Lost in time

I recently watched excerpts from Tony Gatlif’s film Lacho Drom (1993), which attempts to construct a visual, albeit fictional, history of the Rom people through a series of sequences that focus on the wondrous and diverse musical expressions of this ethnic group. Interestingly, the film begins in India and ends in Spain. This is a journey that has continued over nearly a millenium. Along the way, it stops off in Turkey, Egypt (the word ‘gypsy’ is etymologically linked to ‘Egyptian’), Hungary, Romania and the south of France… It begins with folk dancing in Rajasthan, from where the Rom are said to originate, and closes with a flamenco tangos. There is, of course, widespread belief that the Rom are the descendants of a community exiled from India back in the 11th century. Anthropologists point out the lingering ethnic customs, beliefs and practices that distinguish the Rom and connect them to their Indian roots. Medical scientists also insist that certain genetic traits persist that confirms their Indian origins. Whatever the case, I think anyone seeing this short dance sequence at the start of the film will see something in common with flamenco and also with the close-knit gitano communities of Spain:

March 8, 2010 Post Under General - Read More

Comments are closed.