Much has been said and written about the origins and first appearance of the Gypsies. After the Romani people left India around 1000 years ago, they migrated all over the globe, and many settled in various countries – today there is not one country without Gypsy/Romani people.Their first documented existence in Europe days back early 15th century and most scholars agree that they originally came from Northern India. Gypsy people are eternal nomads, which is why the elements of Celtic, Balkan, Indian, Arabic, Russian and many other cultures are intertwined in their dance.
“Gypsies” derives perhaps erroneously from “Egypsians” or “Gyptians”-(hence the name Gypsies)- in Eastern Europe, the Balkans and Russia are called “Tzigane” due to their nomadic life style. Gypsies refer to themselves as Rom or Roa. As many worked as musicians, they had a considerable impact on the music of the countries they lived in-their own particular musical and dance style often combined with the folk music and dance of a particular country, thus preserved the tradition over centuries. Gypsy Dance can be described as a blend of Russian, Hungarian, Romanian, Moldavian, Spanish, Turkish influences, and yet the Roma have contributed their own style to many areas of dance and influenced their artists.
Gypsy dance is bright, dynamic and entertaining, it reflects Romany people`s traditions, life style and freedom. After all, where there are Roma (Gypsies), there is always dancing, singing and joy. The music for the dance is performed on local instruments, which have been changing and evolving over the centuries. Gypsy dance is bright for its improvisation, freedom, energy and passion. There are several styles of gypsy dance in the world, since the Roma historically settled in many different countries. This subsequently led to the formation of different styles, depending on the country of residence and the influence of local culture on the music and creativity of the Romany people.
Today’s Gypsy dance styles vary from country to country. Wide swinging skirts, shaking shoulders, tap and intricate footwork from Russia, body clapping from Hungary, hip moves from the Romania, Greece, Turkey and fiery footwork - Flamenco style of Spain.
Gypsy dance is Dance of Passion, the folk dancing of Romany people from all over the world, are dances of graceful and joyful movements, expressing freedom, passion and playfulness.
“Sahlala Dancers” repertoire has two type of gypsy dance.
Russian Gypsy dance choreographed on world famous music “Two Guitars” in traditional gypsy style of Ruska Roma. This russian Romani dance is characterized by gradual speed-up of music and movements and the most vibrant and expressive type of Gypsy dances in the world, and one of the most developed along with being one of the oldest Gypsy style.
This dance includes wide hand waves with the skirt and shoulder shakes, incorporates fancy leg movement, quick and rhythmic footwork and angle body turns, whirlwind spins, coy facial expressions and high leg kicks, arm movements and hand claps.
The another choreography represent a different style-
The music was composed by famous composer of Moldova Serghei Ciuhrii. The gypsy music and style of dance has deep reflection of folklore of the Moldova, relying on the powerful cultural foundation of the ancestors, besides, the influence of the ancient Slavs, Hungarians and Romanians the Moldavian culture has formed into a coherent and unique phenomenon, with its distinct characteristics.
Moldavian Gypsy Dance incorporates deep “port de bras” around whole body, jumps, rhythmic footwork, sadden knee drops, fast turns, flamboyant skirt flourishes and graceful arm movements influenced by Russian ballet.
Both choreographies being created by our formal member of Sahlala- Louchia, who worked in a Gypsy dance group and studied World Gypsy Folklore.
This iconic Russian folk dance gets its name from the popular song titled Kalinka-Malinka, by composer Ivan Laringov. It is an acrobatic and rhythmical dance performed by both women and men, from children to professional adult dancers. The tempo continuously speeds up with each refrain, creating a bright energetic feeling of flying that livens up audiences.