Upcoming Events

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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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!

Sunday January 5th at 5 PM (Epiphany Eve in Italy)
Theater for the New City, Johnson Theatre 
155 First Avenue (between 9th & 10th Street)
Tickets: $25 Reservations: 212-254-1109 or www.theaterforthenewcity.com


BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND!

Celebrate the Epiphany, the Coming of the Light, in Southern Italian Style with I Giullari di Piazza's

'LA CANTATA DEI PASTORI' (The Shepherd's Cantata)
Based on the Traditional Southern Italian Play by Andrea Perrucci in the 17th century and still performed annually in the environs of Naples. 


The musical version has been adapted and directed by Alessandra Belloni and enacted by masked commedia dell'arte characters, puppets, devils, and the Archangel Gabriel on stilts. Narrated in English by La Befana - the Good Witch of Christmas; music composed and directed by John La Barbera. 

"A musical play presented by the traditional Italian group I Giullari di Piazza (is) a rarity among Christmas programs; it somehow manages to be both riotously entertaining and curiously haunting, even profound… a vibrant and uproarious performance." --Alex Ross, The New York Times

The music, directed by John La Barbera, is folkish, aiming for vitality above precision and often achieving both. The adaptation, by the troupe's director, Alessandra Belloni, is geared for action rather than quiet piety; in a climactic battle, Miss Belloni as Maria beat a large drum and sang out while the Angel Gabriel took on the dragon. Giuseppe de Falco as Razzullo (and Vincenzo Corrao as the birdlike Sarchiapone) shared slapstick duties. --Jon Pareles, The New York Times

Cast:
Alessandra Belloni - as Mary, mezzo-soprano, percussion
John La Barbera - music director, classical and renaissance folk guitar, mandolin
Giuseppe De Falco - Neapolitan singer/actor as the commedia dell'arte character Razzullo
Max McGuire - La Befana
Mark Mindek - stilt dancer as Archangel Gabriel
Joe Deninzon - violinist as the Devil
Susan Eberenz - flute, piccolo, recorders
Enrico Granafei - as a devil and a fisherman
James Karcher - sword fighter, principle devil
Francesca Silvano - dancer, shepherdess, devil
Peter DiGeronimo - shepherd, devil
Sebastian La Barbera - young devil fiddler and special children's participation as shepherds and angels.

PRESS RELEASE: 

I GIULLARI DI PIAZZA, renowned 33-year old Southern Italian music/theater/dance company, will present their traditional Southern Italian "La Cantata dei Pastori," (The Shepherd's Cantata) a musical holiday delight for people of all ages, Sunday January 5th at 5 PM, at Theater for the New City, 155 First Avenue.

Join La Befana, the Good Witch of Christmas, Mary and Joseph, the Archangel Gabriel, Devils, Demons, and the commedia dell'arte characters who enact this beloved story of the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, and the triumph of good over evil. 

The music - tarantellas, villanellas and pastorales - comes from traditional sources, with original music by John La Barbera. Adaptation and direction are by Alessandra Belloni. Songs are sung in Italian; costuming and music instrumentation is traditional Southern Italian; narration is in English. The play ends with a singing by the Company of the oldest known Neapolitan Christmas song.

The play is set during Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem, during which the Devil has dispatched demons to stop the birth of Jesus. Along the way, the holy couple's escapades are entwined with the hapless commedia dell'arte character called Razzullo, a comic mischievous Neapolitan scribe who is always hungry and looking for something to eat. The demons, in the meanwhile, conjure up tempests, dragons, and do all they can to stop the birth, but all are under the protection of the Archangel Gabriel (played here, in traditional style, by Mark Mindek, well known stilt dancer who has appeared in Metropolitan Opera productions, Disney Films and special events around the world.). The holy couple experiences funny, outrageous, and dangerous adventures before they finally reach Bethlehem and Good triumphs over Evil! 

"La Cantata dei Pastori" is still performed annual during the Christmas season in the environs of Naples. Written by Andrea Perrucci during the height of commedia dell'arte popularity in Italy, it combines commedia characteristics with those of the Italian medieval sacra rappresentazione. These elements are fused in settings which borrow from a third genre, the Italian pastoral drama.

The play's author, Andrea Perrucci, used the pseudonym of Dt. Casimiro Ruggiero Ugone when he wrote "La Cantata dei Pastori." This Sicilian-born but Neapolitan-bred poet and dramatist, who had a reputation in Naples as a stage director, was educated by the Jesuits and received a doctorate in letters.

www.alessandrabelloni.com www.youtube.com/alessandrabelloni
www.facebook.com/alessandrabelloni www.facebook.com/igiullaridipiazza


Alessandra Belloni’s links to TV appearances:
Alessandra Belloni Live Appearance on ABC-TV7 Chicago http://youtu.be/3J9ZlzKLzPw
Alessandra Belloni featured on CNN Worldbeat http://youtu.be/IkOqBrpcB9Q
Alessandra Belloni "Spider Sex documentary " on National Geographic http://youtu.be/vp8dE3jJnq0

" In this age of high tech special effects and over the top theatrics it was refreshing to see a performance reminiscent of traditional Opera Buffa. One gets the feeling of witnessing a show performed the same way it has been for centuries in Campania. The performers' passion and talent, not technology, breathe life into the story to create a wonderful illusion." --Magna Grece (Journal for people of Southern-Italian descent)