Searching for El Duende


El duende

How to Cite

Lay Trigo, S. (2020). Searching for El Duende: An Auto-ethnography of the Phenomenon of Flowing in-and-within-Dance. PARtake: The Journal of Performance As Research, 3(1).


In this work I aim to elucidate what el duende is, to speak about that energy that flows in an instant at the tablados and taurine lands. El duende is that character that seems to come from a magical place –taken from a mysterious land– and from which many at flamenco culture speaks. It is said that nobody can see el duende, it can only be felt. This raises the question, who really knows el duende? Drawing on anthropology and philosophy, I suggest understanding el duende as an inner-outer force of the human being that flows inside the dancer and connects with the others (as spectators and / or musicians). The ethnographic analysis will focus only on flamenco dance, using my own experience as a dancer (auto-ethnography) as primary data. I trust that this self-involvement with dance will let me explore deeply into the soul of Flamenco art, into the magic essence that emanates from the dancer towards the audience and produces an intimate communication experience, which has been named el duende.