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DRUMS OF ILLUMINATION Set for Theater for the New City, Jan 5

Internationally renowned singer/dancer/percussionist Alessandra Belloni and I Giullari di Piazza present "Drums of Illumination," a program of ritual drumming, trance dances, and chants representing four great cultural traditions: Southern Italian, Native American, Middle Eastern, and African Music. Belloni and I Giullari will be joined by the SilverCloud Native American Singers and Dancers, completing a remarkable group of percussionists, vocalists and dancers, all specializing in healing and ritual music and dance. Sunday, January 5th at 6 PM at Theater for the New City, 155 First Avenue.

The happy and successful relationship between Belloni and I Giullari and Muriel and Kevin Tarrant goes back to 1992, when they worked together in the I Giullari production of "Earth, Sun and Moon," a spectacular show that was commissioned by Lincoln Center and received both critical and audience acclaim. Artistic Director Alessandra Belloni notes that one of the purposes of "Drums of Illumination" is "to bring in the LIGHT OF THE EPIPHANY, an ancient tradition in Italy and many cultures, invoking World Peace by showing that we are all one, adding that "the pow wow drum, the Italian tambourine, African Ballaphone, and the drum set - all will send good vibrations into the air as a collective ritual of purification."

The evening will feature Tarantellas from Southern Italy, including the authentic Pizzica Tarantata; healing trance dance from Puglia used to cure the bite of the tarantula (the myth that dates back to the ancient Greek rites of Dyonisus), healing chants and drumming in honor of the Black Madonna and the Goddess of Love and the Sea; Middle Eastern dance, Native American ritual singing and drumming, love songs, warrior dances, the amazing Indian hoop dance, and songs from the Yoruba African tradition. Outfitted with an extensive complement of exotic percussion instruments, and both Remo artists, award-winning tambourine virtuoso Alessandra Belloni and drummer Sergio Bellotti (drum teacher at Berklee School of Music in Boston), both natives of Southern Italy, have enjoyed a long collaboration celebrating and exploring the rhythmic similarities between Southern Italian and other cultures by blending various percussion instruments. Sergio is a regular visiting artist at the GM Drum School in Torino and the Conservatorio Della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano, Switzerland. With music both ancient and new, Belloni and Bellotti create a bridge between ancient rituals and modern rhythms. Award winning tambourine virtuoso singer/dancer/actress Alessandra Belloni is renowned in her field and travels worldwide to perform group and solo concerts in theaters, universities, and international percussion festivals. Belloni began her career in her native Rome with the great actress Anna Magnani in "La Lupa," and with legendary film director Federico Fellini in "Casanova." She is Artistic Director and leading performer of I Giullari di Piazza, an ensemble of musicians/vocalists/dancers that specializes in authentic Southern Italian music and Theater Productions, dating back to the 13th century. Belloni is a REMO artistic and designer of her signature series of Italian tambourines; she is also author of the book and DVD "Rhythm is the Cure," published by Mel Bay. The only artist in the world who specializes in Southern Italian tambourines combined with singing and dance, Belloni was selected as one of the best percussionists in the world by DRUM! Magazine, and has been acclaimed in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and featured in articles in Modern Drummer and Percussive Notes. Belloni has been invited to appear in percussion festivals in London, Brazil, Poland, France, Italy, Australia, Rome, and throughout the U.S. She was recently featured with the ensemble on ABC-TV in Chicago for their presentation at Navy Pier. "Italian-born virtuoso Alessandra Belloni is established as a unique phenomenon, not just a percussionist, but also an actress, lecturer, entertainer, and healer." Drum Magazine "Ms. Belloni sang in an exultant voice. The songs blazed with an age-old momentum" Jon Pareles, The New York Times "Alessandra Belloni and 'Tarantata: Dance of the Ancient Spider' is a revelation - utterly fascinating." Don Hackman, Los Angeles Times;;;

Belloni and group on ABC-TV in Chicago: ; The SilverCloud Singers and Dancers is an intertribal Native American troupe. Founded in 1991, the company boasts singers who come from different tribes in the U.S. and Canada. They have appeared in Pow-Wows across the U.S. and in tours to Europe. Belloni and Muriel Borst, co-director of the SilverClouds are "soul sisters" who share the same energy and spiritual beliefs. The two first worked together in 1992 in I Giullari di Piazza's "Earth, Sun and Moon," commissioned by Lincoln Center.

Murielle Borst, Artistic Director of The SilverCloud Signers and Dances, has also distinguished herself in her one-woman show "More Than Feathers and Beads," which was nominated for a Rockefeller grant and selected to participate in the Global Indigenous Theater Festival in Sydney Australia, as well as several venues in NYC. She has completed six books in her fantasy series "The Star Song Carriers." Borst and Belloni, "soul sisters" who share the same energy and spiritual beliefs, first collaborated in 1992 on I Giullari's "Earth, Sun and Moon." Amazing stilt dancer Mark Mindek will represent the Sun, Moon, Angel of Death, and Bringer of Light Archangel Gabriel - all on stilts in traditional Southern Italian style. A longtime member of I Giullari di Piazza, Mark is also engaged for special events around the world and has performed with the Metropolitan Opera.

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