This is the Italian American Podcast and, in this episode, we’re talking to the very talented singer, dancer, percussionist, director and author, Alessandra Belloni. We talk about really interesting topics focused around some of the Southern Italian tradition of tarantism.
“The “bite of the tarantula” was a myth applied to a condition familiar to women through the centuries who experienced abuse, repressed sexuality, powerlessness, and the feeling of being “caught in a web that binds them.” Sufferers, known as “tarantate,” endure “tarantismo,” a lethal mixture of depression, loneliness, and oppression.” – Alessandra Belloni, Facebook
- “My mother is my hero and my mentor, and although she is no longer alive, she is always with me.” – Alessandra Belloni
- “I felt like if I wanted to be an artist, New York was going to make it possible and not Rome.” – Alessandra Belloni
- “So many people regret that they didn’t pay more attention when their grandparents told stories.” – Dolores Taranto
- “I realize that there is a power that is above me.” – Alessandra Belloni
- “If you let go of your mind and ego where your trauma is stuck, then your body can expel the pains that are trapped.” – Alessandra Belloni
- “A group can heal more than what only one person can heal.” – Alessandra Belloni
- “There has to be a breach of what is real Italian and what is Italian American.” – Alessandra Belloni
- “Italian Americans only know what has been passed down to them, but by doing more research or talking with other Italian Americans, they will always learn more.” – Anthony Fasano
- “There is no documentary that can show the beauty of how the Italian traditions are still alive.” – Alessandra Belloni
- “Italian Americans were paid much more attention to when they used to be a voting bloc.” – Dolores Taranto
- “I don’t think people really understand how important the Italian community is. Italian-Americans have to make themselves heard” – Alessandra Belloni
About our Guest
Alessandra Belloni is the Artistic Director, Founder and Lead Performer of “I GIULLARI DI PIAZZA”, an Italian Music, Theatre and Dance Ensemble, she is also Artists-in-Residence at the Cathedral of St.John the Divine in New York City. She is also the designer of a line of signature series Italian tambourines made by Remo. She is the only woman in the U.S. and in Italy who specializes in traditional Southern Italian folk dances and percussion combined with singing that she learned in Southern Italy.
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Anthony Fasano and Dolores Taranto
Co-Hosts, The Italian American Podcast