Upcoming Events

Apr30

Honoring The Sea Goddess with Rowan Storm & Friends

Corazón Performing Arts, 125 South Topanga Canyon Boulevard , Topanga, CA

Alessandra Belloni presents: HONORING THE SEA GODDESS,

Presented to sold out audiences at the New York Open Center, Cathedral of St . John the Divine, Venice , Lerici, Perc Fest and Salsomaggiore Italy.

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 women percussionists, dressed in white and blue to honor the sea.

Featuring:

ALESSANDRA BELLONI: voice, tambourines, frame drums, ocean drum, ritual dance

Special guests;

Rowan Storm | riqq, duff, dumbeck

Vida Vierra | percussion, vocals

Dani Lunn | percussion, vocals

Cynthia Jimenez | drums

They recreate rituals with songs, chanting and dancing, drumming and offerings of flowers to the images of Yemanja and the Black Madonna. The music played will include fisherman;'s songs, and love laments, from Southern Italy and Brazil, as original songs written by Alessandra Belloni inspired by her trips to Hawaii and Brazil written in honor of Yemanja. This is unique passionate show with great music and joyous ritual that invokes the healing power of primordial waters, was presented in Italy (Venice, Salsomaggiore Thermal resort, PERC FEST, New York OPEN CENTER, Los Angeles Italian Culural Institute.

Don Hackman, writing in the Los Angeles Times, found that "Alessandra Belloni and "Tarantata: Dance of the Ancient Spider" is a revelation, utterly fascinating."

Drum Magazine noted that "Italian-born virtuoso Alessandra Belloni is established as a unique phenomenon, not just a percussionist, but also an actress, lecturer, entertainer, and healer."

Jon Pareles of The New York Times, reviewing an I Giullari di Piazza show, remarked that "Ms. Belloni sang in an exultant voice. The songs blazed with an age-old momentum."

Tarantata: The Dance of the Ancient Spider

Los Angles Central Public Library - Mark Taper Auditorium, 630 W. 5th Street, Los Angeles

Alessandra Belloni is a world-renowned percussionist, singer, dancer and actress born in Rome, Italy. Her extensive body of work focuses on traditional Southern Italian dances, percussion and singing. Belloni has spent many years participating in drumming festivals and ceremonies in remote areas of Southern Italy, interviewing elders, researching women's spirituality, ethnomusicology and religion. An award winning tambourine virtuoso, she is committed to preserving the rich traditions of Southern Italian folk rituals and culture where music and dance are rites of purification and healing.

In Los Angeles, Belloni will present Tarantata: The Dance of the Ancient Spider, and the Healing Journey of the Black Madonna. Her performance is a syncretic mix of pagan and Catholic elements, in which music and dance create a magical space to heal and cure. Be ready for an emotional tour-de-force of frenetic dances, sacred songs, chants and rhythms.

The Italian American Museum of Los Angeles (IAMLA) is a twenty-first century interactive museum that documents the history and contributions of Italian American in Southern California and the nation, and showcases a seldom examined chapter of the Italian diaspora. The IAMLA features exhibitions and a variety of cultural educational programming and it is collaboratively operated by the City of Los Angeles. The museum is located in the Italian Hall, which was constructed in 1908 to serve as a community gathering place. Today, the Italian Hall is among the oldest remaining structures from Los Angeles' historic Little Italy and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The IAMLA is a 501(c)3 charitable organization.

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Rhythm is the Cure Workshop

"RHYTHM IS THE CURE" 
HEALING DRUMMING AND DANCE RETREAT 
IN CALABRIA, ITALY  
AUGUST 17 to the 24th, 2020 
Learn more HERE
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Alessandra Belloni & I Giullari di Piazza
present  :TARANTELLA: SPIDER DANCE

A mystical and sensual  music and dance production, about the history of the  dance TARANTELLA, a wild erotic Most specifically, the performance harkens back to the historic Dance of the Tarantula, a healing trance dance for women from the Greek rites of the "Baccantes." Women involved in these rites, called Tarantate, danced the "Pizzica Tarantata" ("the bite of the spider tarantula," also called "the bite of love"). A bite of love supposedly drove them to dance in a wild frenzy in order to free themselves of repressed sexual desires. The dominant music was percussion, with large tambourines playing non-stop to a 12/8 beat, with loud accents. By spinning and stomping their feet, participants symbolically expelled the "poison" of the mythical bite of the tarantula from their bodies. A double row of jingles on the instruments accentuated the madness as dancers, traditionally clad in white with red scarves and ribbons, moved on their backs like spiders. All participants customarily experienced a trance-like state induced by the combination of music and dancing.
Instrumentation in "Tarantella: Spider Dance" combines the traditional and the modern. Traditional percussion will include tambourines, frame drums, dumbeck, riqq and castanets. Modern instrumentation will include drum set, electric violin, techno beats and electronic music.

In the piece's underlying story, Arachne, played by aerial dancer Fran Sperling, challenges the Goddess Athena, played by percussionist/singer Alessandra Belloni, into a weaving contest. Arachne wins and Athena, taken by jealousy, destroys her competitor's creation. A humiliated Arachne commits suicide and hangs herself from a tree. Athena then transforms her into a spider, thus condemning her to weave her web forever. The show goes on to tell the story of a woman (played by Alessandra Belloni) wrongly accused of being a witch during a winter solstice gathering in the woods. She is not allowed to express her sexual desires becomes a tarantata. Her only cure for depression is to dance the Tarantella. The performance concludes with a collective trance dance cleansing ceremony. The audience is invited to participate in this celebration of life and love with dancing and wine.

The musical ensemble includes Alessandra Belloni (lead vocals, southern Italian percussion and ritual dance), musical director is Joe Deninzon (electric and acoustic violin). and John La Barbera (classical acoustic guitar, chitarra battente, oud), Vinnie Sciala (pecussion) and Neapolitan Singer Giuseppe De FAlco.  The story is narrated in magical setting by powerful actress Cynthia Enfield.

The dance company includes eight dynamic dancers and fire dancers of different cultural backgrounds. These include Caterina Rago, a dancer from the Martha Graham Company; Julya Royter , fire dancer also; stilt dancer Mark Mindek and various Italian folk dancers who also will whirl in a Sufi dance. Set design is by Arden Mason
The Sun (Antonio Pio Fini) on stilts in Maypole Dance. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.
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Joe Deninzon, musical director, has been hailed by critics as “The Jimi Hendrix of the Violin”, because of his innovative style on the electric seven-string violin and his compositions combining jazz and rock with Gypsy influences. A musician who transcends many genres, he has recorded and performed with artists including Sheryl Crow, Everclear, Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple, Smokey Robinson, Les Paul, and most recently at Madison Square Garden with Bruce Springsteen. He has also performed Richard Einhorn’s “Red Angels” as a solo electric violinist with the New York City Ballet. His band, Stratospheerius (www.stratospheerius.com), has released four CD's and was named "Best Jam Band" in the Musician’s Atlas Independent Music Awards. He is a ten-time BMI composer’s grant recipient and a winner of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. His original music has been used on CMT, MTV VH1, Comedy Central, National Geographic, the Travel Channel and the History Channel among others. http://www.joedeninzon.com/

John La Barbera (arrangements), originally from Southern Italy, is co-founder of I Giullari Di Piazza.. He has developed, taught and transcribed traditional Italian music in the US since 1979. He has composed music for several films and documentaries, including "Sacco and Vanzetti," "Children of Fate" and the "Souls of Naples" with John Torturro.The sound track of the production is available on a CD,. Selections can be found on i-tunes.