To help us seek duende there is neither map nor discipline. All one knows is that it burns the blood like powdered glass, that it exhausts, that it rejects all the sweet geometry one has learned, that it breaks with all styles.
I spent my summer vacation at a Flamenco “bootcamp”; It seemed like a good way of spending a week’s vacation even if not a really good way to get some rest. I have started Flamenco lessons around October last year and have been struggling with it ever since. I do not have a natural talent for it. I love the music but I am both rationally and physically incapable of understanding time. The cante transports me to some fantasy southern living of disquiet but I am unable to feel connected to the raw, untamed earthly passions it invokes.
And the dancing? I feel like I have been through a week of awkward moments of pretense. Pretending to be a dancer, pretending to be able to perform intricate footwork, pretending to belong. Even pretending to perform. For a week I lived inside a bubble of passion and obsession so intense and fast paced it left too little time for any kind of reflection or soul searching. At a distance, it forced me to confront my lack of talent in a world where talent, or the appearance thereof, seems to be everywhere. It is also forcing me to surrender to the obvious. It’s going to take a lot of hard work.
Still, it was a way to live some kind of fantasy life, an item crossed off my bucket list.