Upcoming Events

The Voyage of the Black Madonna

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Online, Zoom

Celebrate the Traditional Feast of the Black Madonna & Santa Sarah La Kali (also worshipped as the Madonna of the Sea)!

Experience live music by Internationally renowned singer, percussionist, teacher, author Alessandra Belloni and composer and phenomenal musician John La Barbera.

Learn special sacred chants and drumming for the Black Madonna and participate in a special ritual presentation about the Goddess Aphrodite by Director/Founder of the Goddess Temple and Museum of Women in Orange County Ava Park.

After a lifetime of study and teaching Southern Italian folk music, dance, and healing traditions, world-renowned percussionist and musician Alessandra Belloni and famed guitarist John La Barbera will perform special traditional music from Naples in honor of the Black Madonna as well as original compositions written by John La Barbera for their opera THE VOYAGE OF THE BLACK MADONNA.

This event will also feature extracts from the VIRTUAL PILGRIMAGE TO THE SACRED SITES OF THE BLACK MADONNA IN SOUTHERN ITALY (you can register for the entire course at: https://thecenterfortheblack madonna.teachable.com/)

General Admission Tickets - $30.00

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 - Healing Dance & Drum Workshop

From the Ancient Mediterranean to today, Alessandra Belloni conducts this world renowned workshop for Women…( New York Open Center, Findhorn Foundation, Scotland , Glastonbury Goddess Festival, Annual Workshop in Tuscany, Italy, and in California, Brazil, Australia, always transforming  the lives of many women…

In this workshop featuring Southern Italian folk dances and rituals we will learn chants used to invoke the healing power of the sun and moon, as well as a repertoire of therapeutic dances, accompanied by the beat of Frame drums and tambourines. Alessandra presents these unique dance movements which trace their roots from Southern Italy back to ancient Greece, with connections to Iran, Egypt and Andalusia, as well as to the traditions of the Gypsies who traveled from Rajasthan through North Africa, Morocco and Spain to Sicily and Calabria.

Representing an unbroken chain of inspiration from pre-Christian times to the present these dance movements embody and culminate the different dance traditions which we know today as Flamenco, Belly Dance and Tribal Dance. Participants should prepare to be enraptured by these exciting and healing dances. It is preferred that women wear skirts and bare feet to invoke a lost femininity. If possible, participants should wear white clothes to help facilitate the feeling of being part of a "ritual." Videos collected during Alessandra’s research are shown at the beginning of the workshop demonstrating actual rituals from outside the churches of Southern Italy.

Students Should Expect to Learn the Following Dances:

TAMMORRIATA - This elegant and sensual dance from Naples is performed by couples playing castanets to the rhythm of the large drum, called the Tammorra. The dance movements have a strong Spanish and Middle Eastern flourish, with many recognizable movements of the Flamenco and Belly Dance traditions. These movements are set to the beat of African 4/4 rhythms. The Tammorriata is based upon an improvisational style of drumming and singing usually enacted during the summer rituals in honor of the ancient Earth Goddess Cybele, and later, the Black Madonna.

THE PIZZICA TARANTATA – 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.”

TARANTELLA DE’ 600 – This is a Renaissance folk dance which is done in pairs which is very popular in Italy and throughout the Mediterranean. It contains both fast, energetic steps and combined arm and leg movements which improve coordination. This invigorating dance had been called by Alessandra’s students ‘Italian Aerobics”.  

 RITMO E DANZA DI SAN ROCCO or SPINNING DANCE – This dance originating in Calabria during the Middle Ages evokes the elegant and meditative movements of the Whirling Dervish ceremonies of the Sufis. This dance was used during the time of the plague to heal people and as a release from overpowering fears of death. Due to the trance-inducing movements and incessant spinning many people enter ecstatic states during this dance. The session ends with a meditation utilizing a chant to the Sun, Jesce Sole, in the Lydian scale. The calming and lilting harmonies of this chant combined with the ocean drum guides students into complete relaxation. Participants emerge feeling light and joyful after this healing journey through sound and dance…