Upcoming Events

Mar7

FESTA DELLA DONNA (Women's Day)

Laurie Beechman Theater, 407 West 42nd Street, New York, NY

LA FESTA DELLA DONNA

Celebrating Italian and Italian American Women in New York. Produced by Vanessa Racci

75 minute show   $25 to  $30 ticket price yet (all patrons subject to $50 food and beverage charge) Location: The Laurie Beechman Theater - Downstairs at the West Bank Cafe (407 West 42nd Street Between 9th and 10th avenues) Performers:

Internationally renowned singer, percussionist  director, author Alessandra Belloni presents: 

 a special performance o: "TARANTATA" -featuring excerpts from the production SPIDER DANCE, South Italian Tarantella trance dances, ritual drumming and healing chants for the Black Madonna,Mara Gerety violin and dancers Francesca Silvano and Greta Campo.with  ALSO FEATURING  Vanessa Racci: Italian Jazz Singer Jenna Esposito: Italian Pop Singer  Regina Decicco: Comedian Maria Dimmino: Comedian

Mar8

Tarantella Workshop

DAYA YOGA, 360 Jefferson Street, New York, NY

  CELEBRATE  WOMEN  INTERNATIONAL DAY  with the healing TRANCE DANCE AND RHYTHMS OF THE TARANTELLA in a workshop taught by  INTERNATIONALLY RENOWNED SINGER, PERCUSSIONIST, DANCER ALESSANDRA BELLONI! AUTHOR OF THE BOOK 'HEALING JOURNEYS WITH THE BLACK MADONNA, published by Inner Traditions - Bear & Co.

SUNDAY MARCH 8  - 8:00pm

Daya Yoga Studio 360 Jefferson St, New York, New York 11237

Early Bird $40 :: Day Of $50

Join us at Daya Yoga Studio for a day of experiencing the healing power of Southern Italian tarantella rhythms and dance with internationally renowned singer, percussionist, and teacher, Alessandra Belloni. We’ll learn the traditional ancient healing trance dance of the tarantella, used to cure the mythical bite of the tarantula, in use for centuries throughout the Mediterranean. We’ll create a community healing ritual as our bodies move in ways that help us to open the energy points and stay grounded.

featuring : THE PIZZICA TARANTATA or Spider Dance– This erotic and dynamic ritual dance originated as a cure for the mythical bite of the Tarantula, a condition causing a mental disease called tarantismo, which afflicted mainly women (tarantate) in Southern Italy. The wild rhythm of the Pizzica, played on medium size tambourines and accompanied by dance was performed as an exorcism ritual which produced a trance-like state beneficial for the healing of many disorders and imbalances. As part of a re-enactment of this healing ritual, Alessandra will lead the participants in a circle dance accompanied by her magic tambourine 6/8 rhythm and singing. During the ritual each student will learn the steps of the Pizzica, which means “ bite,” building up to a culmination where each student will enter the circle and lay down upon a white sheet, surrounded by red ribbons, and emulate "Spider" like movements on the ground, releasing stress and blockages of sexual energy, as well as opening the heart and throat chakras. The dance comes to completion as each participant dances their way out of an imaginary “Spider Web", achieve inner balance and relief of stress while restoring spiritual and physical energy is a major theme of this work.  

We’ll also learn a unique style of traditional Southern Italian tambourine playing, including variations of the basic 6/8 rhythm of the Tarantella. These rhythms and movements represent an unbroken chain of inspiration and expression of sound and dance, dating back to the rites of the Mother Earth Goddess Cybele, and kept alive into the present. We will learn the history of this powerful tambourine style, traditionally done by women. Empowering women to get in touch with their ancient roots.

  MORE INFORMATION Observation on the tarantella. It has been used in Italy and the Mediterranean for centuries to cure people, mainly women, who suffered a form of mental depression known as tarantismo, attributed to the mythical bite of the tarantula. According to what Alessandra observed in her practice and personal experience in teaching healing workshops around the world, “tarantismo” may be defined as depression, suicide mania, hysteria, aggression, and sexual dysfunction resulting from sexual abuse. In modern day music therapy the tarantella rhythm targets especially women who have been abused and suffer from emotional and physical disorders, including cysts, dysplasia, irregular bleeding, and early menopause.

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Rhythm is the Cure Workshop

Rhythm is the Cure is an 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.

The number of participants and length of the workshop can be customized to your needs--one day to 10 days is possible.

Contact Alessandra for more details and to discuss programming Rhythm is the Cure near you!

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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)