Duende Meets Brotherly Love
“We have come to understand duende as a fire that burns in our blood and reveals itself in a wave of emotion too wild for anyone to control.”
In 1933 Federico Garcia Lorca popularized the term duende, describing a heightened state of emotion in art, a deep animalistic force in people, that he only felt to be present in some forms of art—theatre being one, flamenco being another. In 2016 Philadelphia’s Duende Cycle reinvents his idea in the Fringe Festival. They perform two shows in repertory: Lorca’s Bodas de Sangre and I Only Came to Use the Phone, a devised piece based on a short story by Gabriel Garcia Márquez. “Both shows dive into the theme of unjust societal gender roles, but through the lens of flowering language and beautifully strange imagery,” say creators Eliana Fabiyi and Tanaquil Márquez.
I Only Came to Use the Phone takes place in modern day Miami — an intentional choice on the part of the Duende Cycle. “There can always be more voices to reflect the beautifully diverse country we live in, and we want to add to that burgeoning noise,” Fabiyi and Márquez explain, adding that theater in Philadelphia is visible in the increasing representation of stories of color across American theater communities. The ensemble of the Duende Cycle is simultaneously thoroughly Philadelphian and impressively diverse, bringing more than six culturally different Latino backgrounds to the table. Some of these include Puerto Rican, Mexican, Ecuadorian, Venezuelan, Argentinian and Colombian. Philly, which boasts so many culturally thriving communities, is known for living up to its trademark: brotherly love. The project, with all its cultural influences, celebrates the city’s Latino diversity,” they say.
The project has been in the making for the past year, but devised work changed the script of I Only Came to Use the Phone dramatically, and the balance of English and Spanish in Bodas de Sangre was finally reached at the end of July. The Duende Cycle continues to grapple with ways to empower the female protagonists, balancing the integrity of original text and the desire to expose modern discrimination.
Come see Bodas de Sangre and I Only Came to Use the Phone September 16 – 21.
Bodas de Sangre/ I Only Came to Use the Phone
Asian Arts Initiative
1219 Vine Street
September 16- 8:00pm Bodas de Sangre
September 17- 8:00pm I Only Came to Use the Phone
September 18- 2:00pm Bodas de Sangre
September 18- 7:00pm I Only Came to Use the Phone
September 20- 7:00pm Bodas de Sangre
September 21- 7:00pm I Only Came to Use the Phone