This workshop will be a full immersion into the ancient drumming traditions and devotional chants in Honor of the Black Madonna, which can only be truly experienced in the sacred mountains and healing waters of the Mother Land. This 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.
Following Alessandra Belloni’s vision as part of the Black Madonna Center, this summer students will have the special opportunity to study and tour the area of Naples in the region of Campania.
Special Guest Nando Citarella from Naples!
We will be joined by internationally renowned Neapolitan Folk Musician, classical singer, percussionist teacher Nando Citarella. Alessandra’s long time collaborator and friend, he is one of the most important and well-known figures in the revival of Southern Italian Folk Music. Find more at www.NandoCitarella.it
We will also featured lectures about the goddess Isis and the Black Madonna by Egyptolgist, Archeologist, and GAIA Network host Armando Mei.
Alessandra Belloni is a native of Rome who has traveled the land extensively, researching and practicing the lore and traditions of The Black Madonna. She will take you inside the heart of this land, sharing her knowledge, and giving you an authentic, local experience.
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Workshop and Pilgrimage Dates:
Summer 2023 July 31-August 8
Below was the itinerary for our 2023 voyage.
August 1- 2nd: Workshop & VISIT TO THE BLACK MADONNA DELL’AVVOCATA
During these workshops on the stunning Amalfi Coast, students will study the basic Italian tambourine and frame drumming techniques of the Tammorriata 4/4 rhythm in honor of the Black Madonna. These powerful workshops will include the special collaboration with folk musician, percussionist, and Neapolitan singer Nando Citarella, who will guide students in learning traditional drumming, chanting, and dance.
Alessandra and Nando will introduce 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 gay and transgender people – and the Egyptian Goddess Isis, both of whom are now worshiped as the Black Madonna all over the South of Italy. Alessandra and Nando will also 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.
These workshops will take place during the days and some evenings in improvisational Neapolitan style.
August 3th: VISIT TO THE BLACK MADONNA DELL’AVVOCATA
Special visit up the Mountains over Amalfi to la Madonna Avvocata, Somma Veusviana, Tramonti – great feast of food wine drumming and dance with musical group Isidoro & La Paranza dei Tramonti
AUGUST 4th: VISIT TO LA MADONNA DI POSITANO
Positano is the most beautiful town in the Amalfi Coast. It is also where the Goddess Aphrodite was worshipped in ancient times
AUGUST 5th: ISIS AND THE BLACK MADONNA IN REGION OF CAMPANIA
In the morning there will be drumming review with Alessandra & Nando & Brazilian dance ritual with Fabiana Eramo
In the afternoon we’ll travel to Torre Annunziata near Pompeii, where we’ll witness the unique re-enactment of the discovery and fishing of the Black Madonna della Neve, who originally found in a large cage in the sea in the year 1350. This feast is held at sunset by sea near Vesuvius, with boats following the Madonna in procession along the coast to 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.
August 6th : VISIT TO THE BLACK MADONNA OF MONTEVERGINE
In the mountainous region of Irpinia we will visit the Black Madonna of Montevergine. Known as MAMMA SCHIAVONA, she is considered the most important of the Seven Sisters, and 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 we will drum and chant with Nando and Alessandra, as well as learn about the cult of the femminelli – transgender and third gender people who still venerate the Black Madonna today.
August 7th : SPECIAL CELEBRATION
IN THE EVENING– SPECIAL STOP IN MONTEMARANO – MEETING THE LOCAL FOLK MUSICIANS TO LEARN THE POWERFUL TARANTELLA MONTEMARANESE with food and great local wine , a Carnevale celebration and closing ritual feast !
AUGUST 8 - CHECK OUT FROM HOTEL & departure from Naples
We will 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. The Pizzica is an ancient form of music and dance therapy.
We will also learn a unique style of traditional Southern Italian frame drum and tambourine playing, including variations of the 4/4 rhythm of the Tammorriata. 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 frame drumming traditions, achieve inner balance and relief of stress while restoring spiritual and physical energy is a major theme of this work.
At our 87th Annual Dinner Dance we will be celebrating our 2023 Honorees
for their outstanding work and achievements in preserving and promoting
Italian & Italian American culture, heritage and pride. For tickets, click HERE