Upcoming Events

Carnival of the Muses

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I am taking my place in the Big Top at the CARNIVAL OF THE MUSES along with eleven other: visionaries, poets, artists, dancers, singers, comedians and creative curiosities from all over the world! We are calling in the NINE MUSES of Classical Greece and celebrating their influence in the world. It is a ten day celebration of creative daring and collective acts of inspired healing, where we can all connect to divine inspiration, embody pure creativity and reveal our unique genius.

Get your FREE ticket here: https://carnivalofthemuses.com/AlessandraBelloni

Summit Starts October 29th-Nov.7th all presentations are available for 48 hours.

Rhythm Is The Cure @ PASIC Convention Sponsored by REMO- Italian Frame Drums & Tambourine Master Class/Workshop

Attend a Master Class with Award winner percussionist/singer/teacher/author Alessandra Belloni. Alessandra is renowned worldwide performing & teaching at international percussion festivals, theaters, universities. She is a REMO artist, with her signature series Italian tambourines; author of the book & DVD “Rhythm is the Cure,” with Mel Bay & of HEALING JOURNEYS WITH THE BLACK MADONNA by Inner Traditions, rated 5 stars & best seller on Amazon. Belloni is Artistic Director/Lead Performer of I Giullari di Piazza, Italian Folk Music & Dance Company Artist in Residence at the Cathedral of St John the Divine. The only female artist in the world who specializes in Southern Italian tambourines combined with singing & dance, selected as one of the best percussionists in the world by DRUM! Magazine, won the Master Folk Artist grants from the New York State Council on the Arts. Acclaimed in the NY & L.A. Times, toured to festivals in England, Brazil, Poland, France, Italy, Australia

What is PASIC? Join PAS November 10 – 13, 2021 for one of the largest drum and percussion events in the world – the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC)! Featuring concerts, clinics, panels and presentations given by the finest artists from all over the world, PASIC 2021 will showcase all areas of percussion — drum set, marching, keyboard, symphonic, world, recreational, education, music technology, new music, and health & wellness.

Voyage of the Black Madonna for Italian Month in Calabria!

Join Alessandra Belloni - renowned singer, percussionist, teacher, author for THE VOYAGE OF THE BLACK MADONNA VIRTUAL PILGRIMAGE TO THE SACRED SITES OF THE BLACK MADONNA IN SOUTHERN ITALY Celebrate Italian Heritage Month in Calabria with this Virtual Pilgrimage & tarantella calabrese! Thursday October 21 - 6:30 PM EST to 8:30 pm EPSIODE 6 - 2 parts: Honoring The Black Madonna di Romania from Tropea & La Madonna dei Poveri (Seminara) Calabria Following the story of Alessandra's new book, "Healing Journeys with the Black Madonna" (Inner Traditions - Bear and Co., 2019) THE CENTER FOR THE BLACK MADONNA’S first offering: “The Voyage of the Black Madonna Virtual Pilgrimage to the Sacred Sites of the Black Madonna in Southern Italy.” Link will be sent after you register at: https://thecenterfortheblackmadonna.teachable.com/.../vir... As online course through TEACHABLE https://thecenterfortheblackmadonna.teachable.com/ email ABelloni@aol.com ENROLLMENT IS STILL OPEN for special & unique online course THE VOYAGE OF THE BLACK MADONNA, virtual Pilgrimage to the Black Madonna in Southern Italy - now you can travel virtually and visit HER powerful shrines, 8 EPISODES for a total of 3 HOURS narrated by me, plus songs & lectures. Featuring footage filmed on location from 1991 to 2019, following the journey described in my book HEALING JOURNEYS WITH THE BLACK MADONNA, published by Inner Traditions - Bear & Company - - and our Opera, premiered at the Cathedral of St John the Divine, with music by composer and guitarist John La Barbera. We now have 70 students! I hope you will register for the next live session on October 21 Featuring EPISODE 6 part 1 & 2 Honoring CALABRIA! The Black Madonna of Romania from Tropea and Our Lady of the Poor from Seminara and authentic tarantella Calabrese filmed in Calabria and live! vand live music from the opera with composer and guitarist John La Barbera and Gypsy Joe on the accordion. We will end with a Q&A! You can keep this online series, Click on the link below to register & for more information email ABelloni@aol.com Cost of single session : $ 50 https://www.everbutton.com/pay/6349 THURSDAY OCTOBER 21 at 6:30pm EST An immersive journey into the musical & healing traditions of Southern Italy & the Black Madonnas Inspired by the Opera THE VOYAGE OF THE BLACK MADONNA with music by John la Barbera Episode 6 PART 1 Madonna di Romania | Tropea (Calabria) We arrive at the medieval town of Tropea at sunset, as the light settles into the volcano Stromboli. Stromboli is one of the seven Aeolian Islands of Sicily, also known as the Seven Sisters – just like the Black Madonnas. Alessandra has been visiting Tropea since 1980 when she and John LaBarbera came to learn the cultura e music populare, studying, eventually, with master folk musician Vittorio de Paola. You will see Vittorio playing the Tarantella Infuocata – the fiery tarantella—on an organetto – a button accordion. This 6/8 rhythm is part of the healing tradition of tarantellas that helps people break free from depression and sadness. You’re invited to get up, dance, and spin to this hypnotic tarantella as Alessandra plays tambourine to this traditional tarantella with her mentor. Tropea, which translates to “trophy,” was once part of Magna Grecia, although the town itself pre-dates the Greek colony. The small cobblestone streets wind their way down to the sea, where, legend has it, the Byzantine icon of the Black Madonna di Romania was found. La Madonna di Romania, whose icon dates to 1330, is responsible for many miracles in this small village which are celebrated with a powerful procession on her feast day on September 8th. in 1638, warning him of a major earthquake and saved Tropea as they carried her icon through the streets. During the Middle Ages she also protected the town from the plague. As our visit draws to a close, consider getting up from your seat to dance to the fiery, haunting rhythms of the tarantella that Alessandra performs with local musicians from the group OFFICINA KALABRA and dancer Anna Maria Pugliese. EPISODE 6 PART 2- Madonna dei Poveri | Seminara (Calabria) We will dance our way from Tropea to Seminara to the powerful drumming ritual and procession in Honor of LA MADONNA DEI POVERI, Our Lady of the Poor celebrated on August 14th continuing a tradition very popular in the Middle Ages as exorcism against the plague. on August 14th, for the feast of the Madonna dei Poveri. We gather in procession to the sound of snare drums led by Tonnino, the capo banda of the drummers. These drummers play complicated 6/8 tarantellas using drum sticks playing incredibly fast with a driving bass line underneath. In the first ritual, larger than life puppets known as i Giganti reenact the ancient fertility ritual that happens when the Italian Queen Mata and the African King Grifone meet. The puppets are dressed in regal splendor and, in a ritual tarantella dance that pre-dates the Middle Ages, they reenact a ritual courtship that results in a kiss symbolizing the unification of the African and Southern Italian cultures. We hear it in the collision of snare drums and tarantella, in the bass drum that echoes the heartbeat of the earth. Variations of this ritual can be found in Sicily, Malta, Spain, and even Brazil. In the second ritual of devotion a man dressed in white and blue carrying a palio -- a large flag -- erotically between his legs, the pole tied to his arm so that he can perform his circular dance. As the 6/8 drum plays and the crowds cheer, he careens against and into the earth, spinning and dropping to his knees in an ancient fertility rite. When we arrive at the church we find a large haunting statue. Carved of dark brown wood the color of the Earth itself, La Madonna dei Poveri her presence is overwhelming. She is dressed simply in an ancient tunic, wearing beautiful silver jewelry with her son on Her lap as she sits in an ornate throne that takes a dozen men to carry on procession through the town, followed by her devotees singing eviva Maria! and the palio bearer who dances erotically around the statue of the Madonna, as if he were going to impregnate her with his flag. Like the ritual of i gigante, this ritual ends with a kiss, completing the rite and promising the Earth will continue to nourish us if we continue to nourish her. The Voyage of the Black Madonna promo for a documentary film by Alessandra Belloni https://youtu.be/aE0Kg6A2Yi0

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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 
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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.

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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)