What is "duende"?
The concept of duende is very important in flamenco. The primary
definition of duende refers to a fairy--or goblin--like mythological
character, while its nature varies throughout Spain and Latin America.
Loosely defined, duende is a spiritual or emotional bond between the
performer and audience created by the performer's intense
concentration and passion.
A second meaning of duende as in "tener duende (having duende) is a
rarely explained concept in Spanish art, particularly flamenco having to
do with emotion, expression and authenticity. In fact, "tener duende" can
be loosely translated as "having soul".
Flamenco in "juerga"
Flamenco occurs in two types of settings. The first, the "juerga" is an
informal gathering where people are free to join in creating music. This
can include dancing, singing, palmas (hand clapping), or simply pounding
in rhythm on an old orange crate or a table. Flamenco, in this context, is
very dynamic in that it adapts to the local talent, instrumentation, and
mood of the audience. One tradition remains firmly in place, singers are
the most important part.