Rhythm is the Cure: A Healing Dance and Percussion Workshop

This workshop has been postponed to a later date.

Details to follow.

Internationally Renowned Singer, Dancer and Percussionist
Alessandra Belloni


A Healing Dance and Percussion Workshop
Featuring the Tarantella Rhythms and Steps
Conducted by Alessandra Belloni

“Please join Alessandra in this beautiful location with a powerful statue of the Black Madonna!”

Experience the healing power of tarantella rhythms and dance with internationally renowned singer, percussionist, and teacher, Alessandra Belloni, featuring Southern Italian ritual dances used as music and dance therapy for centuries throughout the Mediterranean.

The purpose of this workshop is to introduce general audiences to a very rich tambourine and folk dance culture with an active current performance practice in Southern Italy and also to bring women back in touch with their lost drumming tradition.

Participants will learn the unique style of tambourine playing and the ancient healing trance dance of the tarantella, used to cure the mythical bite of the tarantula. The workshop focuses on releasing blockages of energies, breaking the imaginary “spider web” of the subconscious.

Students shall begin each session with drumming followed by an hour and half of dance. Students will learn the variations of the basic 6/8 rhythm of the Tarantella that originated as music and dance therapy to cure the mythical bite of the tarantula.

Alessandra will also teach chants and songs of devotion to the Black Madonna and to the Sun (Jesce Sole).

During this series of workshops, the participants will learn:

Tambourine Technique:

The basic technique of holding the drum, with emphasis on arm movement, wrist and elbow technique, and a basic accented fast 6/8 rhythm used for different style tarantellas, which involve different variations of hand technique including finger trills on the tambourine skin.

• Tammorriata: a 4/4 rhythm played on the large drum called the Tammorra, originally from Naples with a strong African influence in the rhythm. The Tammorriata is an improvisation of drumming and singing, and it is danced during the rituals held in the summer in honor of the Black Madonna.

Tarantella Rhythms – Pizzica & San Rocco:

Group drumming from Rhythm Is The Cure Workshop, Tuscany Italy 2013

The Folk Dances:

• Tarantella De’ 600: This is a Renaissance folk dance which is done in pairs is very popular in Italy and throughout the Mediterranean. It contains both fast, energetic steps and combined arm and leg movements which improve coordination. This invigorating dance has been called by Alessandra’s students “Italian Aerobics”.

• Dance and Rhythm of San Rocco: a healing trance 6/8 rhythm from Calabria done in honor of San Rocco to send away fear of death by the plague from the Medieval Times.

Tarantella alla Montemaranese: a carnival dance from Montemarano (Naples) played on the smaller tambourines with a very unusual syncopation on the 6/8. This rite of Carnival dates back to the Roman celebrations in honor Bacchus, the god of wine.

Pizzica Tarantata: a very fast 6/8 rhythm from Puglia, with different accents, which originated as music therapy to cure the mythical bite of the tarantula. This wild rhythm, played mainly by women on medium size tambourines with a double row of jingles and the dance were performed as a musical exorcism to cure a mental disease called tarantismo, which afflicted mainly women (tarantate), who fell into a hypnotic state of mind, and in a trance they frantically danced for days during the Summer Solstice. Originally these were the ancient Greek rites for the god Dionysus as Puglia was part of Greece and was called Magna Grecia.

Tammorriata from Rhythm Is The Cure Workshop, Tuscany Italy 2013


This Tammorriata Dance is in honor of the Black Madonna & Sicilian Tarantella (choreography Alessandra Belloni). Recorded August 2013 by Maurizio Longobardi.

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