LifeStrings Screendance Film

Director and Choreographer: Rosa Cisneros  from RosaSenCis Film Productions
Dancers:  Rosa Cisneros,  Leyla and Yasemin Cisneros-Sengun 
Filmed and edited: Maria Polodeanu from Reel Master Productions
Music: Hania Rani & Dobrawa Czocher - Śmierć na pięć [Republika]
Flamenco is born from the Spanish Roma community and traditional work often includes a singer, guitar player and dancer.  LifeStrings  is a screendance film that investigates climate justice, violins and  motherhood using a contemporary flamenco dance vocabulary. Reflecting on traditional Flamenco dance rhythms, techniques, gestures and modes of transmission,  the work asks questions about what we copy and imitate and what we disrupt and let go of in terms of traditions. The film is using a choreographic lens to navigate cultural and generational trauma while also relying on the dancing body to reveal embodied histories and practices. Romani Violin played by the Lautari musicians have a great tradition of violin playing, with virtuosos frequently embroidering their music with extreme amounts of ornamentation. Within Flamenco, the violin is often used to replace the singer and becomes the voice within an accompaniment. LifeStrings examines this notion of voice and disrupting traditions while drawing on Roman Krznaric’s thinking of the “the good ancestor”.  Reflecting on The Vaia, a violent storm that tore through the historic Val di Fiemme forest (Italy) in late 2018 and left a trail of devastation, LifeStrings is dedicated to intergenerational justice and long-term thinking. The Vaia storm in 2018, a great atmospheric depression with strong winds, turned Stradivari's forest into a landscape of destruction.  Vaia had a dramatic impact in the whole area of the Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage site. It caused almost $3.5 billion worth of damage and knocked down entire forests, destroying 8.5 million cubic meters of wood.  
LifeStrings asks….What kind of ancestor do you want to be?

The Roma originated in India

Several scholars debate the historical journey of the Roma community. Linguistic analysis suggests that the Roma are originally a Hindi people from northern India, and that "Rom" means human.  Many of the words and grammatical rules of the Romani language are virtually identical to those of the Hindi language. The international flag of the Romani people was agreed and approved by the representatives from the various Romani communities at the first World Romani Congress (WRC), held in Orpington in 1971 in the UK. The flag has a background of blue and green, representing the heavens and earth, respectively and in the centre it also contains a 16-spoke red chakra, or cartwheel, in the center. The latter element stands for the itinerant tradition of the Romani people and is also an homage to the flag of India, added to the flag by scholar Weer Rajendra Rishi.

The Romani Cultural and Arts Company is pleased to announce our new funding award from the Arts Council of Wales to continue the trailblazing Gypsy Maker project in Wales.

Arts Council of Wales funds exciting Gypsy Maker 5 Project

The Romani Cultural and Arts Company is pleased to announce our new funding award from the Arts Council of Wales to continue the trailblazing Gypsy Maker project in Wales.

‘Gypsy Maker 5’ is a development of the highly successful ‘Gypsy Maker’ project . As with previous editions, Gypsy Maker 5 will commission Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) artists to produce new work to add to the growing bank of Gypsy, Roma & Traveller art, knowledge and culture in Wales and beyond. 

Gypsy Maker 5 offers a key development from previous projects by including performance in our range of arts disciplines this year. This reflects the increasing enthusiasm expressed over the course of the Gypsy Maker initiative from community members and partners to experience more GRT artistic practice in all its forms.  

Gypsy Maker 5 will provide a platform for three GRT artists, Imogen Bright Moon, Corrina Eastwood and Rosamaria Kostic Cisneros, to develop their art practice, resulting in new bodies of work that showcase their professional and artistic development as facilitated by the Gypsy Maker project. Each artist employs a variety of media to offer unique and exciting propositions within the contemporary art field and GRT cultural discourse. Daniel Baker will be Artist Mentor and Audience Development Officer.

The Gypsy Maker 5 exhibitions will tour to the wider public during 2022 accompanied by open-access workshops and forums to allow the public to gain deeper understanding of the processes and themes that underpin the artworks and the Gypsy Maker initiative.

Exhibition launches will be open to the public with the RCAC supporting venues with any bilingual and accessibility issues to secure the widest audience possible. There will be a talk at each of the three tour venues to launch the exhibitions.

There remains a regrettable shortage of knowledge about this exciting community. The further showcasing of its artistic heritage and current cultural innovation will benefit greatly both members of GRT communities and the wider population. 

Isaac Blake; Director of the Romani Cultural & Arts Company, said “We are so proud to secure further funding from the Arts Council of Wales to continue our ground-breaking work with GRT artists. This project will strengthen the role of Gypsies, Roma and Travellers on the arts scene in Wales, the UK and beyond.”

Image:  Romani Cultural and Arts Company

Ideas for the residency: Thinking about creating two screendance films that explores climate justice, violins, generations using a flamenco vocabulary.

Want to use my Flamenco and contemporary dance technique and create a vocabulary that can be captured via a screendance film. 

Research on violins, textures and shapes as choreographic inspiration.

Spent some time watching old films that include violins, reading about how violins are made and hope to now look into the importance of violins in Roma music.  The image is a collage exploring the different aspects of the violin that I want to explore with movement. 

Maria's mood board- looking at tones, textures and shapes made with the body

Maria Polodeanu, my long time collaborator and friend, who also is the director of Reel Master Productions, will be helping with the filming of the project. She has expertise in capturing visuals from a bird's eye view and is highly skilled in drone photography and editing.  Want to explore these angles within the film. This was her mood board for the project.


Keen to look at generations and how we think about being a "good ancestor".  Drawing on thinking and conversation with dear colleague from C-DaRE, Simon Ellis.  Finishing the book by Roman Krznaric. 

Mannequins// Shawls//Rows

Thinking about how dresses fall and flow

Romani Gypsy Violin History and documenting practice

Thinking about and researching Romani Violin playing and music I was struck by this writers description of some of the early days of formally documenting and capturing Romani Gypsy violin playing. 

"The Romani people (commonly known as Gypsies) and their musicians (properly known as Lautari) have a great tradition of violin playing, with virtuosos frequently embroidering their music with extreme amounts of ornamentation. In his work as an ethnomusicologist before the field really existed, the Hungarian composer Béla Bartók lugged heavy recording equipment around the region of Transylvania to record how Gypsy violinists practiced their trade. His Romanian colleague George Enescu went one better, spending a significant portion of his childhood in that area when it was part of his country, listening to the rhythms of folk dances and the sounds of the unusual instruments the Romani used. Eventually, Bartók wrote his swaggering Violin Rhapsody No. 1 and Enescu his Violin Sonata No. 3 by drawing on the sounds they heard among these country folks." ( exceprt from

Music....Disrupt disrupt disrupt

I know I will be using Flamenco dance movement, gestures, rhythms but feel drawn to a classical piece of music with lots of string insturments. There is a lovely piece I have in mind that I have meditated on for years and always knew I wanted to use this arrangement at some point.... feels like I will start choreographing to this work and see what comes up. 


We are a resilient people and can spin and rise from ashes.... want to see how we can play with visuals alongside the ephemerality of dance. 

Patterns in space

Both Maria and I were drawn to this pattern.... feels like it must be further explored! 

Exploring textures, details and intricacy of fabrics

In doing research on elegant materials and dresses/gowns violinists use, I came across MET's Online collection. These 1910 slippers represented the textures I wanted to incorporate into my costuming. 

Flamenco footwork.... similar to 1910 slippers from Paris

Rehearsing my footwork

Costumes... flow and airy

Researching gowns and Flamenco dresses I toyed a lot with the colour scheme --- initially wanted to go with red but then after going to various locations and looking at options, I settled on mustard yellow.

Generations.... girls dresses

Collage clip from the stradivarius screendance film.

Stills from the film session.

Short clips from Stradivarius screendance film

This is not a final version- used to share with colleagues the work that Maria Polodeanu and I are working on as we edit the final version of the 8-10 min film. 

Met my mentor Ballet Cymru's assistant artistic director and we discussed the audio description options and aspects to consider.