Flamenco India

Rajamani’s Flamenco India
[Founded in 1995 by Oliver Rajamani, a production and educational company helping promote Romani and Flamenco history and culture with sales of memorabilia.]

Rajamani has been honing his unique interpretations of flamenco and Indian music by adding new rhythms and melodies and composing original pieces of music not found anywhere. Rajamani is one of a few artists in the world who has been shedding light on the Indian roots of Spain’s Gypsy flamenco music and dance before it became a commonly recognized concept.

Flamenco India is an innovative musical journey into the Indian roots of Spain’s Gypsy Flamenco. It is a continuation of culture and music with a common ancient history. One can clearly see the roots of Flamenco coming from India and the Middle East. The movement of the hands and feet can be seen in the classic dances of India. The flamenco styles of singing and the oriental scales used can also be heard in the Indian and Middle Eastern forms of singing. The rather stylized tension that flamenco artists emulate in their music and dance is a clear sign of a persecuted people showing their persistance in life. One can compare flamenco to the Black American people and music.

Flamenco is the music of the Romani people of Andalusia though it has become a national musical emblem of Spain today. Flamenco is for the Romani community a natural form of communal therapy and spiritual ritual. Before the Spanish accepted flamenco to be a national treasure or even a form of art, the Gypsies had been living and breathing it. It had been their one pathway to transcend the world of pain and persecution brought on by the Spaniards. In Spain the Roma faced the Spanish inquisition established in 1478. The inquisition as much as it was meant to have a negative purpose of getting rid of foreign blood, it also became a unifying factor for all foreign cultures within Spain to bond. Out of this bonding and pain blossomed a tradition labeled “flamenco.” Flamenco consists of Romani traditions such as bulerias, solea, seguiriyas while later was added the Spanish folks forms such as sevillanas. Flamenco is also influenced by Middle Eastern Andalusian music and the most modern influence coming from the African slave rhythms of rumba.

India is the original homeland of the Romani people or better known as Gypsies. The Romani people are historically, genetically and linguistically connected to India. According to historical data the Roma’s first appearance in Europe was in the 14th century. The term “Gypsy” comes from the misbelief Europeans had that the Roma were Egyptian. There were other misbeliefs the Europeans held of the Roma that lead to many persecutions the Romani populations faced over the hundreds of years since their arrival in Europe.