Join us at the Blessed Maine Herb Farm for a very special weekend 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.
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 frame drumming traditions, achieve inner balance and relief of stress while restoring spiritual and physical energy is a major theme of this work.
This weekend workshop focuses on using rythym and dance to release emotional blockages, break the imaginary "spider web" of the subconscious mind and expel depression and repression. It aims to involve women of all ages in a collective ritual dance of liberation
from the spider web of entrapment in today's society.
In ancient times worship of the Mother Earth Goddess (Cybele/Demeter/Gaia) was predominant, and connected to a strong matriarchal society. There is a vestige of this tradition today in the worship of the Black Madonna. Their drumming tradition is a direct continuation of the ancient rites where women priestess played the large tambourines and frame drums in Honor of the Great Mother to bring healing .
Bio: Alessandra Belloni studied this ancient healing ceremony, as well as drumming and dance techniques from many old Southern Italian peasants in Calabria, Campania and Puglia and has also studied shamanism in Brazil, Scotland, Hawaii and with Native American elders in North America for the last 20 years. She has worked at Mount Sinai Mental Division with out patients, and has been leading healing drumming sessions at United Hebrew Nursing home in New Rochelle for the last 2 and half years.
Alessandra’s original opera The Voyage of the Black Madonna allowed her to be artist in residence at the beautiful Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, where she leads workshops and performances inspired by the Black Madonna, an ancient form of the divine feminine harkening back to the cradle of humanity in Africa. Many of her students have felt the immense healing power of these dances and have reported feeling totally transformed, healed and liberated by the experience.
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, displasia, irregular bleeding, early menopause .
Tambourine and frame drum - Put into practice with frame drum technique. Alessandra as facilitator embraces the Tammorriata- 4/4 rhythm in honor of the Black Madonna with African origins– making a circle of frame drum players. The focus is to give the participants a practical tool to use in their practices, using small percussion instruments such as tambourines together with movement and exercises for grounding and opening the heart chakra.
TAMMORRIATA - This elegant and sensual dance from Naples is performed by couples playing castanets to the rhythm of the large drum, called the Tammorra. The dance movements have a strong Spanish and Middle Eastern flourish, with many recognizable movements of the Flamenco and Belly Dance traditions. These movements are set to the beat of African 4/4 rhythms. The Tammorriata is based upon an improvisational style of drumming and singing usually enacted during the summer rituals in honor of the Black Madonna.
Trance healing dance of San Rocco RITMO E DANZA DI SAN ROCCO or SPINNING DANCE – This dance originating in Calabria during the Middle Ages evokes the elegant and meditative movements of the Whirling Dervish ceremonies of the Sufis. This dance was used during the time of the plague to heal people and as a release from overpowering fears of death. Due to the trance-inducing movements and incessant spinning many people enter ecstatic states during this dance.
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.”
The workshop will take place on two separate days. Saturday will be focused on learning the rhythms and on Sunday we will focus on learning the movement/dance.
You may chose to come to one day only. Each day is $100. PLEASE EMAIL ME DIRECTLY IF YOU WISH THIS OPTION firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are coming from afar you will need lodging in the area and we will provide a list upon request. There will be no camping available on the farm during this weekend.