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Tarantata: Dance of the Ancient Spider
     

Tarantata: Dance of the Ancient Spider

by Alessandra Belloni
 
Perhaps you've heard of the tarantella,a frenzied Italian dance that supposedly sweats out the poison of a spider bite. Alessandra Belloni's collection of songs shows a more involved interpretation of this Mediterranean dance form in which the spider's web represents societal restraints and the bite is actually the awakening of erotic passion which fills the

Overview

Perhaps you've heard of the tarantella,a frenzied Italian dance that supposedly sweats out the poison of a spider bite. Alessandra Belloni's collection of songs shows a more involved interpretation of this Mediterranean dance form in which the spider's web represents societal restraints and the bite is actually the awakening of erotic passion which fills the mind with repressed desire. The "afflicted" woman is called a "tarantata." The ancient cure, exorcising the woman's anguish with dance and tambourine, goes back to the ancient Greek rites of Dionysus. Belloni is one of the world's top female percussionists. She researched the tradition, and with her performing troupe, I Giullari di Piazza, created this Dance of the Ancient Spider. Driven by blistering riffs of the tambourine, Belloni sings from her gut. The addition of women's voices, deep, sensual grinds of the violin, a sassy accordion, and luscious tones from a guitar and mandolincello sweeps you into the action. The music is hypnotically ecstatic and the performances are so vivid, you can see the women dance from the speakers!

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Banning Eyre
This Italian vocalist and percussionist, based in New York, has parlayed her fascination with women's music and with music as a healing force into a remarkable repertoire of songs. With the five musicians of her performing troupe, I Guillari di Piazza, Belloni moves from the ecstatic tarantata -- a form designed to assuage love that cannot be satisfied -- to a pulsing Brazilian song for an African goddess of love and waters to a Basque processional for the Black Madonna, complete with whistling throat singing from Glen Velez. Throughout these 16 tracks, Belloni delivers strong, clear singing, sometimes marked by fast vibrato. Whether in its dreamy manifestations or its moments of joyful frenzy, the music conveys intense urgency. Much of it is lovely, like "Tarantella di Sannicandro," a swirling, erotic tarantella. Still, there's a prevailing toughness about Belloni's vocals, as in "Fimmene, Fimmene," a song about tobacco picking women in Puglia. The sense is that Belloni and the women who inspire her are determined to defy the suffering they face, whether from illness or from various forms of entrapment in social webs. In many songs, the metaphor of love as a tarantula bite that produces delirium and trance arises is used. Each time, the response is similar -- an almost wild embrace of music and dance with all their transforming powers.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/22/2000
Label:
Sounds True Direct
UPC:
0600835011723
catalogNumber:
117
Rank:
296630

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Alessandra Belloni   Primary Artist,Tambourine,Vocals,Frame Drum
Glen Velez   Tambourine,Bodhran,Shaker,Riqq,Frame Drum
Steve Gorn   Clarinet,Saxophone,Bansuri
Charlie Giordano   Accordion
John La Barbera   Guitar,Chitarrone,Mandocello,cuatro,Viola Caipira,Guitar (Baritone),Battente
Joe Deninzon   Violin

Technical Credits

Franz Schubert   Composer
John La Barbera   Arranger
John Rosenberg   Engineer
Alessandra Belloni   Arranger,Producer,Liner Notes
Tami Simon   Executive Producer

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