Danza Duende is a training in all aspects of our lives, which allows us to appreciate and elevate our existence through dance. It is an approach to dance, movement, art and life in deep interdependence. It leads us to discover the art of being as we are and opening ourselves to the potential of our intrinsic, passionate, free nature.
The Duende training is recommended to all artists who feel the need to deepen their creative inspiration and intensify their ability to be present, as well as their talent. It is a long-term training that allows us to visit the original sources of form within our minds and discover our intrinsic potential so that we can work in all aspects of our lives as if we actually danced our lives.
Danza Duende is the art of creating fields of wisdom through dance
Founded by Yumma Mudra (Mudra Chorésophe) in 2004, Danza Duende's practice has naturally transformed into an international network with unique characteristics in the world to date. The approach of this work is firstly based on discretion, through a personal investigation of Art as way of life. Dance is the common denominator among all in this personal research, which is both solitary and solidary.
Social development through concrete projects constitutes a second phase of this study.
Thus, for example, "Tempos de Mu-Dança 2016" (Times of Change), the 3rd Danza Duende Gathering, organised within the context of the 17th festival «Noites na Nora», represents the first fruits of this new garden.
Physical trainings are non-conceptual and unformatted and are based on the direct experience of the body.
These situations take different forms, bringing together study tools that are adapted to the specific public and circumstances of each event.
The mastery of these tools is at the service of both a personal (solitary) research and a collective (solidary) research, so as to cultivate an artistic dimension in the "work" which is one's personal life: one's everyday life, the stage, teaching and education, and the synergy between different cultures, philosophies, beliefs or origins.
Dance opens the path for the Duende to manifest:
to become and remain sensitive to mystery and its strength.
Duende opens the path to the Dance of LIfe:
that which is manifested to us finds a source in our own heart and opens itself to others.
There are 3 Pillars, which are the fundamentals of Danza Duende, and that express the nature of the motivation behind the project and its development: each teacher develops the Danza Duende network freely, according to his/her own work and experience. However, the groundwork is indispensable and permeates all initiatives. These pillars are...
1 - Freedom
Danza Duende calls "freedom" to the physical presence of the body in consciousness, here and now. Time is now, space is here. Trainings focus on our clarity in the present moment of presence, in order to develop an awareness of the infinite.
2 - Rigour
Danza Duende calls "rigour" the direct physical experience of the mathematical aspects of space and time: rhythm and harmony. Trainings develop our rhythmic sense and geometric senses - eventually until we reach expertise - in order to harmonise our bodies with the different environments we find.
3 - Virtue
Danza Duende calls "virtue" the art of balancing and uniting the two previous pillars and manifest them into actions. It is an approach to the study of the paradoxes of our (apparently symmetrical) anatomy. In the study of our own anatomies opposites complement each other, reversing our contradictions and allowing us to find the value of the 'two'.
An analogy to define the notion of "virtue" in Danza Duende is that the "head hears the voice of the heart" and vice versa. That which is the third and more important pillar of the three proposes that we learn to listen to this "voice of the heart" and to center ourselves in what concerns duality: men / women; you / me; day / night; visible / invisible; emotions / wisdom; right / left; sky / earth; ahead / behind; inhale / exhale; reason / intuition; and so on.
This pillar emphasizes communication between individuals, exchanges and the crucial importance of compassion in the artistic process. Trainings allow us to develop our brain's natural potential for empathy, listening, perceptual accuracy, sensations, and panoramic vision.
To center ourselves, gradually, through an artistic quest, is the discipline of the third pillar of Danza Duende: to become an "expert in ourselves" and recognizing the play of synergies in the collective reality.
At present, Danza Duende trainings are organised as a great initiatory journey, through the creation of powerful situations. These are investigated within the context of three different retreats:
- The Dragon Retreat, which opens the path for the transformation of suffering and individuation through an alchemical process. It is a learning and creativity Journey: the "solitary" is at work (corresponds to ancient levels 0, 1 and 1bis in Danza Duende). It is also a preparation retreat for those who wish to deepen their studies and attend the Cycle of the Dragon 15 day Retreat, which takes place within the context of the University of Choreosophy.
- The 5 Wisdoms Retreat, which opens the way for the development of a precise and intelligent Sensorium in the study of the 5 elements. The 'solitary' and the 'solidarity' meet (corresponds to ancient levels 2 and 3 in Danza Duende). It is also a preparation retreat for those who wish to deepen their studies and attend the Cycle of the Five 15 day Retreat, which takes place within the context of the University of Choreosophy.
- The Cycle of the Mysteries, which opens the path for the exploration of the mutable "Mandalas," formed by our bodies and our group presence: the alternation of each between center and periphery leads to the development of laboratories rich in discoveries ( (corresponds to ancient levels 4, 5 and 6 in Danza Duende).
Structures that coordinate themselves among us as if they were puzzles become clear. To study them, to repeat them, to invert them, going from chaos to order and from order to chaos, allows us to perceive the world we live in in a different way.
The possibility of adjusting our own place, putting it at the service of situations in a synergetic dynamic, is a permanent challenge and these situations combine amongst themselves infinitely, surprising us at every moment (corresponds to ancient levels 4 and 5 in Danza Duende).
Solitaries have now become supportive and solidary, generating their works together, because now they deeply understand their own autonomy.
The "Beginner's Mind" marks the student's final stage in the process (corresponds to ancient level 6 in Danza Duende). He or she are now given the authorisation to use the network's name and logo in their work.
The Cycle of the Mysteries is also a preparation retreat for those who wish to deepen their studies and attend the Cycle of the Mysteries 15 day Retreat, which takes place within the context of the University of Choreosophy.
What are the current projects within the Danza Duende Network?
Danza Duende as a training is not conceptual and therefore escapes formatting. The freedom that each one enjoys within the project has allowed to give life to new "sub-projects" of the school.
There are what we call the "original branches"within the network. But gradually Duende Artists started creating their own "signature" branches, which they manage autonomously.
Although all the branches are based on precise forms, as the intention of the network is to preserve a strict sense of quality, we insist that these forms or techniques are not used as an end, but rather as a means.
Apart from retreats, among the numerous projects currently in progress in the network, we have as workshops or regular classes:
Gypsy Duende - for the celebration of life
Oriental Duende and Féminas - to know the body under the feminine perspective
Warrior Duende - to know the body under the masculine perspective
Tango Duende - works with the masculine / feminine dynamics at a deep level
Theatre Duende - for the development of compassion
Anima Duende - for learning deep communication skills, through the use of objects
Free Duende - thematic laboratories
Thelys - ritual creation project in collaboration with Danza Duende, based in Barcelona with a branch in Belgium. It creates artistic celebrations of the sacred for special moments such as births, marriages, rites of passage, or rupture and death.
Founder of the Danza Duende Network, Yumma Mudra, also offers Amazonas, The Breath of the Dakini or The Intimate Breath of the Sophia regular workshops, for women only.
Regular workshops and residencies with co-founder of the University of Choreosophy, Michel Raji, also take place, such as Sensorium, The Alchemists of Breath (the latter for men only) and many more.
Currently, the active members of the Danza Duende Network are based in Europe (Belgium, Italy, France, Spain, Ireland and Portugal). Italian dance school "Metissart", located in Milan, is the European headquarters of Danza Duende, with the support of the Association Mudriam ASBL, based in Belgium.
We organise a Danza Duende Festival every 3 years in Serpa, the city of the "winged serpent", in the south of Portugal. The first one was in 2010 and the next one will be in 2019. Next year the festival will focus on poetry and Misteries. Don't miss it! (will keep you uptaded).
You may also want to check:
www.danzaduende.org: main Danza Duende Webiste (explains the structure of the school)
duendenetwork.com: contains updated info on activities
rajimudra.com: exclusively about founders of the University of Choreosophy, Yumma Mudra and Michel Raji's activities.
DanzaDuende International Newtork: International facebook page
DanzaDuendeLusitania: Portuguese facebook page
NB: if you wish to have information about the next retreat, please contact: a.deketele(at)live.be