November 15, 2010

Duende- Dia De Los Muertos, San Francisco 2010

"Duende" is Rapture. The bailaor, or flamenco dancer, reaches an almost out of body, trans like psychedelic state induced by the dance itself. And this "spirit" that drives flamenco surges the performance on to an intense crescendo. The state of Duende is elusive and rarely ever truly reached- as if it only happens by chance- when on some blessed evening, the air happens to be heavy enough with the confluence of the spirits. They seem to whirl around and dance with the bailaor, so to set our human eyes briefly on what waits for us all beyond the veil of this physical world. When duende is reached, it changes forever everyone who was there to witness it.

I love the El Dia De Los Muertos celebrations. I feel like I'm slightly "poking my fingers through the veil". Dabbling in the communion with the spirits. Loved ones and ancestors who have gone. The little yellow lights all around. The black sky. The perfumed thick smokey air. The marigolds... and painted faces. Great-grandmothers and newborns together. The sounds of Aztec drums and of crying and laughing all at once. And in this case... Duende.