Czech Republic: 16th annual Khamoro Festival of Roma culture returns to Prague
Khamoro, the Czech Republic's most important Romani festival, will be bringing sunshine to Prague once more at the end of May. The Czech capital will host the festival from 25 May - 31 May for the 16th year in a row.
The international festival is offering a wide range of cultural events this year. There will be concerts of traditional Romani music and the world-renowned "Gypsy Jazz".
An innovation this year is "Khamororo", a children's day to please the very youngest (and not just them). Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and Mayor of Prague Tomáš Hudeček have provided their auspices to this year's festival, which has been produced since 1999 by the Slovo 21 civic association and Studio Production Saga.
"We are currently still harmonizing the details, but we can definitely tell you right now that visitors will really have a lot to look forward to this year. We hope the weather won't spoil Khamoro this year and that we won't have to cancel some events like last year. The best Romani musicians from all over the world will be performing here once more," said the festival's art director and producer, Džemil Silajdžić.
The festival starts on Sunday, 25 May on the banks of the Vltava river beneath the Rašínovo embankment. Local bands Cindži Renta and Devles will perform Romani songs in the open air.
The well-loved Gypsy Jazz genre will then be performed on Monday by the world-renowned Dario Pinelli & BinarioSwing of Italy and on Tuesday by Sébastien Felix and the John Intrator Quartet of France. Jazz lovers can attend both concerts in the beautiful setting of the Jazz Dock club.
Thursday through Saturday will belong to traditional Romani music. At the Roxy club a total of seven bands from all over the world will share the stage.
Thursday night will feature a performance of Ivan Gašpar Hrisko's hammered dulcimer music from the Czech Republic, the Vojasa band from Hungary, the Kal band from Serbia, and one of the best dancers in the world, Russian-born Pétia Iourtchenko and his Romano Atmo dance company. On Friday the concert of traditional Romani music will continue and visitors will be able to listen to Romania's Fanfara Transilvania, Spain's Puerto Flamenco, and the brilliant Swedish band Svarta Safirer, whose members come from Macedonia.
"Audiences will be able to see all the performers on Friday during the traditional defilé through the center of Prague, which starts at noon on Wenceslas Square and is one of the genuine gems of the festival. Naturally they will all perform at the closing gala concert in the SaSaZu club where the festival will have its closing event on Saturday," says festival spokesperson Denisa Tišerová.
Khamoro offers visitors a diverse palette of side events as well. This year a children's day, "Khamororo", is being included on the program for the first time.
Children and their parents will be able to experience many dance and music performances in Prague's Habrovka park as well as other entertainment. "This year we have also thought about lovers of history and senior citizens, for whom we have prepared performances of Romani storytelling. In three different places around the city, in a setting typical of an authentic Romani dwelling prior to WWII in eastern Slovakia, Romani people will tell the stories of how they migrated to Bohemia from Slovakia. I believe this will be enchanting for all who attend," Tišerová said.
Khamoro will also include the opening of an exhibition by the famous Romani artist Rudolf Dzurko, who passed away last year at the end of June. There will also be dance workshops, which enjoyed enormous success during last year's festival.
People will be able to learn traditional Romani dances or the popular street dance style from real professionals free of charge. Divadlo Bez zábradlí will also present the dance/theater performance "A Memory of an Old Gypsy", directed by the world-renowned choreographer and dancer Pétia Iourtchenko and his Romano Atmo dance company.
Ever since it began, Khamoro has been about far more than just culture or music. The program annually includes a program for professionals from other disciplines as well.
This year the professional program will focus on the theme of equal access to quality education for Romani children in the Czech Republic. For more about the program and where it will be held, please see www.khamoro.cz.
The festival is held with the support of the City of Prague and the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic. Its main media partner is Czech Television.
SUNDAY 25. 5. 2014
20:00 Náplavka – Khamoro party on the Vltava River: Devlesa/CZ, Cindži Renta/CZ
MONDAY 26. 5. 2014
14:00 Old Town City Hall – Press Conference
19:00 Rock Café – Theatre of the Oppressed: two performances on the topics of discrimination and racism
21:00 Jazz Dock - Gypsy Jazz concert: Dario Pinelli & BinarioSwing /IT
TUESDAY 27. 5. 2014
18:00 Muzeum Kampa – Opening of the Exhibition “Century of Catastrophes – Century of Miracles”: Rudolf Dzurko/CZ
21:00 Jazz Dock – Gypsy Jazz concert: Sébastien Felix/John Intrator Quartet/FR
WEDNESDAY 28. 5. 2014
17:00 náměstí Míru – “About the Past and the Present in a Different Way”: Storytelling by Roma elders
17:30 Czech CenterCentre Prague - “Rainbow Bridge into the Sky”: Tribute to the Roma writer Emil Cina/CZ
19:30 Divadlo Bez zábradlí – dance-theatre performance “Memoirs of an Old Gypsy”: Pétia Iourtchenko and Romano Atmo dance company/FR/RU
THURSDAY 29. 5. 2014
10:00 Hrzánský Palace – International Seminar on “Equal Access to Quality Education for Roma Children in the Czech Republic”
14:00 Na Příkopě – dance workshops: street dance, traditional Roma dance
17:00 Lyčkovo náměstí – “About the Past and the Present in a Different Way”: Storytelling by Roma elders
18:00 Evropský dům – Opening of the Exhibition “The Minute After”: Srdjan Stanojević/SRB
19:00 ROXY – concert of traditional Roma music: Cimbálová muzika Ivana Gašpara Hriska/CZ, Vojasa/HU, Kal/SRB, Pétia Iourtchenko and Romano Atmo dance company/RU/FR
FRIDAY 30. 5. 2014
12:00 Wenceslas Square – parade of artists through the centre of Prague
15:00 Habrovka – “Khamororo”: Children’s Day
17:00 Rajská zahrada – “About the Past and the Present in a Different Way”: Storytelling by Roma elders
19:00 ROXY – concert of traditional Roma music: Fanfara Transilvania/RO, Svarta Safirer/SE/MK, Puerto Flamenco/ES
SATURDAY 31. 5. 2014
13:00 náměstí Republiky – live performance “Khamoro Obscuro”: Zoran Tairović/SRB
20:00 SaSaZu – closing gala concert: Cimbálová muzika Ivana Gašpara Hriska/CZ, Vojasa/HU, Kal/SRB, Fanfara Transilvania/RO, Svarta Safirer/MK/SE, Puerto Flamenco/ES, Pétia Iourtchenko and Romano Atmo dance company/RU/FR
Throughout the festival the “International Summer School of Music of the Roma” will be held for Roma youth along with an international meeting of young Roma and non-Roma from the Czech Republic and Germany, “Roma Generation 2.0: From the Persecuted Nation to European Citizens”.
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