Film screening sheds light on Spain’s Romani Gypsy culture
The documentary film tells the story of legendary flamenco dancer, Carmen Amaya and includes interviews with members of the Amaya family in Spain.
In an interview with Wicked Local Upton, Ajami said that she thinks the film could be a launching pad for dialogue and conversation,noting how Carmen Amaya was the first Gypsy to become famous but also how she broke down barriers and revolutionized flamenco by dancing the steps traditionally done by men.
The report continued that, “Queen of The Gypsies, A Portrait of Carmen Amaya,” presents a doorway into Spain’s Romani Gypsy culture and the part flamenco plays in expressing the joys and sorrows of the Gypsy experience. Ajami said of the particular dance form that “it is the blues of the Gypsies of Spain”, while “the musical form is a language like Spanish or English…transmitted from family to family”.
Carmen Amaya started dancing at the age of four and became an international success by the time she had reached her teens. Amaya moved from Europe to South America and mesmerized audiences from Buenos Aires to Bogotá, eventually moving to the US in 1941, where she continued to gain hoards of fans, including President Theodore Roosevelt, who invited her to dance at the White House.
Amaya is considered one of the greatest flamenco dancers who ever lived and one of the most celebrated personalities of the flamenco world.
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