Tag Archives: Flamenco

You Can’t Really Perform Flamenco without “Duende”

Duende. Definitions from Royal Academia Española.

1.  Fantastic spirit said to dwell in some homes and wander restlessly, causing disorder and confusion. Figure appears in the form of an old person or child in traditional narratives.

2.  Type of ancient silver or gold material similar to a highly reflective taffeta (light-weight fabric).

3.  Andalusian.  Dry and thorny thistles that are put on the copings of walls to hinder climbing.

4. Andalusian.  Mysterious and ineffable charm.  The duende of flamenco singing. 

The poet Frederico García Lorca observed that “in all of Andalucia…the people speak constantly of duende.”  He referred to it as “that mysterious power that everyone feels but no philosopher can explain” and wrote of how he “heard an old master guitarist say: ‘The duende is not in the throat; the duende climbs up inside you, from the soles of the feet.'”