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Feb9

NYU Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò Presents: The Black Madonna and the Taranta: Healing Music from Southern Italy

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NYU Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò, 24 W 12th Street, New York, NY

CASA ITALIANA ZERILLI MARIMO - Prof. Stefano Albertini, Director- Invites you to a special series of workshops and lectures (90 minutes each): February 9,11 & 16 – 5:00pm to 6:30pm – free – link on zoom will be available from NYU CASA ITALIANA upon registration.

THE BLACK MADONNA & THE TARANTA: HEALING MUSIC FROM SOUTHERN ITALY with I GIULLARI DI PIAZZA featuring:

INTERNATIONALLY RENOWNED SINGER, PERCUSSIONIST, TEACHER ALESSANDRA BELLONI! AUTHOR OF THE BOOK 'HEALING JOURNEYS WITH THE BLACK MADONNA, published by Inner Traditions - Bear & Co.

And featuring: Giullari di Piazza music director/co-founder JOHN LA BARBERA, composer & guitarist JOE DENINZON violin & vocals Dancer FRANCESCA SILVANO GUEST SPEAKERS FROM ITALY: Armando Mei, Egyptologist and writer and Angelo Tonelli, philosopher, writer, theater director and Classicist

TUESDAY FEBRUARY 9 - 5:00pm to 6:30pm PART 1: Alessandra will open with a short presentation about myths & legends in the South of Italy and the ancient sacred sites of the Black Madonna. Alessandra will speak about her personal healing journey with the Black Madonna, and her unique research that led her to write her book, Healing Journeys with the Black Madonna.

GUEST SPEAKER: Armando Mei (Egyptologist, writer and award winning archeologist, to be featured in the USA on the TV Show Open Mind on March 18, 2021) will speak about Ancient Egypt and the Myth of Isis, how devotion to Isis has continued and transformed over the years and evolved into the worship and devotion for the Black Madonna.

PART TWO: 1) Alessandra & John will teach the chants in honor of the Madonna of Montevergine (Avellino) and La Madonna della Libera (Moiano Benevento). These ancient healing chants use the Lydian Scale or Neapolitan Scale use to invoke healing and calm the mind

2) Alessandra & Francesca Silvano will lead a ceremonial workshop teaching the traditional sacred dances in honor of the Black Madonna: The powerful TAMMURRIATA from the region of Campania, which dates back to the rites of the Mother Earth Goddess Cybele, and the Egyptian Goddess Isis, now worshiped as the Black Madonna all over the South of Italy.

2ND CLASS: THURSDAY FEBRUARY 11- 5:00PM TO 6:30PM Experience the healing power of the ancient Tarantella ! Part 1 Alessandra will introduce the special guest speaker: ● Angelo Tonelli, Italian writer, philosopher, scholar of ancient Greek myths , and theatre director, originally from Lerici, (Liguria) and specialized in the ritual aspect of ancient Greek mythology. He has translated all the major Greek tragedies into Italian, and he will speak about his research into the myths of the Great Mother, Demeter, and the Eleusinian mysteries; Dionysus as God who dies and is reborn; the Bacchae and the relation of their ecstatic rites of to the ancient healing ritual of the tarantella and also in relation to the devotion and tradition of the Black Madonna in Southern Italy.

3) After a brief explanation and demonstration, Alessandra, Joe and John will play the Medieval Chant in Honor of the Black Madonna used to send way the fear of death by the plague: CUNCTI SIMUS CONCANENTES. Participants will also learn to sing this powerful prayer.

PART 2 : The healing rhythm of San Rocco & the Black Madonna from Calabria, known as OUR LADY OF THE POOR – CUNCTI SIMUS CONCANENTES – FOLLOWED BY TARANTELLA INFUOCATA – This rhythm is used to accompany a trance dance originating in Calabria during the Middle Ages, which evokes the elegant and meditative movements of the Whirling Dervish ceremonies of the Sufis. Both rhythm and dance were used during the time of the Black Death, to heal people and as a release from overpowering fears of death by contagious disease. This is very important and similar to the situation today with the outbreak of the CORONAVIRUS. Will end with a special healing chant in the Lydian Mode as meditation.

SESSION 3 TUESDAY FEBRUARY 16 – 5:00PM Experience the healing power of the authentic PIZZICA TARANTATA !

LET’S GET THE POISON OUT OF OUR BODIES & BREAK THE IMAGINARY WEB! Alessandra Belloni & John La Barbera will start with a short lecture about the tradition of the Tarantella from pre-christian times, the Myth of Arachne, and the true origins of the tarantella as music and dance therapy.

Participants will learn the traditional ancient healing trance dance of the tarantella, known as PIZZICA TARANTATA - 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. These rhythms and movements represent an unbroken chain of inspiration and expression of sound and dance, dating back to the rites the God Dionysus and the women known as Baccanti (Bacchae) , and kept alive into the present. The presentation features: Alessandra and John will teach the healing chant from Naples JESCE SOLE, using the Lydian Mode. Francesca will lead the DANCE OF THE PIZZICA DE CORE as Alessandra, John La Barbera and JOE DENINZON will play the music: voice, percussion, guitar an violin.

PIZZICARELLA – social dance - FRANCESCA will steps of this energetic dance done in a circle. FIMMENE FIMMEN/THE PIZZICA TARANTATA or Spider Dance– This powerful and dynamic ritual dance originated in Puglia as a cure for the mythical bite of the Tarantula, a condition causing a mental disease called tarantismo, a form of depression, which afflicted mainly women (tarantate) often due to abuse. 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 ritual, Francesca Silvano, accompanied by John La Barbera, Joe Deninzon, and Alessandra Belloni will lead the participants in a circle dance accompanied by tambourine and guitar and accordion, playing the 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 then dance in a circle and lay down (possibly upon a white sheet) , using a red ribbons, and emulate "Spider" like movements on the ground, releasing stress and blockages 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.

REQUIREMENTS: Participants in the dance workshops should be barefoot, or wear comfortable shoes, and if possible everyone should wear white and red clothes, also use red ribbons. The sessions are held in a way that gives students the feeling of being part of the "ritual." Important : access to good internet

Jan15

Kicking off the New Year with healing Tarantella energy - Live from Tom Tedesco's Studio!

Virtual Event

From la Befana to LA TARANTA, we will kick off the New Year with good energy and a powerful musical exorcism playing and dancing the Pizzica tarantata and other healing trance dances known as Tarantella from Southern Italy! Join us on January 15 at 8pm EST, live from TOM TEDESCO’S STUDIO! This performance is sponsored by the Italian American Museum of Los Angeles! To watch the FREE live performance go to the IAMLA Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/iamofla

FEATURING : Alessandra Belloni vocals, percussion, John La Barbera, classical guitar, chitarra battente , mandolin, Joe Deninzon violin vocals and mandolin, and our dancer Francesca Silvano.

The Tarantella, an ancient dance ritual that originates in the belief that a bite from the dreaded tarantula spider produces hysterical behavior in its victims, who were typically women. To cure her suffering, musicians play a fast-tempoed rhythm, to which the afflicted performs a hypnotic dance until she finally drives the venom from her body. Join the Italian American Museum of Los Angeles and the Italian Sons and Daughters of America on January 15 for TARANTATA, The Dance of the Ancient Spider, a virtual concert and interactive program featuring world-renowned percussionist, singer, dancer, and ethnomusicologist Alessandra Belloni with music director composer John La Barbera.

Jan5

I Giullari Di Piazza Holiday Fundraiser - A Musical Celebration of the Epiphany!

Virtual Event

Join Alessandra Belloni and I Giullari di Piazza for a Special Performance Celebrating the Epiphany, January 5, 2021! Featuring Neapolitan Christmas music, La Befana telling a commedia dell'arte Christmas story, and conversation with the artists

Dear Friends!

We hope that you will join us online and support our non-profit organization with a year-end tax-deductible contribution for a very special event: A MUSICAL EPIPHANY CELEBRATION FUNDRAISER Join us Tuesday, January 5, 2021, from 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm, live from Tom Tedesco’s Studio, for an Epiphany celebration hosted by Artistic Director Alessandra Belloni and Music Director John La Barbera, co-founders of I Giullari di Piazza.

This will be a special online live presentation featuring music from the beloved Neapolitan Renaissance Christmas show, LA CANTATA DEI PASTORI and premiering special storytelling about the history of I Giullari di Piazza and the creation of this classic holiday presentation, praised by the New York Times.

La Befana, the Good Witch of Christmas, will tell her old beautiful story, on the traditional night before the Epiphany, about Mary and Joseph on their journey to Bethlehem. They are joined by the Archangel Gabriel, Devils, Demons, and the commedia dell'arte characters in a triumph of good over evil. In addition to the performance, the musicians and the company directors will interact and tell their stories about performing this production for 35 years. You will get a behind-the-scenes peek into how I Giullari and their shows developed, including conversations with members of the troupe, both musicians and dancers. The evening will include live performances of some of the CANTATA favorite Neapolitan Christmas songs, including traditional tarantellas, Renaissance villanelles, and pastorales from traditional sources, with original music by John La Barbera and traditional Southern Italian instrumentation. The presentation ends with a singing by the Company of the oldest known Neapolitan Christmas song. Directed by Alessandra Belloni (also in the role of Mary playing her drum to defeat the devil) Music composed and arranged by John La Barbera, also playing classical guitar, chitarra battente, mandolin Guest artists include: Max McGuire as La Befana; Joe Deninzon, violin and vocals, also in the role of the Devil; Francesca Silvano dancer, in the role of shepherdess, the Moon, and the Sun; and other special guest artists to be announced!

FOR TICKETS VISIT: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/musical-epiphany-celebration-fundraiser-tickets-133009903201?

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Rhythm is the Cure Workshop

"RHYTHM IS THE CURE" 
HEALING DRUMMING AND DANCE RETREAT 
IN SICILY, ITALY  
AUGUST 17 to the 24th, 2020 
Learn more HERE
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Connect with Alessandra!

Connect with I Giullari!

 

 

 

Internationally renowned singer, percussionist, teacher 
 
Alessandra Belloni - Remo Artist

 

proudly announces her 

 

 

 

PILGRIMAGE OF THE SACRED SITES OF THE BLACK MADONNA

 

IN SOUTHERN ITALY  

 


THE VOYAGE OF THE BLACK MADONNA

 

 September 8 - September 16, 2020

 

 

 
AFTER THE GREAT SUCCESS AND MAGICAL EXPERIENCE OF LAST SUMMERS I am very happy and proud to announce that I will be leading THE FIFTH MUSICAL PILGRIMAGE to the sacred sites of the Black Madonna in Southern Italy!! 
I will take people on the same journey as last year, as I have done over many years as devotion to the Black Madonna, which inspired me to write the Folk Opera THE VOYAGE OF THE BLACK MADONNA in 1990, together with my music director John La Barbera. 
check this link:
The voyage of the Black Madonna documentary promo by Alessandra Belloni about her field research in Southern Italy during the feasts of the Black Madonna filmed between 1991 and 1997 by Dario Bollini
  
I am happy to share with you a very personal journey which will transform your life!   
Also featuring writer, archaeologist and Egyptologist Armando Mei as our guide in Naples.
This special musical tour will start from Rome's airport in the morning of August 4th - returning to Rome's airport or station  the day of August 16th
 
 DEAR FRIENDS around the world:
Last 3 summers I led the  special pilgrimages of the Sacred Sites of the Black Madonna in Southern Italy, and it was one of the most powerful and beautiful experiences in my life and for everyone on the tour.
  
Every day of our tour was magical indeed, with people showing up to meet us by surprise- musicians, writers, even meeting people I had not seen in many years!
I realized that nothing was a coincidence, but seemed to have been planned by the GREAT MOTHER!                                     
 
  

 

 
JOIN ME FOR THE BLACK MADONNA TOUR 2020    
 Itinerary:
We will visit the following places and Black Madonnas:
 
Madonna Nera della Neve, Torre Annunziata  
spectacular feast along the sea near Sorrento/Pompei on the Amalfi Coast. In the late afternoon we will watch the re-enactment of the fisherman fishing the Black Madonna found in a large cage in the sea. It is spectacular and very moving as she is connected to the Goddess Aphrodite. We will also do a ritual chant on the beach at sunset, a Medieval prayer to the Black Madonna.  

 
Visit to Black Madonna of Positano, also by the Sea, a beautiful Byzantine Icon, also connected to Aphrodites. Positano is one of the most beautiful towns of the Amalfi coast, and we will spend the day there. As last year I will lead a beautiful ritual of purification in the sea, with white flowers, drumming and chants, all dressed in white and blue we will honor the Madonna del Mare, Aphrodites/Yemanja in the Afro- Brazilian tradition. 
  
A visit to Pompei -Led by writer/archeologist Armando Mei. 
The Temple of Isis is a testament to Egyptian influence over Roman religion. In Pompeii is preserved one of the most important temples dedicated to the Goddess Isis, in south Italy. Armando will focus on the connections between the origins of the Great Mother Culture and its evolution along the millennium. A travel through Ancient Sumerians and Egyptians Myths, among the ruins of the most famous ancient town of POMPEII. 
 
We will meet the well known tammorra maker Raffaele Inserra from Gragnano and the old singer, Zi Giannino, 84 years old, and the young one Gianfranco, for a great feast at the great restaurant il Vigneto where we will play and dance, and people will have a chance to learnt he authentic tammorriata.
 
We leave for the Black Madonna of Montevergine    -
 also known as Mamma Schiavona (Serving Mother) spectacular sacred Mountain near Avellino- (beautiful mountain region called Irpirnia). This is the most important of the seven sisters, ancient site and temple of the goddess Cybele, Black Mother Earth Goddess from Anatolia. We will go the famous throne (a special rock in the mountains called Seggia della Madonna ) where healing miracles happen, where last year many people had a very powerful mystical experience. Up in the sanctuary we will  play the tammorriata drumming and sing for her. WE will also enjoy the great local food and wine, as we rest in the restaurant up the mountain.  
This region is called Irpinia and we will visit several powerful sites here:
 
Black Madonna in Moiano, near Benevento, 
the powerful, beautiful MADONNA DELLA LIBERA,      the one I am most devoted to and have personally received a miracle from her, she is the most magical!  Also an ancient site of the worship to the Goddess Isis. Last year I had an incredible break down and felt reborn after asking her to free me from sad moments of the past. Many people had the same experience! In the chapel we will also chant her traditional   songs, that I learned from the old women of the town during the procession.     
  
 
LA MADONNA NERA INCORONATA DI FOGGIA (Puglia land of the tarantella! ) new this year. We will travel to the famous Tavoliere delle Puglie, a beautiful landscape of agricultural land, to the Sanctuary of this mysterious Madonna Nera with the GOLD CROWN who appeared in the year 1001 in very magical way. While shepherds were working in the field 2 bulls ran away to a Tree (OAK TREE) and kneeled down, as lightning and fire appeared for a long time. Suddenny a voice was heard saying I AM MARY MOTHER OF GOD! And I want my temple build here ! And he Beautiful Statue of the Black Madonna Nera appeared right in the tree. And she made many miracles , also with a special anointing oil that always burns at here image and never goes out.
  
 
LEAVE FOR CALABRIA!! My favorite land! 
We will stay in the beautiful town of Tropea, in a hotel with great food and a breathtaking view of the beach and active volcano STROMBOLI!  There we will finally have a couple of days of rest on the beach, swimming in the turquoise sea very similar to Hawaii. In Calabria we will meet and feast with my  good friend and tarantella teacher Vittorio de Paola and have dinner and party in his beautiful restaurant on top of the mountain with a great view of the sea. This was a highlight of last year's tour!
  
 
We will honor the Black Madonna del Tindari
This is a magical place, where the Madonna del Tindares (Ethiopian name) was found in cave under the mountain, which we will visit, by enchanted lakes of salt water, and a beautiful turquoise sea, where we will do a purification ritual.  The Madonna looks like an African Totem and is inside the church on top of the mountain, with the inscription Nigra Sum Sed Formosa (I am Black and Beautiful). Next to the church we will visit the archeological site that has the temples of Demeter and Cybele and drum  as we watch the most spectacular sunset over the sea.
  
 
We will go to the  feast of the Black Madonna di Seminara, Madonna dei Poveri,  celebrated with a wild drumming ritual, reenacting an ancient fertility rite, and giant Puppets that dance to the fast 6/8 rhythm of the tarantella (Giganti).   Last year everyone was enchanted by the powerful rhythms of African origins, and seeing the giant puppets of the African King Courting the Italian Queen, thus bringing together these two cultures.
  
  
 A great feature of this tour is the local folk traditions, the music of the tarantella the dancing, and the fantastic food, all fresh prepared according to the regional traditions, and the most amazing wine!! As we enter the favored land of Dionyus, god of Ecstasy and Wine!
  
  
I am also blessed to bring my old friend and teacher of tamburello, tammorra maker, Raffaele Inserra, from Gragnano. We will an unforgettable night with him and the old singer, Zi Giannino, 84 years old, and his young apprentice, Gianfranco, at the great restaurant il Vigneto where we  will dance drum , eat , and drink fantastic wine from Gragnano- one of the best in the world! We will repeat this powerful experience which is a treasure in the field of Ethnomusicology!

 



 

The cost of the tour is $2,900 for a double room, $3,300 for a single. 
This does not include airfare and lunch as we will be moving around during the days. but includes:
1)  Hotel accommodations, double occupancy, 4 star hotels, 
2)  Breakfast and wonderful dinners in very good restaurants and hotels,
3)  Tour bus
4)  Ferry boat back and forth to Sicily
5)  My work as the guide  to the pilgrimages with some lectures on site, leading drumming ceremonies, chants  and rituals in appropriate locations.
Please note registration fee of $150 is needed  by July 15 to ensure your participation and to have the tour operator secure the hotels.

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PAYMENT SCHEDULE

 

Due July 15 - $150 Registration Fee (Non Refundable)
 

 

First deposit - $690 
 

 

Second deposit - $1,960 
 
 
Make checks payable to: 
 

 

Alessandra Belloni

 

1111 River Road 

 

Apt G33 

 

Edgewater NJ 07020
 

 

International wire transfer from Europe:
 
to Alessandra Belloni account no 9346032713
Citybank - routing 021272655
swift code citius 533 int bank no 021000089
 
bank address Citybank - 2071 Lemoine Ave Fort Lee NJ 07024