Upcoming Events

The Voyage of the Black Madonna

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Online, Zoom

Celebrate the Traditional Feast of the Black Madonna & Santa Sarah La Kali (also worshipped as the Madonna of the Sea)!

Experience live music by Internationally renowned singer, percussionist, teacher, author Alessandra Belloni and composer and phenomenal musician John La Barbera.

Learn special sacred chants and drumming for the Black Madonna and participate in a special ritual presentation about the Goddess Aphrodite by Director/Founder of the Goddess Temple and Museum of Women in Orange County Ava Park.

After a lifetime of study and teaching Southern Italian folk music, dance, and healing traditions, world-renowned percussionist and musician Alessandra Belloni and famed guitarist John La Barbera will perform special traditional music from Naples in honor of the Black Madonna as well as original compositions written by John La Barbera for their opera THE VOYAGE OF THE BLACK MADONNA.

This event will also feature extracts from the VIRTUAL PILGRIMAGE TO THE SACRED SITES OF THE BLACK MADONNA IN SOUTHERN ITALY (you can register for the entire course at: https://thecenterfortheblack madonna.teachable.com/)

General Admission Tickets - $30.00

Black Madonna Ritual Drumming & Dance Workshop & Pilgrimage in Southern Italy

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Italy

Join us for a New Pilgrimage Dedicated to the Traditions of the Black Madonna in Southern Italy This Summer! Learn special drumming, chanting & dance at an amazing workshop in the Region of Naples in Campania by the sea & mountains!

Workshop Dates: Starting in the Amalfi coast, we will begin our journey on July 31 through August 8. We will be leaving on August 9th.

Special Feature Collaboration with internationally renowned Neapolitan Folk Musician, & classical singer, percussionist teacher Nando Citarella. (see below - www.nandocitarella.it

This new workshop/pilgrimage will be a deep full immersion in the ancient drumming traditions and devotional chants in Honor of the Black Madonna to be fully experienced in the Mother Land, in sacred Mountains and healing waters.

Following Alessandra Belloni’s vision as part of the Black Madonna Center, for the first time, this summer, special students will have the opportunity to study and tour the area of Naples in the region of Campania.

This new powerful journey will introduce and transport students to a time and place where an unbroken and ancient tradition continues today with folk music, processions, devotional drumming, and dance.

Another special feature: Lectures by Egyptologist and Archeologist Armando Mei, about the goddess Isis & The Black Madonna.

As featured in Alessandra's book "Healing Journeys with the Black MAdonna ", Students will also be taken on short pilgrimages to four sacred sites of the Black Madonna: 1. Madonna Avvocata on a Beautiful Mountain on the Amalfi Coast 2. Black Madonna of Positano 3. Feast of the Black Madonna della Neve (August 5th) 4. Black Madonna of Montevergine and Black Madonna of Moiano (August 6 to August 8)

DAY 1 & 2: August 1-2nd VISIT TO THE BLACK MADONNA DELL’AVVOCATA - spectacular mountain above the Amlafi coast

During the workshops students will study the basic Italian tambourine and frame drumming techniques of different Tammorriata 4/4 rhythm in honor of the Black Madonna and the beautiful & sensual dance done by couples playing castanets. These workshops will take place during the days and some evenings in improvisational Neapolitan style.

These powerful workshops will incoude the special collaboration with Folk Musician, percussionist Neapolitan singer teacher Nando Citarella where students will learn traditional drumming, chanting, and dance dedicated to The Black Madonna.

Alessandra and Nando will start with an introduction on the ancient style of rhythm and dance known as the Tammurriata, which dates back to the rites of the Mother Earth Goddess Cybele, protector also all of gays, and transgenders as well as the Egyptian Goddess Isis, now worshiped as the Black Madonna all over the South of Italy.

Alessandra & Nando will lead participatory chants of devotion to the Sun (Jesce Sole), an ancient healing chant using the Lydian Scale or Neapolitan Scale as well as authentic chants and prayers to the Black Madonna.

DAY 3: August 4th VISIT TO LA MADONNA DI POSITANO -- the most beautiful town in the Amalfi Coast, where the Goddess Aphrote was worshipped in ancient times

Day 4: August 5th FEAST OF THE BLACK MADONNA DELLA NEVE Torre Annunziata/Pompei We’ll catch amazing moments of the unique re-enactment of the discovery and fishing of the Black Madonna, originally found in a large cage in the sea in the year 1350. This feast is held at sunset by sea near the Vesuvius with boats following the Madonna in procession along the coast, blessing the water and the town. This is an ancient ceremony with origins in the worship of the Goddess Aphrodite, and the African Orisha Yemanja, Goddess of Love and the Sea.

Day 5 - August 6th VISIT TO THE BLACK MADONNA OF MONTEVERGINE In the region of Irpinia , we will visit the Black Madonna of Montevergine, who is considered the most important of the seven sisters accompanied by the drumming and chanting of Nando Citarella and Alessandra Belloni.

This beautiful Black Madonna known as MAMMA SCHIAVONA, is worshipped in the ancient sacred site of the Earth Goddess Cybele. She continues to be venerated on a high sacred mountain, which pilgrims still climb barefoot today chanting and drumming in her honor. Here the rites of Cybele and Attis, and the transgenders’ devotion of the “femminielli” (young women) was popular in pre-christian times as they are today.

Day 6: August 7th VISIT TO THE MADONNA DELLA LIBERA Will end with a visit to the MADONNA DELLA LIBERA, our Lady of Freedom, near Benevento. This is a beautiful and powerful statue which has direct origins to the Egyptian Goddess Isis, as that area, known as Irpinia, was a settlement of the ancient Egyptian with a wide spread worship of Isis, the one who is really the ‘FIRST BLACK MADONNA AND CHILD”.

Here We will also be learning with well known scholar, writer and Egyptologist Armando Mei, now being featured on the GAIA NETWORK IN THE US. He will speak about The Egyptians settlement in Campania , who left a strong esoteric school in the region of Naples.

ABOUT NANDO CITARELLA: Nando is one of the most important and well known folk musician and classical singers of the revival of Southern Italian Folk Music. He has collaborated with Alessandra Belloni for the last 40 years and is one of her drumming and dance teachers. He has performed with Alessandra & together with John La Barbera and our company I Giullari di Piazza in New York at Symphony Space and Carnegie Hall.)

ACCOMMODATIONS: 5 star hotels with swimming pools and gourmet food • HOTEL DEI CONGRESSI near the Amalfi coast www.hoteldeicongressi.it • HOTEL DE LA VILLE located in the mountains of Avellino www.hoteldeicongressi.it

Total Cost $2,000 for double occupancy $2,200 for single occupancy Registration due immediately $200

https://www.everbutton.com/pay/4834

VENMO & ZELLE also accepted. Plus hotel deposit to be confirmed. (30%) by April 10

The Cost Includes: Special Workshops, 2 meals a day, Local Transportation, Bus pick up & drop off at airport of Naples

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Alessandra Belloni - Singer, percussionist, dancer, teacher, author

ALESSANDRA BELLONI

Singer, Percussionist,
Dancer, Actress

Tel: (646) 322-4637 - ABelloni@aol.com

Alessandra Belloni is the Artistic Director, Founder and Lead Performer of "I GIULLARI DI PIAZZA", an Italian Music, Theatre and Dance Ensemble who  is Artists-in-Residence at the Cathedral of St.John the Divine in New York City.  She is also the designer of a line of signature series Italian tambourines made by Remo. She is the only woman in the U.S. and in Italy who specializes in traditional Southern Italian folk dances and percussion combined with singing that she learned in Southern Italy.

    An award winning tambourine virtuoso, singer, dancer and actress, Ms.Belloni was born in Rome, Italy and is committed to preserving the strong and rich traditions of her culture. Author of the book ‘HEALING JOURNEYS WITH THE BLACK MADONNA” published by Inner Traditions- Bear & Company. With foreword by best selling author Matthew Fox.   

Recently knighted as Dame of Honor by the Orthodox Order of the Knights of St John.

Collaborated as consultant on the Broadway show ‘THE ROSE TATTOO’ with award winning actress Marisa Tomei in the fall 2019. 

For the last 19 years she has been holding her special dance & drumming workshop in Tuscany RHYTHM IS THE CURE, with students that come from all over the world.  Recepient of the Folk Arts Master Grant from the New York State Council on the Arts 2016 & 2018.

Her work as teacher and healer brought her to be featured on CUNY TV with her workshop RHYTHM IS THE CURE, and  main feature of the Russian TV Travel Channel The Dancing Planet,  a documentary film about her as artist and healer by Manex Ibar. her TV appearance include: ABC TV live in Chicago, National Geographic documentary SPIDER SEX  on the Tarantella, WORLD BEAT on CNN, , GLOBO BRAZILIAN TV,  RAI UNO MATTINA,
Also featured on the PBS documentary, "LA FESTA"

with The Voyage of the Black Madonna. She leads healing drum circle at UNITED HEBREW Nursing Home since 2011.

 She has spent many years also participating in authentic drumming festivals in remote areas of Southern Italy, held as rituals of purification in honor of the Black Madonna.. She has performed extensively with master drummer Glen Velez (her first tambourine student) and was invited by Nana Vasconcellos and Gilberto Gil to perform in PERC PAN '98 in Bahia, Brazil.  Voted one of the best female percussionists in the world by Drum Magazine, featured in Modern Drummer magazine and has written articles for Percussive Notes.      Her CD’s "Tarantelle & Canti D’amore" released by Naxos of America on 2003 has been considered the second best percussion CD of the year by DRUM Magazine and has received many favorable reviews from major press.
     The CD "Tarantata: The Dance of Ancient Spider" (on the Soundstrue label) released in 2000, has received a wide critical acclaim and distribution. It was also nominated one of the best CDs of the year (2002) by Jon Parales from the New York Times and Dan Hackman from the Los Angeles Times, and won the Best World Percussion CD of the Year by DRUM Magazine.
      Alessandra Belloni created a new World Music Sound with her group, using electronic music combined with acoustic, in her new show TARANTELLA SPIDER DANCE, with electric violin master Joe Deninzon . This show has been bound for an off-Broadway run, always presented to sold out audiences. Spider dance was recently presented with great audience and press success at the prestigious RED CAT THEATRE AT Disney Center in Los Angles, with CAL ARTS.  She has recently founded a Women’s percussion ensemble called DAUGHTERS OF CYBELE . She tours the world  her one woman show "Rhythm is the Cure" ,  With her ensemble from New York she tours across the U.S. and abroad, performing and teaching workshops in various Festivals and halls –

 

 In New York:

LINCOLN CENTER, CARNEGIE HALL, SYMPHONY SPACE, ST. JOHN THE DIVINE, RIVERSIDE THEATRE JOE’S PUB ,THEATRE FOR THE NEW CITY Juilliard, Madison Square Garden, Carnegie Recital Hall, Alice Tully Hall, NYC Ballet

Percussion Festivals

PATAGONIA PERCUSSION FESTIVAL ARGENTINA

KOREA PERCUSSION FESTIVAL
BERKLEE  PERCUSSION FESTIVAL
, Boston

CROSS DRUMMING (Warsaw, Poland), PERC PAN, (Salvador,  Bahia, Brazil, )

KOSA PERCUSSION FESTIVAL (Vermont)

SEATTLE WORLD PERCUSSION FESTIVAL

CAPE BRETON DRUM FESTIVAL (Canada)

PERC FEST and PAS , Italy
JOURNE DE LA PERCUSSION, Paris, France

RHTYHM STICKS, (Royal Festival Hall, London)

PASIC 1996, 97,  2000 (Dallas), 2003/2010/2013
DRUMMING AT THE PYRAMIDS ( Egypt),  Oberlin Athens, (Ohio ) University of Buffalo, Fredonia (NY) Conservatory of Milan (Italy) , Royal Marine School of Music (England), NYU Percussion Conservatory, CAL ARTS, University of Hawaii, Wisdom University

 

WORLD MUSIC FESTIVALS:

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA, DUBROVNICK, CROATIA, RED CAT THEATRE in Los Angeles WOMAD (Seattle and Sicily), NEW ORLEANS JAZZ FESTIVAL , CHICAGO FESTIVAL LOTUS , Indiana, RHYTHM STICKS, Royal Festival Hall (London)  MONTREAL MUSIC FESTIVAL, Canada,

ACOUSTICA FESTIVAL, (Sidney, Australia)
Getty Center, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Sacred Music Festival, Glastonbury Goddess Festival, England, Cultural Center in Tel Aviv (Israel)

IN ITALY:
ROME: PALLADIUM , QUIRINO AND ARGENTINA THEATRES, VENICE
(Musica Venezia), Conservatory of Venice, LERICI, SORRENTO JAZZ, TARANTELLA POWER . WOMAD, Palermo

IN BRAZIL :  REC BEAT, Recife, PERC PAN, Bahia, Sau Paulo Teatro Oficina, Maranhao, Belo Horizonte


       Alessandra Belloni has studied acting at H.B. Studios, voice with Professor Michael Warren, and mime and Commedia dell'Arte with Dario Fo (winner of the 1997 Nobel Prize for Literature) at New York University. She has worked in both theatre and film in New York - "Next Stop the Greenwich Village" by Paul Mazursky - and in Italy with Anna Magnani in "La Lupa" and Federico Fellini in "Casanova". Ms. Belloni founded "I GIULLARI DI PIAZZA" - a company performing traditional Italian Folk Music and Theatre – with classical guitarist/composer John La Barbera in 1979 and was Artist-in-Residence at New York University for ten years. Fluent in Italian, English, Spanish, French and Portuguese plus Southern Italian dialects, Alessandra Belloni also speaks through her tambourine and drums.
.For her achievements in music and theatre, she won the following  awards: achievement in performing arts by Association of Italian American Educators, from the ITALIAN ORAL HISTORY INSTITUTE IN Los Angeles, Fall 2005, Award for Italian American Woman of the Year in 1996 and the Community Arts Project Award from Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts as well as the Sons of Liberty "Citation of Honor" award in 2001. residency with the Women Studies program at SUNY Fredonia. 

Recordings:

HEALING JOURNEYS WITH THE BLACK MADONNA 2019 Inner Traditions

LA CANTATA DEI PASTORI -Christmas CD 2015

TARANTELLA SPIDER DANCE 2009

DAUGHTER OF THE DRUM –REMO, INC. 2007
TARANTELLE E CANTI D’AMORE – 2003
Naxos World
TARANTATA: THE DANCE OF ANCIENT SPIDER – Sounds True - MOTHER EARTH LULLABIES  - Ellipsis
EARTH, SUN AND MOON - Lyrichord 1995
DIVINE DIVAS - Rounder Compilation 1997
GLOBAL CELEBRATIONS - Ellipsis Arts 1993
DEA FORTUNA - Shanachie 1989
SULILLO MIO - Shanachie 1985

She is the Company’s director, writer,
and lead performer of the Folk Operas:"

TARANTELLA SPIDER DANCE - The Dance of the

 

Ancient Spider"premiered at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, VOICES OF THE TARANTATE, NYC
"Stabat Mater: Donna de Paradiso"
(Cathedral of St. John the Divine)
"The Voyage of the Black Madonna"
(Cathedral of St. John the Divine)
"1492-1992: Earth, Sun and Moon"
 Lincoln Center out of Doors Festival 1992
"La Cantata dei Pastori" (Caramoor , St. John the Divine, Smithsonian and others)
"La Lupa"  (St. Mark’s Church, YALE, and others)
"The Adventures of Don Giovanni & His Servant Pulcinella" (Carnegie Hall and others)

Jon Pareles of the New York Times wrote:
"Invocations and work songs, exorcisms and lullabies shared the program of RHTHM IS THE CURE in the Chapel of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.... Driven by tambourine patterns so fast that the drummer’s hands became blurs. Ms. Belloni sang in an exultant voice. The songs blazed with an age-old momentum" .
Dan Hackman – Los Angeles Time:
Alessandra Belloni and Tarantata  Dance of the Ancient Spider is a revelation, utterly fascinating..”

 

Drum Magazine:

 

Italian-born virtuoso Alessandra Belloni is established as a unique phenomenon, not just a percussionist,  she is an actress, lecturer, entertainer, a healer,  above all archetype….

 

Ric Mattinly- Modern Drummer:

 

With her left hand she uses a variety of techniques to produce a wide range of timbers, incorporating thumb strokes, finger strokes, slaps.