"Every effort is made to devour one another, and it is done very well," wrote Alexandre Romanes in A People of Walkers (Gallimard). These days, it's not good to be a gypsy in France. "I have the impression to relive what I lived in Romania," murmurs Delia.
At the edge of the Porte Maillot, square Parodi, one can barely distinguish, between the diggers that have been rumbling night and day for months, the capital of the Romanes circus. Installed there by the town hall, in this district so chic of the capital, the circus has been the object of the most stupid ancestral rumors (thieves of chickens and today of cats), sabotage of the electric meters, jets of excrement, but also of attacks muscled by small nazillons in band and bourgeoises in tailor Chanel came to break of the Rom. The Romanes, Alexandre and Delia, and their troop resisted. With the unwavering support of the public.
The troupe is used with the good weather to install the circus elsewhere in France. This year, nothing. They will not be able to climb their capital anywhere, either in Rennes, Lille, Bordeaux, Strasbourg or Nancy. They sent requests for authorization, nothing. Not a single refusal notified. Radio silence. "We can travel but not stop," says Alexandre Romanès. Everyone is walking at the pace of globalization and those who do not work in the nails are undesirable. One remembers his few words read in Lost words, of Alexander (Gallimard edition): "They carry the iron in the sky, They build walls everywhere. For each arm movement, a law. If they could make plots with the sky, they would do it. Sitting in the grass between the flowers and the reflections of the sky, I watch them run in all directions. They are not moving forward. Worse: they recoil. "
Under his tent, the numbers follow one another
They are used to being called chicken thieves: "Yes, it's true we're chicken thieves. Only had to stoop to take them. But all up there, in the higher spheres of power, some steal far more than hens and nobody calls them thieves, right? Délia Romanès observes how much the climate has deteriorated: "What are they afraid of? Why do they refuse to welcome us? If I can not share my culture with the public, she is doomed. Our only weapon is our art, the artists who work with us and the public who, over the years, has become our family. "
Poetic, the Romanesque circus is, without a doubt. It floats a feeling of well-being under its big top where the numbers do not follow at the liking of a well-tended driver but of the moods of the cats, who decide alone of their entry on the track or not. Then Delia sings and her sublime song is a journey to the heart of men; Alexander reads some of the maxims drawn from his collections of poetry … and the show resumes its course. Circus family, circus open to the winds, that day, we meet Charif Alaoui, undisputed star of the traditional Tunisian song, which presents the same evening his show Songs of the sands. Charif walks slowly between the colorful caravans, happy and anxious both to play in Paris, delighted to have met the Romanes family. Last fall, it was up to the great flamenco dancer Israel Galvan to dance under the big top with his adopted family – he now has his caravan in their midst – in a wild and beautiful show, Gatomaquia. For, in spite of everything, the Romanes are like the reeds of the fable: they fold but do not break. With the Snowy friend, who imagines fiery flamenco parties that see young stars shine with a thousand lights, the Romanes play relentlessly their latest creation, Trapezist angels, swirl of colors and flavors, chaotic sequence of fairy numbers who follow each other and are not alike. There is no need for a platform to talk about living together or cultural diversity. The Romanes practice it on a daily basis. In her caravan, where a particular atmosphere reigns, Délia suddenly changes into a poppy, a nomadic flower that grows wild. "Did you know it was the favorite flower of Gypsies? "