Upcoming Events

Mar7

FESTA DELLA DONNA (Women's Day)

Laurie Beechman Theater, 407 West 42nd Street, New York, NY

LA FESTA DELLA DONNA

Celebrating Italian and Italian American Women in New York. Produced by Vanessa Racci

75 minute show   $25 to  $30 ticket price yet (all patrons subject to $50 food and beverage charge) Location: The Laurie Beechman Theater - Downstairs at the West Bank Cafe (407 West 42nd Street Between 9th and 10th avenues) Performers:

Internationally renowned singer, percussionist  director, author Alessandra Belloni presents: 

 a special performance o: "TARANTATA" -featuring excerpts from the production SPIDER DANCE, South Italian Tarantella trance dances, ritual drumming and healing chants for the Black Madonna,Mara Gerety violin and dancers Francesca Silvano and Greta Campo.with  ALSO FEATURING  Vanessa Racci: Italian Jazz Singer Jenna Esposito: Italian Pop Singer  Regina Decicco: Comedian Maria Dimmino: Comedian

Mar8

Tarantella Workshop

DAYA YOGA, 360 Jefferson Street, New York, NY

  CELEBRATE  WOMEN  INTERNATIONAL DAY  with the healing TRANCE DANCE AND RHYTHMS OF THE TARANTELLA in a workshop taught by  INTERNATIONALLY RENOWNED SINGER, PERCUSSIONIST, DANCER ALESSANDRA BELLONI! AUTHOR OF THE BOOK 'HEALING JOURNEYS WITH THE BLACK MADONNA, published by Inner Traditions - Bear & Co.

SUNDAY MARCH 8  - 8:00pm

Daya Yoga Studio 360 Jefferson St, New York, New York 11237

Early Bird $40 :: Day Of $50

Join us at Daya Yoga Studio for a day of experiencing the healing power of Southern Italian tarantella rhythms and dance with internationally renowned singer, percussionist, and teacher, Alessandra Belloni. 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. We’ll create a community healing ritual as our bodies move in ways that help us to open the energy points and stay grounded.

featuring : THE PIZZICA TARANTATA or Spider Dance– 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", achieve inner balance and relief of stress while restoring spiritual and physical energy is a major theme of this work.  

We’ll also learn a unique style of traditional Southern Italian tambourine playing, including variations of the basic 6/8 rhythm of the Tarantella. These rhythms and movements represent an unbroken chain of inspiration and expression of sound and dance, dating back to the rites of the Mother Earth Goddess Cybele, and kept alive into the present. We will learn the history of this powerful tambourine style, traditionally done by women. Empowering women to get in touch with their ancient roots.

  MORE INFORMATION Observation on the tarantella. It has been used in Italy and the Mediterranean for centuries to cure people, mainly women, who suffered a form of mental depression known as tarantismo, attributed to the mythical bite of the tarantula. According to what Alessandra observed in her practice and personal experience in teaching healing workshops around the world, “tarantismo” may be defined as depression, suicide mania, hysteria, aggression, and sexual dysfunction resulting from sexual abuse. In modern day music therapy the tarantella rhythm targets especially women who have been abused and suffer from emotional and physical disorders, including cysts, dysplasia, irregular bleeding, and early menopause.

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Rhythm is the Cure Workshop

Rhythm is the Cure is an intensive healing workshop featuring Southern Italian ritual dances used as music and dance therapy for centuries throughout the Mediterranean. Participants will learn the unique style of tambourine playing and the ancient healing trance dance of the tarantella, used to cure the mythical bite of the tarantula.

The number of participants and length of the workshop can be customized to your needs--one day to 10 days is possible.

Contact Alessandra for more details and to discuss programming Rhythm is the Cure near you!

Connect with Alessandra!

Connect with I Giullari!

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.