Upcoming Events

7th ANNUAL VOYAGE OF THE BLACK MADONNA IN SOUTHERN ITALY

 —  —

Italy - Various Locations

I AM PROUD TO SHARE THAT REGISTRATIONS ARE NOW OPEN for the 7th Pilgrimage to the Black Madonna this summer in Southern Italy! Following in the footsteps of the journey I wrote about in my new book that was released in the spring 2019. This tour is a journey to seven sacred sites of the Black Madonna, known in the Italian folk tradition as "the Seven Sisters." They are all connected to seven Goddesses that are part of the ancient worship of Mother Earth and the Moon Goddesses, and the archetype of the African Mother.

I will take people on the same journey as I have done for over 30 years as a devotion to the Black Madonna, and which inspired me to write the book HEALING JOURNEYS WITH THE BLACK MADONNA, recently published by Inner Traditions-Bear and Company. I am happy to share this very personal journey with you, one which will transform your life!

We will explore these sacred sites of the Madonnas and discover their connections to other Great Goddesses. The mysteries of the Black Madonna can be traced to pre-Christian times, specifically to the ancient practices of devotion to Isis, the Earth Goddess, and the African Mother - to the era when God was a woman, and she was black. It will be revealed that the sacred sites of the Black Madonna are still revered in Italy today, and the shamanic healing traditions of the Black Madonna are still alive today - just as powerful as they were millennia ago. The tour also features writer, archaeologist and Egyptologist Armando Mei as our guide in Pompeii and Torre Annunziata.

Every day of this tour has always been magical indeed over the past years, with people showing up to meet us by surprise - musicians, writers, even people I had not seen in ages! I realized that nothing was a coincidence - everything must have been planned by the GREAT MOTHER!

JOIN ME FOR THE BLACK MADONNA TOUR 2021

Itinerary: Arrival August 4th at Rome's airport to go to Castellammare di Stabia, near Naples. We will visit the following places and Black Madonnas:

August 5th Black Madonna della Neve, Torre Annunziata spectacular feast along the sea near Sorrento/Pompei on the Amalfi Coast. In the late afternoon we will watch the re-enactment of the fisherman fishing the Black Madonna found in a large cage in the sea. It is spectacular and very moving as she is connected to the Goddess Aphrodite. We will also do a ritual chant on the beach at sunset, a Medieval prayer to the Black Madonna.

August 6th Visit to Black Madonna of Positano, also by the Sea, a beautiful Byzantine Icon, also connected to Aphrodite. Positano is one of the most beautiful towns of the Amalfi coast, and we will spend the day there. As last year I will lead a beautiful ritual of purification in the sea, with white flowers, drumming and chants, all dressed in white and blue we will honor the Madonna del Mare, Aphrodite/Yemanja in the Afro- Brazilian tradition.

August 7th A visit to Pompeii -Led by writer/archeologist Armando Mei. The Temple of Isis is a testament to Egyptian influence over Roman religion. In Pompeii is preserved one of the most important temples dedicated to the Goddess Isis, in south Italy. Armando will focus on the connections between the origins of the Great Mother Culture and its evolution along the millennium. A travel through Ancient Sumerians and Egyptians Myths, among the ruins of the most famous ancient town of POMPEII.

Night of August 7th We will meet the well-known tammorra maker Raffaele Inserra from Gragnano and the young one Gianfranco, for a great feast at the great restaurant il Vigneto where we will play and dance, and people will have a chance to learn the authentic tammorriata, a very sensual and erotic dance done with castanets to the large drum called Tammorra, playing a powerful 4/4 rhythm.

August 8th We leave for the Black Madonna of Montevergine, also known as Mamma Schiavona (Serving Mother) a spectacular sacred Mountain near Avellino - (in the beautiful mountain region called Irpinia). This is the most important of the seven sisters, an ancient site and temple of the goddess Cybele, Black Mother Earth Goddess from Anatolia. We will go the famous throne (a special rock in the mountains called Seggia della Madonna) where healing miracles happen, where last year many people had a very powerful mystical experience. Up in the sanctuary we will play the tammorriata and sing for her. We will also enjoy the great local food and wine, as we rest in the restaurant up the mountain.

This region is called Irpinia and we will visit several powerful sites here:

August 9th Black Madonna in Moiano, near Benevento The powerful, beautiful MADONNA DELLA LIBERA, the one I am most devoted to and have personally received a miracle from. She is the most magical! This is also an ancient site of worship to the Goddess Isis. Last year I had an incredible break down and felt reborn after asking her to free me from sad moments of the past. Many people had the same experience! In the chapel we will also chant her traditional songs, that I learned from the old women of the town during the procession.

August 10 LA MADONNA NERA INCORONATA DI FOGGIA (Puglia, land of the tarantella!) We will travel to the famous Tavoliere delle Puglie, a beautiful landscape of agricultural land, to the Sanctuary of this mysterious Madonna Nera with the GOLD CROWN who appeared in the year 1001 in a very magical way. While shepherds were working in the field 2 bulls ran away to a tree and knelt down, as lightning and fire appeared for a long time. Suddenly a voice was heard saying I AM MARY MOTHER OF GOD! And I want my temple built here! And the beautiful statue of the Madonna Nera appeared right in the tree. And she made many miracles, including with a special anointing oil that always burns at her image and never goes out.

August 11 LEAVE FOR CALABRIA!! My favorite land! We will stay in the beautiful town of Tropea, in a hotel with great food and a breathtaking view of the beach and active volcano STROMBOLI! There we will finally have a couple of days of rest on the beach, swimming in the turquoise sea very similar to Hawaii. In Calabria we will meet and feast with my good friend and tarantella teacher Vittorio de Paola and have dinner and party in his beautiful restaurant on top of the mountain with a great view of the sea. This one of the highlights of the tour!

August 13 We will honor the Black Madonna del Tindari This is a magical place, where the Madonna del Tindares (Ethiopian name) was found in cave under the mountain, which we will visit, by enchanted lakes of salt water, and a beautiful turquoise sea, where we will do a purification ritual. The Madonna looks like an African totem and is inside the church on top of the mountain, with the inscription Nigra Sum Sed Formosa (I am Black and Beautiful). Next to the church we will visit the archeological site that has the temples of Demeter and Cybele and drum as we watch the most spectacular sunset over the sea.

August 14 We will go to the feast of the Black Madonna di Seminara, Madonna dei Poveri, celebrated with a wild drumming ritual, reenacting an ancient fertility rite, and giant Puppets that dance to the fast 6/8 rhythm of the tarantella (Giganti). Last year everyone was enchanted by the powerful rhythms of African origins, and seeing the giant puppets of the African King Courting the Italian Queen, thus bringing together these two cultures.

August 15 on the Day of the Assumption, the feast day of the Madonna, we will follow a beautiful procession of the Madonna of the Sea on a boat along the stunning coast of Tropea.

August 16 Morning departure for Rome's airport or Station from La Mezia, Calabria.

A great feature of this tour is the local folk traditions, the music of the tarantella the dancing, and the fantastic food, all fresh prepared according to the regional traditions, and the most amazing wine!! As we enter the favored land of Dionysus, god of Ecstasy and Wine! I am also blessed to bring my old friend and teacher of tamburello, tammorra maker Raffaele Inserra from Gragnano. We will spend an unforgettable night with him as we dance, drum, eat, and drink fantastic wine from Gragnano - some of the best in the world!

The cost of the tour is $2,900. Additional cost for a single room - $400 This does not include airfare and lunch as we will be moving around during the days. but includes: 1) Hotel accommodations, double occupancy, 4 star hotels, 2) Breakfast and wonderful dinners in very good restaurants and hotels 3) Tour bus 4) Ferry boat back and forth to Sicily 5) My work as the guide to the pilgrimages with some lectures on site, leading drumming ceremonies, chants and rituals in appropriate locations. Please note registration fee of $150 is needed upon sign-up to ensure your participation and to have the tour operator secure the hotels. The tour deposit is due by April 15 and the remaining of the total amount due June 30

PAYMENT SCHEDULE - CLICK THE LINKS TO PAY ONLINE!

Due Upon Registration - $150 Registration Fee (Non Refundable) Tour Registration $150

Due March 15 - $700 Tour Deposit Tour Deposit $700

Due June 30 - $2,000 Final Payment $2,000

You can also pay by check made out to Alessandra Belloni. Mail to: Alessandra Belloni 1111 River Road Apt G33 Edgewater NJ 07020

Rhythm is the Cure in SICILY!

 —  —

Sicily

"RHYTHM IS THE CURE" 1st Annual Healing Dance & Percussion Workshop in Sicily from August 17th to 24th, 2021 in a luxury country house in the mystical hills of Sicily near the Black Madonna del Tindari (Messina)!

Alessandra Belloni has traveled to the beautiful island of Sicily for over 30 years doing extensive research on the history and esoteric traditions of this island including the connection to the Black Madonna of Tindari, with the Goddesses Demeter and Cybele and their connections to Sicilian folk music, drumming and dance traditions. See chapter 7 of her book 'HEALING JOURNEYS WITH THE BLACK MADONNA".

INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTS: CATANIA & PALERMO (YOU MUST BE VACCINATED TO TRAVEL FROM THE USA TO ITALY!)

LOCATION: a luxury new resort overlooking the sea and with an infinity pool and SPA & WELLNESS CENTER!

LOCATION https://www.borgoabacena.it

In the green heart of the charming a unique place where hospitality is combined with culture, art, and the history of one of the most beautiful locations of Sicily: The Sanctuary of the Black Madonna of Tindari, the turquoise sea, and the Peloritans Mountains. The tourist structure, newly built, is characterized by a harmonious fusion of traditional places, simplicity and refinement with every kind of comfort. The Resort has 15 rooms suitable for special groups, a wonderful room for dancing and infinite pool with a great view where we will drum in the morning and a restaurant and bar where we will have 3 delicious meals a day.

Our flagship is the restaurant made of local food and wine excellences. Completing the experience is a SPA with an attached wellness center with body treatments, sauna, and jacuzzi, a panoramic terrace, indoor parking, free wi-fi. The hill is near the sea, among olive trees and vineyards. The Country Resort Borgo Abacena offers large comfortable quiet rooms, with private entrance and bathrooms, air conditioning, TV, frigobar.

ABOUT THE WORKSHOP Rhythm is the Cure is a 7-day intensive healing workshop featuring Southern Italian ritual dances used as music and dance therapy for centuries throughout the Mediterranean. Participants will learn the unique style of tambourine playing and the ancient healing trance dance of the tarantella, used to cure the mythical bite of the tarantula. This workshop focuses on releasing blockages of energies and breaking the imaginary "spiderweb" of the subconscious mind. Through this work, Alessandra has helped transform many people's lives through the years.

SPECIAL FEATURE THIS YEAR: Authentic Tarantella SICILIANA and folk music, dance, and Tamburello tought by local folk musicians: FEDERICO CHIOFALO, SEBASTIANO PIETRINI, SANTO SCORDINO, from the local folk music group SUDCANTICA.

Also featuring Tamburello workshop with Alessandra Belloni in collaboration with the group SUDANTICA. We will explain the histories of folk music including history and traditions of Calabria .

$750 with special early Bird discount of $100 if you register now by June 30.

About the new location: This special healing workshop will take place in the magical land of Sicily, near the ancient sanctuary of the Black Madonna of Tindari. the mystics, and healers. In a new location surrounded by beautiful rich forests in the famous national park of Sierra San Bruno, a mystical land, also famous for its Monestary and its healers. Feeling the power of the Earth and ancient trees all around us.

Excursions: We will visit the SANCTUARY OF LA MADONNA DEL TINDARI, and the lakes of Marinello, on the beach. This is a magical place, where the Madonna del Tindares (Ethiopian name) was found in a cave under the mountain, which we will visit, by enchanted lakes of saltwater, and a wonderful turquoise sea, where we will do a purification ritual. The Madonna looks like an African Totem and is inside the church on top of the mountain, with the inscription Nigra Sum Sed Formosa (I am Black and Beautiful). Next to the church, we will visit the archeological site that has the temples of Demeter and Cybele and drum as we watch the most spectacular sunset over the sea . Alessandra will lead her participants in ritual drumming and sacred chants in honor of the Madonna on the beach. On the last day we will end our journey on the spectacular beach of TINDARI with a fore ceremony and drumming ceremony, big celebration, and authentic Tarantella dances.

The objectives of the workshop are: --To introduce the participants to an ancient form of music and dance therapy used to cure the mythical bite of the tarantula and to come to understand the healing and stress-relieving effect of these rhythms and dances. --To learn the history of this powerful tambourine style, originally done mainly by women, which dates back to the rites of the Mother Earth Goddess Cybele, now worshiped as the Black Madonna bringing women back in touch with their drumming tradition. --To make the participants feel part of community-healing rituals as they use their bodies in movements that help open the energy points and stay grounded. --To release blockages of emotional and sensual energies through the Pizzica dance of liberation, therefore expelling any feelings of depression and repression.

Students will learn the following ritual dances and rhythms: TAMMORRIATA - This is a beautiful, sensual dance from Naples danced with castanets to the rhythm of the large drum, called Tammorra. The movements and rhythm are set to an African beat played in 4/4 time. This powerful dance is done during the rituals held in the summer in honor of the black Madonna, originally ancient rites for the Earth Goddess Cybele.

THE PIZZICA TARANTATA - The wild 6/8 rhythm of the Pizzica, played on medium size tambourines that produced a trance-like state beneficial for healing many mental-health disorders and imbalances. Alessandra will lead the participants in a circle dance where they'll create "spider-like" movements on the ground, releasing stress and blockages of sexual energy, as well as traumas and blocked emotions.

RITMO E DANZA DI SAN ROCCO (SPINNING DANCE) - This dance, originating in Calabria during the Middle Ages. It was danced during the time of the plague to help people release the overpowering fear of death. Due to the trance-inducing movements and incessant spinning, many people enter ecstatic states during this dance, similar to the Whirling Dervish ceremonies.

TARANTELLA CALABRESE – taught by Vittorio de Paola and Anna Maria Pugliese Alessandra ends the sessions ends using the ocean drum creating the sound of waves in a final relaxation invoking the healing power of the water. Using also ancient chants used as an invocation to the healing energy of the sun, the Black Madonna and the Goddess of Water and Love (Yemanja/Madonna del Mare).

FOR HER BOOK SEE : https://www.amazon.com/Healing-Journeys-Black-Madonna-Practices/dp/1591433428/ https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/healing-journeys-with-the-black-madonna-alessandra-belloni/1129099210

~PARTICIPANTS ARE REQUIRED TO WEAR WHITE AND/OR RED, AND WOMEN ARE ENCOURAGED TO WEAR SKIRTS~

Cost of the workshop will be: $ 750.00 Register today! PRICES A $150 non-refundable fee is to be paid upon registration. The fee for the workshops is $750 $ 100 discount if you register by June 30. (which includes all classes but excludes accommodations and meals)

PAYMENT SCHEDULE: Due upon registration: $150 Registration Fee (Non Refundable) YOU CAN USE VENMO OR ZELLE https://www.everbutton.com/pay/4833 or https://www.everbutton.com/pay/11323 https://www.everbutton.com/pay/4832 Workshop Tuition: $600 due July 15 https://www.everbutton.com/pay/4832

COSTS OF THE ACCOMMODATIONS INCLUDING 3 MEALS A DAY: Housing options euro 470 for triple room euro 525 for double room euro 700 for single room plus local transportation: Euro 70 PER PERSON FOR AIRPORT PICK AND DROP OFF (group of 10 from CATANIA) 40 euro per person for excursion too BLACK MADONNA DEL TINDARI (group of 10) 40 euro per person optional for excursion to the MEGALIGHTS OF ARGIMUSCO The fee does not include airfare . Please check ASAP TICKETS AT randal.s@asaptickets.com. for very good deals!

PLEASE REGISTER EARLY - Workshop is limited to 20 students

Payment may be made by check, credit card or VENMO Checks or money orders must be made payable to Alessandra Belloni Contact us at: ABelloni@aol.com or alessandrabelloni@gmail.com PLEASE REGISTER EARLY - Workshop is limited to 22 students

Join My Mailing List

Enter your email address

Rhythm is the Cure Workshop

"RHYTHM IS THE CURE" 
HEALING DRUMMING AND DANCE RETREAT 
 SICILY, ITALY 
 
AUGUST 17 to the 24th, 2021
Learn more HERE 
_______________________________________

Connect with Alessandra!

Connect with I Giullari!

Alessandra Belloni & I Giullari di PIazza

present

 A World Peace Celebration

 

'DRUMS OF ILLUMINATION'

     Southern Italian, & Native American Ritual Drumming and Dance

Special Guests:  the SilverCloud Native American Singers & Dancers

 In "Drums of Illumination" Alessandra Belloni unites two great cultures: the powerful Native American, and the passionate Southern Italian, for a journey back in time into a world of ritual drumming, voice and trance dances.

 

Link to Drums of Illumination Sample Video http://youtu.be/ekDfEYvluDw

 

from reviews of "Drums of Illumination")

"Alessandra Belloni, before each song, outlined the tradition in each culture. Her intense love of each form supported the entire event. And what could be more appropriate for an evening of connection and community than to end with an invitation to the audience to dance?...... We all linked hands and made our way to the stage to share in joyous movement and music."

 

Internationally renowned singer/dancer/percussionist Alessandra Belloni and I Giullari di Piazza present "Drums of Illumination," a program of ritual drumming, trance dances, and chants representing two great cultural traditions: Southern Italian and Native American,  Belloni and I Giullari will be joined by the SilverCloud Native American Singers and Dancers, completing a remarkable group of percussionists, vocalists and dancers, all specializing in healing and ritual music and dance.  
The happy and successful relationship between Belloni and I Giullari and Muriel and Kevin Tarrant goes back to 1992, when they worked together in the I Giullari production of "Earth, Sun and Moon," a spectacular show that was commissioned by Lincoln Center and received both critical and audience acclaim.

 

Artistic Director Alessandra Belloni notes that one of the purposes of "Drums of Illumination" is "to bring in to LIGHT  the similarity between the two ancient traditions in Southern Italy and  Native Amrerican cultures, invoking World Peace by showing that we are all one, adding that "the pow wow drum, the Italian tambourine, and the drum set - all will send good vibrations into the air as a collective ritual of purification."      

 

The evening will feature Tarantellas from Southern Italy, including the authentic Pizzica Tarantata; healing trance dance from Puglia used to cure the bite of the tarantula (the myth that dates back to the ancient Greek rites of Dyonisus), healing chants and drumming in honor of the Black Madonna and the Goddess of Love and the Sea; Native American ritual singing and drumming, love songs, warrior dances, the amazing Indian hoop dance, by Josephine Tarrant. 

Featured performers are:

Alessandra Belloni - artistic director, voice, percussion, ritual dance.   Her instruments include Southern Italian-   tambourines, frame drums, ocean drum, Bodhran, shakers

Peter Abazia drumset

Joe Deninzon violin

Francesca Silvano & Peter de Geronimo -ritual dancer

SilverCloud Singers - Kevin Tarrant, director, lead vocals, pow wow drum

Murielle Borst  - vocals, drums

Josephine Tarrant - vocals

Artistic Director Alessandra Belloni has gathered a remarkable group of percussionist/vocalists/dancers for

 Outfitted with an extensive complement of exotic percussion instruments, and both Remo Artists, tambourine virtuoso Alessandra Belloni and drummer Sergio Bellotti (drum teacher at Berklee School of Music in Boston), both from Southern Italy, have enjoyed a long collaboration celebrating and exploring the rhythmic similarities between Southern Italian and other cultures by blending various percussion instruments. With music both ancient and new, Belloni and Bellotti create a bridge between ancient rituals and modern rhythms into a vibrant musical tapestry.

 

Murielle Borst, Artistic Director of The SilverCloud Singers and Dancers, also distinguished herself in her one-woman show "More Than Feathers and Beads," which was nominated for a Rockefeller grant and selected to participate in the Global Indigenous Theater Festival in Sydney Australia, as well as several venues in NYC.   She has completed six books in her fantasy series, "The Star Song Carriers."   Borst and Belloni, "soul sisters" who share the same energy and spiritual beliefs, first collaborated in 1992 on I Giullari di Piazza's "Earth, Sun and Moon," commissioned by Lincoln Center and performed for years in NYC and on tour.  

 

The SilverCloud Singers and Dancers is an intertribal Native American troup weaving  the traditional with the contemporary Native American song and dance.   Founded in 1991, the company is named in tribute to Josephine Mofsie Tarrant, mother of the founding directors.   The singers come from many tribes, and many parts of the U.S. and Canada.   They have appeared in numerous Pow-Wows across the continent as well as in tours to Europe.

www.amerinda.org/talkingstick/4-1/silvercloud.html