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Rhythm is the Cure - Healing Dance & Drum

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…

Upcoming Events

Previous events

RAINBOW BODY MATRIX presents: A Celebration of the Black Madonna & Iemanjá.

Join Vida Vierra & Dani Lunn as they host Guest Artist: Alessandra Belloni ~ An embodied journey into the mysteries of the Black Madonna and an honoring of the Feast of Iemanjá! Together we will evoke the many faces of the Divine Mother through the power of sacred song and movement. We are excited to receive the transmission and teachings of this ancient tradition from this esteemed Artist and Wisdom Keeper.. Together we will explore the depths of the Dark Feminine .

Wednesday, February 1st | 7pm-9pm

Locations: The Electric Lodge 1416 Electric ave. Venice ca.

Cost: $25

CORAZON PERFORMING ARTS presents: Internationally renowned Italian Singer & percussionist/Remo Artist - Alessandra Belloni In: SACRED DRUMMING & CHANTS FOR THE BLACK MADONNA & THE ORISHAS FORM ITALY & BRAZIL Featuring: ALESSANDRA BELLONI : voice, tambourines, frame drums, VIDA VIERRA – vocals, percussion - DANI LUNN – Dance, Vocals/Percussion JOHN FITZGERALD – percussion - Cynthia Jimenez / Drums

A mystical journey of empowerment as we unveil the healing power of the musical traditions of the Black Madonna known in the Italian folk tradition as "the Seven Sisters." SUNDAY JANUARY 29 – 7:00pm – at CORAZON PERFORMING ARTS 125 S Topanga Canyon Blvd, Topanga, CA 90290 – tickets: $ 30 – at:

This powerful musical journey will introduce and transport the audience to a time and place where an unbroken and ancient tradition continues today with folk music, processions, devotional drumming, and dance.

The concert is inspired by two geographically distant but thematically parallel traditions. Southern Italian and Brazilian purification rites and procession performed in the summer to honor the archetypical sea goddess. In Brazil she comes from the West African Yoruba culture and is called Yemanja , in Italy she is called the Black Madonna of the Sea (once called Aphrodite). Internationally renowned singer, percussionist, dancer and REMO Artist Alessandra Belloni will be playing the ocean drum, recreating the sound of the waves of the ocean , her Yemanja drum made by Remo that combines the sound of the water with the drum, her line of Southern Italian tambourines and frame drums accompanied by a small ensemble of singers and percussionists.

Vida Vierra will sing the traditional Afro Brazilian Chants for Yemanja and Ochun, Goddess of Love, the Sea, the Rivers accompanied by djembes, congas, pandeiro & bells. Southern Italy and Brazil share their common roots in Africa and worship of the Black Madonna as African Mother. . Following Alessandra's book, "Healing Journeys with the Black Madonna" (Inner Traditions Bear and Co., 2019) Madonna-Practices/dp/15914 The concert will narrate the legend of the 7 Sisters , or seven Black Madonnas: The last one was believed to be the ugliest so she ran away to a high mountain “Mount Partenio” so that the pilgrims had to search hard to find her. When they found Her they saw that she was the most beautiful of all, She was Black and they called her “Mamma Schiavona” the nurturing, serving mother, to be found now in MONTEVERGINE. She is also the patron of the gay & transgenders.

These Madonnas are connected to seven Goddesses that are part of the ancient worship of Mother Earth and the archetype of the African Mother, especially Isis from Egypt. Countries around the world, including Southern Italy, Brazil, Africa and the Middle East have musical traditions based on the power of women chants & drumming. Belloni and company will emulate one of the most ancient ways of praying and healing, including sacred chanting to the Black Madonna sung by female voices in harmony, accompanied by various percussion instruments (frame drums, tambourines, shakers, djembes, dumbecks, riqqs,). Dancers will spin and stomp their feet in celebration of life and peace.

Dance Beyond Winter Retreat

 — (EST, UTC-05) — (EST, UTC-05)

The Ashokan Center, 477 Beaverkill Rd, Olivebridge, NY

Experience the healing and transformative power of dance. Meet and connect with and open hearted community who value authenticity, creative expression and spiritual growth.
Over the course of the retreat, we will explore daily themes through embodied workshops, Ecstatic Dances with DJ's, nighttime live music concerts, guided meditations, nature walks and more.
Our venue for the weekend will be a historic retreat center in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains in Upstate NY with gorgeous indoor gathering spaces, surrounded by beautiful forests, meadows and streams.

In Alessandra's workshop, 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 as music and dance therapy. We’ll create a community healing ritual as our bodies move in ways that help us to open the energy points and stay grounded. According to what Alessandra observed in her practice and personal experience in teaching healing workshops around the world, “tarantismo” may be defined as depression or sadness caused by unrequited love or abuse. In modern day music therapy the tarantella rhythm targets especially women.

See link for event and accomodation pricing

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