Theater for the New City Presents TARANTELLA - SPIDER DANCE, 1/18-20
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by BWW News Desk
Theater for the New City will present 'TARANTELLA - SPIDER DANCE', January 18-20, 2013.
The show runs Fri & Sat, January 18 & 19 at 8 PM; Sunday January 20 at 3 PM at Theater for the New City, 155 First Avenue (between 9th & 10th Streets). Tickets: $25
Leading off the celebration of 2013 as the "Year of Italian Culture in America," Alessandra Belloni, international REMO artist and award-winning Southern Italian percussionist and singer, returns to Theater for the New City with her unique 16-member ensemble that includes musicians, vocalists, stilt dancer, aerial dancer, fire dancer, tarantella dancers drawn from the Martha Graham Dance Company, and guest percussionist Massimo Cusato of Calabria, in the exotic spectacle "Tarantella - Spider Dance," a sensual and mystical musical about the healing power of the Tarantella trance dance. A rich and fascinating trip into Southern Italian music, dance, history, and ancient legends.
Alessandra Belloni is known around the world as a superb percussionist specializing in Southern Italian music, dance and tradition. The Rome native has received many awards, including "Best Female Percussionist" from Drum Magazine, travels the world appearing as guest artist, performing solo concerts, and teaching workshops in ritual drumming, dance and healing. Belloni is a subject of a recent documentary by French filmmaker Manex Ibar, focusing on her gifts as a shaman/healer, and scheduled for release for PBS and the BBC.
"Tarantella - Spider Dance" - abuse, repressed sexuality, powerlessness, and the feeling of being "caught in a web that binds them" - causes many women, known as "tarantate" to suffer "tarantismo" - a lethal mixture of depression, loneliness, and oppression. Their cure is to dance the "pizzica tarantata"- The Spider Dance!
The show also relates the dual journeys of Athena and Arianna, who both suffer from tarantismo, transmitted from the bite of the spider Arachne. Athena's drumming induces a trance dance and reveals the age-old myth of Arachne and birth of the spider woman. Arianna gains insight of her own madness and suicidal mania and actively seeks a cure. The shaman's drumming and Dioniso's ecstatic dancing lead Arianna to New York and Brazil, where she encounters The Common threads of universal rhythms and traditional cures through music and dance. Arianna and Athena re-unite in a cross-cultural celebration of healing which allows her finally to truly love.
As with all of Belloni's presentations, the show is meticulously researched, with costumes and instrumentation as authentic as possible. The music ranges from traditional 6/8 southern Italian to 12/8 heavy-accented modern sounds, and includes tarantellas, sensual love songs, and women's work chants. Instrumentation is both traditional and modern. Traditional instruments include Renaissance folk guitar, mandolin, accordion, viella, frame drums, tambourines, frame drums and dumbeck. Electric violin and guitar, and techno beats have been added to the more modern music segments.
Featured in the cast are:
Alessandra Belloni - concept/direction, lead vocals, Southern Italian percussion, ritual dance