Polyphonic music from Sardinia, gypsy ska rhythms from Belgium and Yugoslavia, as well as an electrifying performance from Band of Gypsies ended on Sunday evening the three-day Balkanik! Festival, hosted by the Uranus Garden of Bucharest.
Starting at 17:30, the Uranus Garden was yet again the centre of the music journeys from the East to the West, with Actores Alidos quintet having taken the stage first and bringing along the polyphonic music of Sardinia’s women, with a distinct presence and sound than in the previous days at Balkanik!, but highly appreciated by the Bucharest public.
They were followed by a musical interlude of the Parada Foundation’s magicians and jugglers, who captivated the public for the second evening in a row, under the slogan “A red nose against indifference,” with tricks, juggling, as well as acrobatic and unicycle demonstrations.
Then the festival’s stage was taken by Antwerp Gypsy-Ska Orkestra — Gregor “Terror” Engelen, Mukti Gabriels, Filip Vandebril, Suhamet Latifi, Roel Poriau, Nathan Daems. For the fourth time in Romania, the Belgians perfectly communicated with the public and managed a sensational performance, combining and alternating romani reggae, hip-hop, gypsy-ska, as well as a sax solo in the taqsim improvisation style.
The last on the stage in the Rahova neighbourhood of Bucharest were Band of Gypsies, the creative partnership of those with Taraful Haiducilor and Kocani Orkestar from Macedonia. For more than one hour and a half, the Roma musicians gave their best in their performance, each song — in essence a masterpiece of the adopted music style — having been welcomed in cheers and applause, both the instrumental ones and the older ones, such as “Dumbala Dumba” — sang by Viorica ‘Rudareasa’ — or the traditional ones, such as their performance of the classic song “Of, ce dor, ce chin, ce jale”.
Pressed by time, Band of Gypsies didn’t have the opportunity to offer the public the highly expected encore, however, in their time slot they managed to induce rhythm to the entire public’s movements, with unexpected dancers having taken the stage — (Lupescu) and Cem Koklukaya de la Cumbus Cemaat — and a fan who jumped the fence and climbed on stage to offer them money. More…