She dances alone has felt that again worm in the gut who stopped dancing in his song We cast lots 1996. Marta Botía (Madrid, 46 years old) and Marilia Andrés (Cuenca, 46 years old), the two members of the original duet creator of what was one of the most popular songs 25 years ago, have met again and are preparing their return to the stages in a summer tour that begins next June 18 at the Starlite Festival in Marbella. “It seemed like a precious reason to celebrate all the magic that we have been lucky enough to experience. Being able to share this with people is wonderful ”, the singers assure EL PAÍS, while they declare themselves happy and eager to celebrate their silver wedding anniversary with the public.
It is not the only round date that is fulfilled these days. After five years of successes in which the group released three albums (She dances Alone, E.B.S. and Marta and Marilia), the duo decided to put an end to their musical adventure by publishing their latest work in 2001, a compilation called Greatest Hits: 96-98-00. A lot was said about their breakup twenty years ago. It transpired that they had disagreements both personally and artistically, that they hardly coincided in the studio to sing together on their latest album and that the photoshoot for that album was done separately. It was even said that they could not stand each other. On this they prefer to remain silent and, despite the fact that on some occasion they have recognized that their relationship in this time has been null, now they assure that they have missed each other. If it is true or a marketing pact remains between them because it is an issue they do not want to address.
Two separate decades makes it difficult to perceive complicity between them, but during the interview a small connection begins to be glimpsed when they recall moments from the past. During the meeting, they look at each other several times and smile when they pronounce the word “reconnect” in the conversation. They finish by explaining that it is “an inside joke” that in their stage as a duo had a special meaning, which they now remember with nostalgia.
Marta and Marilia met at the institute. Their first musical steps were taken with the teenage group The Just, where they discovered that their voices fit together. After some demos and small concerts in parks and halls in Madrid, in 1996 they recorded their first album, with which they sold more than a million and a half copies. Songs like Bar loves, When the toads dance flamenco and How we distribute friends They awarded the most acclaimed Spanish female duo of the time an Ondas award, a Latin Grammy nomination and rise up to eight times to number one on the music charts in Spain and Latin America. “It’s nice that the songs are still alive and accompanying people in their day to day,” they acknowledge.
Unintentionally, they pioneered lyrics on social themes –That black escapes you– and female empowerment –Vase woman– that conquered the public and marked several generations long before the emergence of movements like MeToo. “We did it without realizing it, it was our obvious way of seeing life, we didn’t want to champion anything”, acknowledges Marta, to which Marilia adds: “At that time it was not so common for two girls to talk about some things, but it is part of the path that many women have already started a long time ago ”.
Following the duo’s dissolution, each continued their path in music independently. Marta was the first to go solo and in 2002 she published the album Deliver, which he followed in 2015 Martamente. In between, she decided to resume the project of Ella Baila Sola and try her luck with other colleagues, first with Rocío Pavón, then with María del Mar García and finally with Virginia Mos, with whom she worked until a few months before the pandemic caused by the coronavirus . None of these three stages obtained the recognition of its beginnings. Marilia took it more calmly. After twelve years away from the music scene, in 2013 she published Climb the mountain, which was followed in 2017 Infinity and for this year he finalizes his third album. “I did not measure the time. There was a need to enrich and choose a conscious path and not follow something out of inertia, but when I really felt it ”, he explains about his late reconciliation with music.
Having shared a past together has not been a burden for them “neither in the industry nor in life”, acknowledges Marta, who now lives in the United States with her partner and her two children and admits that it has always been a pride to be ” Ella’s blonde Baila Sola ”. “I think everything that has happened has brought us to the point where we are now, which is wonderful,” he adds. They agree that none of them would change anything from those previous years. “We have been able to choose and that is very valuable. We have both done it and we have missed each other. So now all that path that has enriched us also makes us enjoy this meeting very much. It is necessary to live things outside of what we were, ”says Marilia, the duo’s brunette.
The two consider that music has been the guide that has commanded in their respective lives, as “the beauty of the moment” does now. “Get together, reconnect and celebrate what is so important to us”, Marilia recognizes about the germ of Ella dances alone. “I have missed sharing the road, a stage … she is the only person who really knows what you are going through and being able to share that is very nice,” says Marta looking at her partner.
Two decades later, and having overcome the problems, Marta and Marilia have decided to take up their guitars again, hit the road together and sing in unison on the same stage those hymns that marked a milestone at the end of the nineties. A return that the fans of the group predict triumphant, but they have not yet discovered if it will be ephemeral, as the artists prefer not to reveal their long-term plans. “We want to be in the present, when we have more things to share we will tell them,” they say, leaving the door open to a possible new album together.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.