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Feb9

NYU Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò Presents: The Black Madonna and the Taranta: Healing Music from Southern Italy

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NYU Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò, 24 W 12th Street, New York, NY

CASA ITALIANA ZERILLI MARIMO - Prof. Stefano Albertini, Director- Invites you to a special series of workshops and lectures (90 minutes each): February 9,11 & 16 – 5:00pm to 6:30pm – free – link on zoom will be available from NYU CASA ITALIANA upon registration.

THE BLACK MADONNA & THE TARANTA: HEALING MUSIC FROM SOUTHERN ITALY with I GIULLARI DI PIAZZA featuring:

INTERNATIONALLY RENOWNED SINGER, PERCUSSIONIST, TEACHER ALESSANDRA BELLONI! AUTHOR OF THE BOOK 'HEALING JOURNEYS WITH THE BLACK MADONNA, published by Inner Traditions - Bear & Co.

And featuring: Giullari di Piazza music director/co-founder JOHN LA BARBERA, composer & guitarist JOE DENINZON violin & vocals Dancer FRANCESCA SILVANO GUEST SPEAKERS FROM ITALY: Armando Mei, Egyptologist and writer and Angelo Tonelli, philosopher, writer, theater director and Classicist

TUESDAY FEBRUARY 9 - 5:00pm to 6:30pm PART 1: Alessandra will open with a short presentation about myths & legends in the South of Italy and the ancient sacred sites of the Black Madonna. Alessandra will speak about her personal healing journey with the Black Madonna, and her unique research that led her to write her book, Healing Journeys with the Black Madonna.

GUEST SPEAKER: Armando Mei (Egyptologist, writer and award winning archeologist, to be featured in the USA on the TV Show Open Mind on March 18, 2021) will speak about Ancient Egypt and the Myth of Isis, how devotion to Isis has continued and transformed over the years and evolved into the worship and devotion for the Black Madonna.

PART TWO: 1) Alessandra & John will teach the chants in honor of the Madonna of Montevergine (Avellino) and La Madonna della Libera (Moiano Benevento). These ancient healing chants use the Lydian Scale or Neapolitan Scale use to invoke healing and calm the mind

2) Alessandra & Francesca Silvano will lead a ceremonial workshop teaching the traditional sacred dances in honor of the Black Madonna: The powerful TAMMURRIATA from the region of Campania, which dates back to the rites of the Mother Earth Goddess Cybele, and the Egyptian Goddess Isis, now worshiped as the Black Madonna all over the South of Italy.

2ND CLASS: THURSDAY FEBRUARY 11- 5:00PM TO 6:30PM Experience the healing power of the ancient Tarantella ! Part 1 Alessandra will introduce the special guest speaker: ● Angelo Tonelli, Italian writer, philosopher, scholar of ancient Greek myths , and theatre director, originally from Lerici, (Liguria) and specialized in the ritual aspect of ancient Greek mythology. He has translated all the major Greek tragedies into Italian, and he will speak about his research into the myths of the Great Mother, Demeter, and the Eleusinian mysteries; Dionysus as God who dies and is reborn; the Bacchae and the relation of their ecstatic rites of to the ancient healing ritual of the tarantella and also in relation to the devotion and tradition of the Black Madonna in Southern Italy.

3) After a brief explanation and demonstration, Alessandra, Joe and John will play the Medieval Chant in Honor of the Black Madonna used to send way the fear of death by the plague: CUNCTI SIMUS CONCANENTES. Participants will also learn to sing this powerful prayer.

PART 2 : The healing rhythm of San Rocco & the Black Madonna from Calabria, known as OUR LADY OF THE POOR – CUNCTI SIMUS CONCANENTES – FOLLOWED BY TARANTELLA INFUOCATA – This rhythm is used to accompany a trance dance originating in Calabria during the Middle Ages, which evokes the elegant and meditative movements of the Whirling Dervish ceremonies of the Sufis. Both rhythm and dance were used during the time of the Black Death, to heal people and as a release from overpowering fears of death by contagious disease. This is very important and similar to the situation today with the outbreak of the CORONAVIRUS. Will end with a special healing chant in the Lydian Mode as meditation.

SESSION 3 TUESDAY FEBRUARY 16 – 5:00PM Experience the healing power of the authentic PIZZICA TARANTATA !

LET’S GET THE POISON OUT OF OUR BODIES & BREAK THE IMAGINARY WEB! Alessandra Belloni & John La Barbera will start with a short lecture about the tradition of the Tarantella from pre-christian times, the Myth of Arachne, and the true origins of the tarantella as music and dance therapy.

Participants will learn the traditional ancient healing trance dance of the tarantella, known as PIZZICA TARANTATA - 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. These rhythms and movements represent an unbroken chain of inspiration and expression of sound and dance, dating back to the rites the God Dionysus and the women known as Baccanti (Bacchae) , and kept alive into the present. The presentation features: Alessandra and John will teach the healing chant from Naples JESCE SOLE, using the Lydian Mode. Francesca will lead the DANCE OF THE PIZZICA DE CORE as Alessandra, John La Barbera and JOE DENINZON will play the music: voice, percussion, guitar an violin.

PIZZICARELLA – social dance - FRANCESCA will steps of this energetic dance done in a circle. FIMMENE FIMMEN/THE PIZZICA TARANTATA or Spider Dance– This powerful and dynamic ritual dance originated in Puglia as a cure for the mythical bite of the Tarantula, a condition causing a mental disease called tarantismo, a form of depression, which afflicted mainly women (tarantate) often due to abuse. 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 ritual, Francesca Silvano, accompanied by John La Barbera, Joe Deninzon, and Alessandra Belloni will lead the participants in a circle dance accompanied by tambourine and guitar and accordion, playing the 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 then dance in a circle and lay down (possibly upon a white sheet) , using a red ribbons, and emulate "Spider" like movements on the ground, releasing stress and blockages 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.

REQUIREMENTS: Participants in the dance workshops should be barefoot, or wear comfortable shoes, and if possible everyone should wear white and red clothes, also use red ribbons. The sessions are held in a way that gives students the feeling of being part of the "ritual." Important : access to good internet

Jan15

Kicking off the New Year with healing Tarantella energy - Live from Tom Tedesco's Studio!

Virtual Event

From la Befana to LA TARANTA, we will kick off the New Year with good energy and a powerful musical exorcism playing and dancing the Pizzica tarantata and other healing trance dances known as Tarantella from Southern Italy! Join us on January 15 at 8pm EST, live from TOM TEDESCO’S STUDIO! This performance is sponsored by the Italian American Museum of Los Angeles! To watch the FREE live performance go to the IAMLA Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/iamofla

FEATURING : Alessandra Belloni vocals, percussion, John La Barbera, classical guitar, chitarra battente , mandolin, Joe Deninzon violin vocals and mandolin, and our dancer Francesca Silvano.

The Tarantella, an ancient dance ritual that originates in the belief that a bite from the dreaded tarantula spider produces hysterical behavior in its victims, who were typically women. To cure her suffering, musicians play a fast-tempoed rhythm, to which the afflicted performs a hypnotic dance until she finally drives the venom from her body. Join the Italian American Museum of Los Angeles and the Italian Sons and Daughters of America on January 15 for TARANTATA, The Dance of the Ancient Spider, a virtual concert and interactive program featuring world-renowned percussionist, singer, dancer, and ethnomusicologist Alessandra Belloni with music director composer John La Barbera.

Jan5

I Giullari Di Piazza Holiday Fundraiser - A Musical Celebration of the Epiphany!

Virtual Event

Join Alessandra Belloni and I Giullari di Piazza for a Special Performance Celebrating the Epiphany, January 5, 2021! Featuring Neapolitan Christmas music, La Befana telling a commedia dell'arte Christmas story, and conversation with the artists

Dear Friends!

We hope that you will join us online and support our non-profit organization with a year-end tax-deductible contribution for a very special event: A MUSICAL EPIPHANY CELEBRATION FUNDRAISER Join us Tuesday, January 5, 2021, from 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm, live from Tom Tedesco’s Studio, for an Epiphany celebration hosted by Artistic Director Alessandra Belloni and Music Director John La Barbera, co-founders of I Giullari di Piazza.

This will be a special online live presentation featuring music from the beloved Neapolitan Renaissance Christmas show, LA CANTATA DEI PASTORI and premiering special storytelling about the history of I Giullari di Piazza and the creation of this classic holiday presentation, praised by the New York Times.

La Befana, the Good Witch of Christmas, will tell her old beautiful story, on the traditional night before the Epiphany, about Mary and Joseph on their journey to Bethlehem. They are joined by the Archangel Gabriel, Devils, Demons, and the commedia dell'arte characters in a triumph of good over evil. In addition to the performance, the musicians and the company directors will interact and tell their stories about performing this production for 35 years. You will get a behind-the-scenes peek into how I Giullari and their shows developed, including conversations with members of the troupe, both musicians and dancers. The evening will include live performances of some of the CANTATA favorite Neapolitan Christmas songs, including traditional tarantellas, Renaissance villanelles, and pastorales from traditional sources, with original music by John La Barbera and traditional Southern Italian instrumentation. The presentation ends with a singing by the Company of the oldest known Neapolitan Christmas song. Directed by Alessandra Belloni (also in the role of Mary playing her drum to defeat the devil) Music composed and arranged by John La Barbera, also playing classical guitar, chitarra battente, mandolin Guest artists include: Max McGuire as La Befana; Joe Deninzon, violin and vocals, also in the role of the Devil; Francesca Silvano dancer, in the role of shepherdess, the Moon, and the Sun; and other special guest artists to be announced!

FOR TICKETS VISIT: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/musical-epiphany-celebration-fundraiser-tickets-133009903201?

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Rhythm is the Cure Workshop

"RHYTHM IS THE CURE" 
HEALING DRUMMING AND DANCE RETREAT 
IN SICILY, ITALY  
AUGUST 17 to the 24th, 2020 
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.

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)