroes - Sweet Fields - Yemaya | Tharp!
Teatro Castro Alves
Salvador, Brazil
Heroes - Sweet Fields - Yemaya | Tharp!
Teatro Castro Mendes
Campinas, Brazil
Roy's Joys - The Fugue - Yamaya | Tharp!
Barbican Centre
London, United Kingdom
Roy's Joys - The Fugue - Yamaya | Tharp!
Kallang Theatre
Singapore
Heroes - Yemaya - Baker's Dozen | Tharp!
Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts
Miami, FL
Heroes - Sweet Fields - Yemaya (premiere) | Tharp!
Stanford University, Memorial Auditorium
Stanford, CA