Upcoming Events

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 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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Student Testimonials:

"Alessandra is one of those human beings that you want to be around as much as possible.  She just feeds you with good energy… and a great sense of humor! She makes everyone very comfortable.  She's professional but also you feel like she's your best friend.  It's very easy to trust her because she's very genuine and sincere. Her instructions are clear to understand and she gives everyone individual attention.  She also knows how to motivate people successfully.  As a healer, combining her spiritual good energy with her unsurpassed talents, you can't ask for more   ...  She truly has an extensive knowledge on everything she's teaching and based on her background- she has a deep understanding and hands-on experience as a healer as well as drummer/singer/dancer.  It's a great pleasure and a great honor to learn from her."

--Dragata D

 

"Studying with Alessandra for the last 2 years has already helped me come out of my shell ...I really like the version of myself that comes forth around Alessandra. She sees things that are under the surface, that maybe you know are there but you're not sure how to be comfortable with yet. There is a sense of trust that encourages you to let go."

--Danielle H

 

"I discovered through Alessandra a completely new element, rich with music and dance. I was impressed by Alessandra's deep passion for our ancient traditions of music and dance."

-Jillian G

 

"From working with Alessandra in her company, I know that she is a dedicated teacher and really wants the students to learn and express themselves.  From being around her, it is clear that she is a healer and it was an incredible thing to witness first hand.  Her presence allows the students to trust, relax, and let go."

--Lindsay P

 

“I have studied much in my life with great teachers--PhD, dance, voice, guitar--and Alessandra is one of the finest.  Her patience is endless; she offers praise and encouragement and for one so advanced in her art, never gives the impression of condescension but is always collegial.  When I began studying with her, I had considerable pain from documented osteoarthritis in both hands, and a painful growth in one.  I do not believe in miracles, but one was bestowed upon me.  Not only have I become proficient enough at drumming to have made two successful academic presentations thus far, but have been completely relieved of pain from the arthritis and the growth disappeared within three days of my first class. 

--Dolores DeLuis

 

“As a first generation born Italian in America, studying the hand drum with Alessandra has meant a transformation for me.  I think the desire skipped a generation.  My grandmother was a drummer and it has made me feel my connection to her and my culture and tradition.  It has made me feel alive in a way that words cannot describe. I am forever grateful to have found her and the opportunity to learn from her.  She has awakened something innate in me that has been sleeping till now.”

--Caterina N

 

"I have been a student of Alessandra's for over two years. The ancient rhythms of the music, dance, and song that Alessandra teaches resonate deeply with me and have profoundly changed my life.  Her comprehensive knowledge of the ethnomusicology of Southern Italy continually amazes me. She is truly a treasure in this world.  I am ever-grateful to take a class from Alessandra whenever she is in my area and not on the road performing or teaching. This music has lasting healing effects!

"Alessandra is a master drummer and knows how to use this music as a modality of healing!"

--Krista O

 

"Learning Alessandra’s work in Italy, where the soul of these songs and dances originated, where the Ancestors and Nature embrace you, deepens the experience on every healing level from being incredible to magically amazing.” 

--Tony A, Higher Education Officer, City University NY

 

“Finding Alessandra was a defining moment for me as a musician and as an American with a strong affinity for my Sicilian heritage. Whether we are working together in New York City or in the magical hills of Tuscany, as a musician I have found the music and technique to be challenging and inspirational; and as a person, I have found the work to be healing, transformative, and joyful--my soul comes alive! And I am not alone. Over the past years, I have witnessed to my fellow students also find joy and transformation. To an outsider, this work may look simple, but to a participant, it is powerful.”

--Allison S

 

“Last night was magnificent!  Magical! I want to thank you so much for strongly encouraging me to do the dance.  Without your encouragement, I would have been afraid to do it, fearing the repercussions to my back pain - however, except for a little soreness today, I feel great. and the experience of the dance was worth it !  I feel such a sense, not only of accomplishment, but of completeness - because this music and dance is something I have loved for so long, but never thought I could be a part of- except as a photographic observer - so to be able to actually let the drumming and the music take me to another place, deeper into what that music represents for me, is a true gift.   

“The Retreat is working it's magic - calm inside the center/ hearing the song/chant in my ears during the day/ singing Jesu Sole Imperatore/ Maria said we would think of each other when we sang those words and it is so/the face of the Madonna before me/ the energy from the black womb of the earth/ holding hands/ hitting the beats/ the cathedral that was our home/ thank you is hardly enough/ a piece of my lost soul surely came back to me/ six magical women opening to each other in the most honoring way/resulting joy palpable.”

--Janice R