tarantella, mama mia

The term Tarantella groups a number of different southern Italian couple folk dances characterized by a fast upbeat tempo, usually in 6/8 time (sometimes 18/8 or 4/4), accompanied by tambourines.[2]. It is among the most recognized of traditional Italian music. The specific dance name varies with every region, for instance tammuriata in Campania, pizzica in the Salento region.

The term „tarantella” originally referred to an exorcism ritual that existed in Greece around the year 2000 BC and was connected to the gods Dionysus and Apollo (the Greek gods of wine and music). It continued on in southern Italy, an area known as Magna Grecia (greater Greece)[3].

The first dance originated in the Naples region and spread next to Apulia, Basilicata and Calabria, all part of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. The Neapolitan tarantella is a courtship dance performed by couples whose „rhythms, melodies, gestures and accompanying songs are quite distinct” featuring faster more cheerful music. Its origins may further lie in „a fifteenth-century fusion between the Spanish Fandango and the Moresqueballo di sfessartia.'” The „magico-religious” tarantella is a solo dance performed supposedly to cure through perspiration the delirium and contortions attributed to the bite of a spider at harvest (summer) time. The dance was later applied as a supposed cure for the behavior of neurotic women („‘Carnevaletto delle donne'”).[5]

The original legend tells that someone who had supposedly been bitten by the tarantula (or the Mediterranean black widow) spider had to dance to a upbeat tempo to sweat the poison out.

There are several traditional tarantella groups: Officina Zoé, Uccio Aloisi gruppu, Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino, Selva Cupina, I Tamburellisti di Torrepaduli.

The tarantella is usually played with a mandolin and an accordion, but sometimes a guitar, a flute, a fiddle or a clarinet can be added.

PS: Zuza, iti mai amintesti concertul ala de muzica italiana de la Casa d Cultura a Studentilor?

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