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emotional intensity
human emotions
sadness
dancers
poets
passion
In Search Of Duende
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In Search Of Duende

We’ve all heard emotions described as powerful, encompassing, and mesmerizing. But the artist who practices Flamenco has a passion known as Duende. Duende is a moment of pure passion for both an artist and for the audience enjoying the work. Duende can only come through artists who live their passion such as poets, dancers, and musicians. Every artist who dances Flamenco knows about Duende and most have experienced it themselves. It is a feeling so strong that it often causes the artist to break down in tears afterwards. Duende is untouchable, unexplainable and invisible. It can only be feel by the soul.

The story of Duende originated in Spain and has migrated to Latin America by way of folk lore. The belief is that artist and dancers get their emotional intensity from a goblin like creature that travels time teaching artists how to get in touch with their darker side. Emotions like fear, sadness, and pain can be conveyed in a purer way once the artist understands Duende. It is something that flows freely through the one who dances Flamenco and it is difficult to communicate through words.

The search for Duende is all about searching for that moment of both freedom and passion all tangled up in one glorious moment while doing what you love. It is not so much a thing as it is a feeling of being completely alive and utterly engulfed in passion. It is what all artists who dance Flamenco are searching for. It is their pathway to discovering who they truly are and why they exist. However, it is not something that comes to all artists without any effort. They must search for it passionately and with their entire soul. Through their searching they become more in touch with their emotions and condition as a human being.

Flamenco is in itself the artistic expression of the search for Duende. The struggle to define the darkest human emotions coupled with grace, beauty, love and peace creates the striking dance of Flamenco. Not every dancer can perform Flamenco because it is not something you learn but rather something you feel. It is difficult to teach because unless you have Duende (or soul) you will not grasp what Flamenco should be. That is why we search for Duende and are not taught it. We breathe it, we did not acquire it. It does not stay with us nor does it depart, it simply is Duende.


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