Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Romany Trail Part 1 - Gypsy Music into Africa|
Director: Jeremy Marre
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Educational, Documentary
ROMANY TRAIL:GYPSY MUSIC INTO AFRICA - DVD Movie
Alyssa A. Lappen | Earth | 11/17/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is quite interesting history, up to a point. The film shows respect and wonderment for the great traditions of Rom music and dance, which evolved from the Hindi customs and culture in northern India. It also offers sympathy for the much-reviled Rom people.
The film follows the Rom culture from India through Iran, Armenia and Iraq into the Maghreb, and features much magnificent belly and other dancing, music and performance feats such as fire eating, puppetry and acrobatics. In total, there are important points here concerning the vibrant roots from which this nomadic people sprang, roots that continue to evolve today.
Most fascinating are the portraits of Rom as dhimmis within the North African Islamic culture in Alexandria and Cairo, Egypt, although the narrator does not define them as such. Here, the Rom offer their Islamic neighbors services that are generally regarded within that community as enjoyable but objectionable. They perform exorcisms with music and dance, for example, and perform in the streets throughout North Africa. Yet Islam finds Rom performers, especially the women (who are often belly dancers and singers), particularly revolting; they are generally (and sadly) regarded and treated as whores.
The film does, however, feature one major deficiency. While showing the suffering of the Rom to this day, the narrator says nothing whatever about the evolution of their historical plight: He claims that they traveled from India of their own free will.
But this was most certainly as false in the 8th century as it is now, when Romany people are repeatedly asked to "move on" because they are so much hated by their oppressors. They were initially transported from India as slaves in the 8th century by Islamic jihad, and suffered 500 years of slavery in the heart of Europe.
--Alyssa A. Lappen"
Bellydance History Lesson
Work of Life | Miami, Florida USA | 12/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This video is the first in a series of three enlightening documentary films about the origins and path of the Gypsies from India through Europe and the Middle East. Chock full of hard to find information that connects-the-dots for those wanting to learn more about the illusive Rom (Gypsy) culture, art, dance and history. Though far from complete, this is a facinating look into the closely guarded lives and secrets of the Romany people. I reccomend this series to my students and anyone interested in learning more about Gypsy culture, dance or the Indian/Gypsy influence on Folk Dances (Flamenco) in Spain and Bellydance in the Middle East."
Lauren | Belleville, IL United States | 11/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a middle eastern dance instructor, I found this film just fascinating. Many, many 'aha' moments for me regarding the history & shaping of Egyptian-style dance. It's a must-have for a dance instructor's library. I had hoped that Part 2 of the documentary would shed the same light on Turkish dancing, but it was disappointing from that standpoint. Still fascinating as a documentary, though!"