Find your duende

It’s an un­trans­lat­able con­cept that can mean many things, but for Abi­gail Whyte, it’s about nd­ing a nat­u­ral high and soul­ful con­nec­tion

In the Moment - - Contents -

When I was at a mu­sic fes­ti­val a few years ago, I met a amenco dancer. She was the rst per­son I ever heard ut­ter the phrase “ nd­ing my

duende.” She told me that duende is a word strongly as­so­ci­ated with amenco, de­scrib­ing the in­ten­sity of emo­tion that over­comes the dancer in the throes of a per­for­mance. Watch any amenco video on YouTube and you’ll see that pal­pa­ble ec­stasy; the al­most des­per­ate look on the dancer’s face as she clicks her cas­tanets and sends a cloud of dust into the air with a stamp of her foot.

Duende is a word that has struck a chord with me ever since, and I’ve of­ten looked it up to get to the bot­tom of its mean­ing. It’s one of those un­trans­lat­able words that can mean many things, but I take it to mean that feel­ing of eu­pho­ria; that nat­u­ral high and soul­ful con­nec­tion we get when we’re do­ing some­thing we love, par­tic­u­larly some­thing artis­tic. Fed­erico

Gar­cia Lorca de­scribes the word beau­ti­fully in his book,

In Search of Duende: “The duende is a mo­men­tary burst of in­spi­ra­tion, the blush of all that is truly alive…” Alive. Sure, we’re all alive, but in our tech­nol­ogy-charged world of sit­ting at desks in front of com­puter screens for eight hours a day, how of­ten do we truly feel it?

Zoe Ma­son and Re­becca Hanscombe are the founders of Wild Choco­late Club (www. wild­choco­late­club.com) – an ec­static dance club where par­tic­i­pants drink a cup of raw ca­cao be­fore they be­gin mov­ing to mu­sic with wild aban­don. The feel­ing their par­tic­i­pants ex­pe­ri­ence is the epitome of duende. “The raw ca­cao opens up your heart, makes you feel beau­ti­ful and ready to dance, and then we just let go. We let go of our masks and al­low our true selves to shine,” they ex­plain.

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