Duende is a feeling, a churning of sweetness and rage that trembles through the nervous systems of compañeros as they gather in the back patios, cave dwellings, and sweltering after-hours cafés of southern Spain. As empty bottles start to accumulate at a quickening pace, hands clap, feet stomp, and throats howl in order to exorcize this duende into the open air; the ritual and the sound it makes are part of the culture of flamenco. This music and culture of southern Spain’s gypsies has spread throughout the world to places like Japan, New Mexico, Argentina, and Australia, where pockets of Spanish ex-pats and foreign aficionados try to conjure up duende in their own settings.
This summer, flamenco dancer Anna Librada Georges brings that gift to the hills and streams of the Hudson Valley through the Hudson Valley Flamenco Festival, where, for two days in August, Valley residents will get a chance to participate in the music of Spain and hopefully experience that feeling of duende. Georges says, “Flamenco has been a life-long passion for me, and it’s important to me that we shine a light on local artists because the Hudson Valley is home to some incredible flamenco singers, dancers, and musicians. Flamenco isn’t just about performing; it is about creating art in collaboration with the audience. We could not be more excited about joining the community and making flamenco together.”
The Hudson Valley Flamenco Festival kicks off its inaugural season by bringing world-class flamenco to the Rosendale Theatre on August 11 at 4 p.m. The festival will feature performances by singers Mario Rincon and Julia Patinella, guitarists Jared Newman and Mike Diago, dancers Elisabet Torras and Anna Librada Georges, choreographer Deirdre Towers, and Mayta Fusion Dance. The Festival culminates at the Rosendale Theater on August 12 at 2 p.m. with a performance by the Vanaver Caravan’s SummerDance On Tour company followed by a screening of the award-winning film La Chana.