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European Centre for Roma Music producing "Gypsy Rhapsody"

Prague, 10.3.2014 21:45, (ROMEA)
Photo:   Lukáš Houdek (2012)
Photo: Lukáš Houdek (2012)

On 24 March, the European Centre for Roma Music (ECRM) and the New Stage (Nová scéna) of the National Theater in Prague will premiere a dance and music performance entitled "Gypsy Rhapsody" (Cikánská rapsodie) inspired by Czech author Bohumil Hrabal. The piece was created in honor of what would have been the late author's 100th birthday.

Romani composer and musician Jiří Korman has written both the music and the script for the production, according to Marie Fišerová of the ECRM. Director Dana Račková invited choreographer Hanka Třešňáková, one of the leading artists of Czech alternative movement theater, to collaborate on specific scenes.     

Korman has based the score on the harmonies and melodies of classical Romani music, augmenting them with a very unique script. "The production is Jiří Korman's personal homage on the 100th birthday of his longtime friend, the author Bohumil Hrabal. It is comprised of 10 scenes - 10 motifs for stories that Hrabal discussed with Jiří Korman when they sat together in the pub, stories he never put down on paper," says Račková.

"As a director, the big challenge in this production is its constant oscillation between dance and the actors' natural movements. I am working with amateurs and professionals, both non-Romani and Romani actors, dancers, musicians and singers," Račková says.

Korman established the ECRM as a civic association in Prague in 2011. "Currently the predominant tendency is to perceive Romani culture as one that only exists parallel to European culture. Our aim is to point out that any separateness between these two cultures is just illusory, and to remind everyone that European and Romani culture are connected and will continue to be connected by our living together in this shared space," says the composer.

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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