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Theater for the New City Presents TARANTELLA - SPIDER DANCE, Now thru 1/20

Theater for the New City will present 'TARANTELLA - SPIDER DANCE', tonight, January 18-20, 2013.

New York is bitten again by the Spider -- the mystical and sensual music/theater/dance spectacular about the history of the Tarantella, the Southern Italian myth of the bite of the tarantula, birth of the Spider Woman, and celebration of the wild ecstatic rites of Dyonisus.

The show runs tonight & 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
Reservations: 212.254-1109 or www.smarttix.com/show.aspx?showcode=TAR19. To view a portion of Tarantella - Spider Dance, click HERE.

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!

As in the film, we witness the healing journey of a "tarantata" as she is taken by Dionysus to the shaman (Alessandra Belloni), who cures her with the tarantella trance dance. Her amazing journey includes
** a powerful procession of the Black Madonna in Southern Italy
** a healing ceremony of the pizzica tarantata, the wild erotic trance dance, attended by townspeople in the
piazza. The authentic music is mainly percussion, with large tambourines playing non-stop to a 12/8 beat with
loud accents
** a celebration of the Feast of St. Rocco, where another dance form, "hip-hip," entices her and the viewers.

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