Braiding…brushing….being… by Rosa Cisneros
Hair often times reflects identity as it is a part of the personal and the public. There is a deep connection between hair and self-esteem and one that raises all sorts of questions around identity, culture and femininity. Within the Romany community hair can be a marker of time and way to respect history and a series of traditions. It is also seen as a symbol of fertility and sexuality. This piece honors my mother and her passion and esteem for hair. Growing up the brushing and braiding of my hair was a ritual in the household that was a source of beauty but also one of pain and suffering. This movement piece considers imposed rules of conduct, memories and allows my embodied knowledge to dictate the structured improvisational piece. Movement gestures that recall past memories are grounded in contemporary and flamenco dance vocabularies. The piece explores an era of pain and suffering while it evokes, provokes and soothes. The beautiful contradiction cites my past, and one that is linked with my mother, but also honors the many women who have silently suffered. The remembering embraces the reasons, caresses the wounds and looks to the future through the process of being and dancing.
Rosamaria Kostic Cisneros is a dance historian, critic, Roma scholar, Flamenco Historian, professional dancer, choreographer and peace activist. Rosa makes regular contributions to Bachtrack Magazine and Flamenco News while also working at Coventry University’s Centre for Dance Research. Rosamaria is involved in various EU-funded projects which aim to make education accessible to vulnerable groups and ethnic minorities, and is part of cultural heritage projects that bring dance and digital technologies together.