James Sparshatt

El duende

Country  –   Spain
Series     –   Rhythms of Emotion
Year        –    2010


Add to Wishlist
Add to Wishlist

El duende 2010

In the early hours in the Triana district of Seville, a flamenco palmera loses herself to the rhythm.  As the tacones beat the floor, the vocalist calls out a lament and the palmera builds on the pulse that will draw the Duende (the spirit) to them.  When at its most raw the summoning of the duende allows the performers and audience alike to form a mesmerised bond – all external thought and influence lost in the communal moment.

Andalusian flamenco was born in the Gitano or Gypsy communities of southern Spain. It involves a combination of  cante (song), baile (dance), and toque (the art of guitar playing).

Flamenco transmits the deepest emotions of life and love from passion to anger and sadness; from joy to pain and fear.  La pasión, la ira, la tristeza, la alegria, el dolor and el miedo  through body language and facial expression.

At its best the intensity of the music takes both performer and audience alike on an emotional journey in which they become one with the Duende or spirit of life.  Every scintilla is invested in the song and the beat such that the world around them for a short interlude becomes meaningless.


“Flamenco is the means through which man reaches God without the intervention or saints or angels,” Luis Antonio de Vega.

James Sparshatt‘s black and white portraits are a search for a connection with a world of emotions.  His photographs from the streets of Havana, the milongas of Buenos Aires, the jazz clubs of New Orleans and bars of Andalucia capture the spirit of music in populations wher it is the very lifeblood and expression of life.

La pasión
El principe

You may also like