October 20, 2000

Tarantata: Dance of the Ancient Spider

Alessandra Belloni with I Giullari di Pi,Steve Gorn, John LaBarbera, and Joe Deninzon will present "Tarantata: Dance of the Ancient Spider," Sunday, October 22, 2000, 8pm at Brick by Brick, 1130 Buenos Avenue, San Diego, CA (Off Morena Blvd.) Tickets: $12.00 Students: $10.0.

On Tarantata: Dance of the Ancient Spider, Belloni unleashes her soaring mezzo-soprano and mesmerizing tambourine rhythms to bring together the passion of Italy's early mystical roots with distinctive influences from Brazil, North Africa, and Latin America. She is joined by a stunning cast of master musicians: Grammy Award winner Glen Velez on frame drums; acclaimed flautist Steve Gorn on bansuri flute; John La Barbera on chitarra battente, andoloncello, cuatro, oud, classical guitar, and viola caipira; Charlie Giordano on accordion; Joe Deninzon on violins; and Alessandra Tartivita on back-up vocals.

Centuries ago, Mediterranean women took to the streets during the summer solstice, swept up in the erotic trance dance called tarantella. Dressed in white, they danced in a frenzy for three days to the tune of rapid tambourine rhythms and haunting violins. This uninhibited ritual was the only known cure for the bite of the tarantella (tarantula) spider - a metaphor for the mental anguish caused by the "poison" of societal repression and unexpressed desires.

The tarantella's potent healing tradition lives on today in the music of Alessandra Belloni. Dedicated to preserving the strong, rich traditions of her southern Italian culture, Belloni has spent more than 20 years in hands-on field research, including studies with legendary Italian percussionists. On Tarantata: Dance of the Ancient Spider, Belloni revives the ancient, vital power of the pizzica tarantata the wild tarantella from Puglia in southern Italy - and reawakens the enduring human tradition of using music in healing rituals.The tambourine rhythm is the "heartbeat" of the ritual the force that drives and inspires the dancers, Belloni explains. Her mastery of this seemingly simple instrument has earned her worldwide acclaim as one of the greatest living female percussionists.

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