What is duende?

What is duende? I had a spare morning while I was in Milan this past November to teach at the Etnosfera Dance Festival and I took the opportunity to take a workshop this from Miriam Szabo and her two assistants, Monica and Carolina. What exquisite women they all were, to look at, to watch dance. They danced with passion and abandon, and the wildness of gypsy duende. Miriam talked a lot about duende, and it had got me thinking and researching! Miriam’s words during the workshop echoed what I say to my students about dancing from your soul, living with passion. It is important to make each step count, and to move with intention. It is easy to get stuck in your dance, to get weighed down by too much structure and technique, or the latest craze in our somewhat subcultural-moving-toward-the-mainstrean dance world, or the need to have the funkiest costume, instead of mastering what you feel, and doing what you do best. I have gotten tangled up in that web on occasion, but have always tried to stay true to my soul, to be authentic, and let the dance lead me to my ultimate expression. More on the ideas of duende to come…

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