Alessandra Belloni

is creating Healing musical Journeys through Southern Italy

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Pizzica (Italian pronunciation: [ˈpittsika]) is another style of Italian folk trance dance, originally from the Salento peninsula in Apulia, and part of the larger family of Tarantella.
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With this tier you will have the great honor in supporting Alessandra in her work as a master teacher and performer. You will also be publicly thanked by Alessandra for supporting her and this unique and ancient art and healing modality. 

The tammurriata, the “dance on the drum”, is another folk dance of Southern Italy from the Campania region, also belonging to the Southern 'tarantella' dance family.
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With this tier you will have the great honor in supporting Alessandra in her work as a master teacher and performer. You will also be publicly thanked by Alessandra for supporting her and this unique and ancient art and healing modality.

The Tarantella is a specific style of trance dance that is used to cure the mythical bite of the tarantula, a metaphor for women who suffer depression and trauma from abuse.
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About Alessandra Belloni

“I am fascinated and inspired by the Black Madonna. She is the female embodiment of God. Her power hails from the fact that She impacts all of humanity, in a very global and inclusive way. She embraces everyone, and everyone has access to Her divine spirit and power. She is the Black Madonna also because she represents the archetype of the African Mother.” - Alessandra Belloni

Dear friends:
thank you for taking time to read my new Patreon Page! In this challenging times the WORLD NEEDS HEALING! I hope you will join me in this special healing journey through music and film!

I am an award winner percussionist/singer/dancer/teacher/ and the author of the new book Healing Journeys with the Black Madonna, released in March 2019 by Inner Traditions - Bear &  Company, which reached #1 on Amazon news releases under 'folk  dancing' and under dance as audio book. . I am a REMO artist and designer of my signature series of Italian tambourines and also author of the book & DVD Rhythm is the Cure, published by Mel Bay. I'm the recipient of the NYSCA grant as Master Folk artist 2016 and 2018 and was selected as one of the best percussionists in the world by DRUM! Magazine. I have been honored to be acclaimed in The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times and other major press.

I am the co-founder, Artistic Director/Leading Performer of I Giullari di Piazza, (the Players of the Square) , artist-in-residence at the Cathedral of St John the Divine, an ensemble of musicians/vocalists/dancers that specializes in authentic Southern Italian music and theater events, dating back to the 13th century.

I'm renowned internationally in my field and have been invited to travel worldwide to perform in group and solo concerts in theaters, universities, and international percussion festivals in England, Brazil, Poland, France, Italy, Australia, Egypt, Israel, and throughout the U.S. and Hawaii. I was recently hired as consultant for the Broadway production of The Rose Tattoo starring Oscar Winning Actress Marisa Tomei, presented by the Roundabout Theater Company.
I started my career in my native Rome as a child actress with the legendary actress Anna Magnani and master film director Federico Fellini in "Casanova."

My work as teacher and healer brought me to be featured on CUNY TV with my workshop RHYTHM IS THE CURE, and main feature of the Russian TV Travel Channel The Dancing Planet, r. My TV appearance include: ABC TV live in Chicago, National Geographic documentary SPIDER SEX on the Tarantella, WORLD BEAT on CNN, GLOBO BRAZILIAN TV, RAI UNO MATTINA,

I specialize in performing and sharing the teachings of the ancient healing tradition of Southern Italian frame drums and tambourines  used to honor the Black Madonna , and combined with singing and the trance dance known as tarantella. The tarantella was used to heal the mythical bite of the tarantula, a metaphor for a form of depression that affected mainly women who have suffered abuse.

For the last 30 years, I have shared these ancient healing arts with hundreds of people through my workshop RHYTHM IS THE CURE, and my retreats in Tuscany, Italy and Hawaii. I also lead annual group pilgrimages to the Black Madonna's sacred sites throughout Italy. My book, Healing Journey's With The Black Madonna is an experiential guide to the ancient healing rituals surrounding the Black Madonna legend, which can be traced to pre-Christian times. It has roots in ancient devotions to Isis, the Earth Goddess, and the African Mother and recalls an era when God was not only female, but also black. Sacred sites of the Black Madonna are still revered in Italy and shamanic healing traditions of the Black Madonna are alive and powerful today. My vision is to spread these healing traditions as far and wide as I can. My current projects that need funding and support are creating a documentary video series and virtual pilgrimage as well as working on building an online school, The Institute Of The Black Madonna, which will hold many series of classes for people all over the world to experience the healing of this ancient and powerful practice.

This is where I need your help and support. 

During the global pandemic I have been teaching drum and dance lessons online and the results have been wonderful. I have reached so many people across the world that I would not have been able to without the magic of the internet. These online classes have inspired me to create an online school so we can reach as many people as needed.  My intention is to create a space for those that are going through suffering caused by trauma to find healing through music, dance, and the spiritual traditions of The Black Madonna. The Black Madonna represents the Earth Mother as a living being. Like the earth’s womb, women’s wombs have often been broken. I strongly believe that in this time of turmoil and paradigm shifts, there is a great need for an institute that can gather many people around the world and to share with them the strong message about the Black Madonna. We live in a dangerous time where both women and men need to connect the true knowledge and healing aspect of the Divine Feminine.

My Italian healing traditions rooted in ancient Mediterranean origins are very important to me. They carry deep healing and powerful medicine and it is a great honor to share them with as many people as possible.

About the film and the virtual pilgrimage to the sacred sites of the Black Madonna:  

My intention is to lead my students and the viewers through a healing and educational journey showing the authentic rituals in the South of Italy and how the Black Madonna is still alive today.
Through images of my field research in Southern Italy we travel to remote areas where she has been worshipped for thousands of years with ritual drumming, haunting chants and sensual trance dances with deep African roots. Participants experience how my work with music, dance, and spirituality brings transformation and joy to my students.

Based on 40 years of academic research and fieldwork, which led me to write the opera The Voyage of the Black Madonna and brought me to be Artist in Residence at the Cathedral of St John the Divine in New York City, the film (as my book) tells my story of personal healing and the visions which led me to travel as a musician throughout Southern Italy and the world, learning the music, dance, traditions, and ceremonies honoring the Black Madonna. I will be your “virtual” guide Through interviews and powerful images, we learn that after being diagnosed with cervical dysplasia (cancerous cells), I went through a personal healing transformation. While between worlds, a great vision of the Black Madonna told me that I had to feel other people’s pain. After healing myself completely by dancing the trance dance of the tarantella, the trance ritual ended my illness. My true calling as a healer begins—which is to bring the cure of this ancient music therapy and wisdom to others, especially women who have been sexually abused, women who suffer from depression caused by trauma and domestic violence, as well as men and transgender people, plus people suffering from addiction.

In the film’s climax, we see how my work with music, dance, and spirituality brings transformation and joy to my students as we travel to ancient sites of the Great Mother throughout Southern Italy showing devotion to the Black Madonna today in remote areas of Magna Graecia (Ancient Greece).Travelling through spectacular scenery and lush landscapes, where the turquoise sea meets the black fertile soil of the earth, we will find magical villages perched on top of cliffs towering over the Tirrenian sea, and visit ancient archaeological sites where primordial temples still stand today. Where we reveal a new embodiment of the Madonna and the ancient goddesses from which she originated: Isis, Cybele, Artemis, Demeter. We also learn how the early Christians portrayed Mary and Jesus as dark-skinned North Africans, and how popular these icons, often of Byzantine, Turkish, Ethiopian and Egyptian origin, still are over Southern Italy and the world. Right now I am editing the virtual pilgrimage – of the 7 madonnas and sacred locations in the south of Italy, Madonna della Neve, Positano, (Naples, Campania) Montevergine, Moiano, (avellino Benevento) Foggia, (Puglia) VIggiano, (Basilicata) Tindari (Sicily) and Seminara Calabria).

In the concluding scene we see that The Black Madonna is Alive! In Calabria at the Feast of La Madonna dei Poveri we come to a stunning realization. A brief but emotional description of how I, together with the townspeople, discovered scientific evidence that the Black Madonna is indeed alive.
Detailed film budget will be available soon. 

The Institute Of The Black Madonna:

The institute will also (eventually) have a physical location in New York City at the Italian American Museum on Mulberry Street, (now under renovation) starting the Spring 2021 where I will hold on going classes and performances, under the direction of Dr. Joe Scelsa. Through your monthly financial commitment, I will be able to get this Institute up and running. Your contribution will be going to the costs of planning and organizing, technical support, marketing, the professional creation of the unique documentary videos that will be used for educational purposes, and many more things that go into starting this program. I want to focus everything into this creation, but since the current administration has cut back on all grants for the arts, I turn to you to become my support network in raising the funds to continue my work.

Soon we will the estimated cost in getting the Institute of The Black Madonna up and running.

If you join my Patreon page to support my work and help me raise the money to create these very crucial and needed artistic and educational projects, you not only be supporting me, but you will be supporting a global healing community. As a Patreon you will have access to:  

  • A virtual mystical pilgrimage of empowerment, initiation, and transformation through the beauty and tradition of Italian folk music, which includes:the ancient Tammorriata musical tradition of the Earth Goddess Cybele and the Moon Goddess Diana, that are still played today for the Black Madonna in the remote villages of Southern Italy.
  • chants, rhythms, and sacred songs from various regions of Southern Italy
  • Therapeutic musical and trance practices used to heal women and men from abuse, trauma, depression, and addiction, focusing on the tarantella.
  • Instruction on how these practices can be used for self-healing and transformation, (as in my personal story of using the Tarantella to overcome cervical cancer)
  • To find a personal and healing relationship to the Black Madonna — who is central to all these songs, dances, and rituals. She is essential for our culture, especially for today— 
  • The opportunity to pilgrimage with me to the ancient site of the Black Madonna in Southern Italy next year.
My life’s work is to play the drums, sing, dance and teach other's these ancestral ways. These teachings will be lost unless more people learn them, embody them, and pass them on. They are powerful healing sounds and rituals that our long-ago ancestors used to stay connected to the Divine Feminine, to heal their bodies, and to remember the power that they truly are.
I am truly grateful for all the people who understand the power of these practices and know that more than ever the world needs them now. I have been doing this work my entire life— and I cannot let these ancient teachings not be passed on.

MORE ABOUT THE SCHOOL & WORKSHOPS by Mary Beth Bonfiglio- a writer and student of mine:

The Institute of the Black Madonna, an online and eventual in-person wisdom school that is centered around the music of Southern Italy that will offer classes for people all over the world to experience the healing of this ancient and powerful practice. Alessandra has been learning how to teach online during this pandemic (I have been lucky enough to learn from her) and the results have been beyond amazing. She’s been able to reach hundreds of people for weekly zoom classes on drumming, dance, and ritual. These online classes have inspired her and proven to her that she must focus on creating the Institute Of The Black Madonna. Alessandra knows she is being called to devote herself in sharing these powerful teachings for those suffering from both personal and intergenerational trauma. She has a vision to help people discover their own healing through music, dance, and the spiritual traditions of The Black Madonna. The Institute of the Black Madonna will be the larger school that will also offer specific online classes, launch the video documentary series, and continue to carry out pilgrimages to Italy once access is allowed into the country (borders are currently closed to American Citizens). The physical location of the Instituted will be in New York City at the Italian American Museum on Mulberry Street starting the Spring 2021. It’s her hope that she will be able to also hold on-going classes and performances while teaching globally online.

Alessandra is a true master; healer, teacher, and cultural historian and she needs support while she continues to create and teach healing and musical traditions that are all both alive in well in Southern Italy, but mostly unknown to most people around the world. These practices are desperately needed. In order for Alessandra, who is a true cultural treasure, to continue her important work in the world, she needs her communities, beloved, students and patrons to gather around her in support. She has important work to do, work that is essential for deeper healing and beauty for this world— and it’s up to those of us who see value and worth in cultural traditions and healing, and believe in the power of southern Italian music and teachings, to become patrons of this work. Her work is the kind of work that must be passed on. As patrons we can be the ones to make sure this happens.

Through your monthly financial commitment Alessandra will be able to launch The Institute of the Black Madonna— your patronship will help support Alessandra as she plans and organizes, secures technical support and systems, facilitates marketing and of course, continues teaching hundreds of students weekly. She will also be able to finish the editing on her unique documentary videos that will be used for both the Institute and also created in a series about the Black Madonna for a wider audience.

Alessandra has been dedicated to this work for her entire life and now she turns to you, to all of us, to weave together a support network so she is cared for as a master, and elder teacher. By joining Alessandra Belloni’s patreon you will be supporting the carrying on of ancient healing teachings that have been lost on so many of us, as well as knowing you will be a fabric in the tapestry of a globally healing community.

RHYTHM IS THE CURE:  these online workshop features Southern Italian folk dances and rituals we will learn chants used to invoke the healing power of the sun and moon, as well as a repertoire of therapeutic dances, accompanied by the beat of Frame drums and tambourines. Alessandra presents these unique dance movements which trace their roots from Southern Italy back to ancient Greece, with connections to Iran, Egypt and Andalusia, as well as to the traditions of the Gypsies who traveled from Rajasthan through North Africa, Morocco and Spain to Sicily and Calabria. Learn more here: Rhythm Is The Cure On-line Classes

RHYTHM IS THE CURE IN ITALY AND HAWAII: Alessandra takes these healing workshops to Italy and Hawaii for a 7-day intensive healing workshop featuring Southern Italian ritual dances used as music and dance therapy for centuries throughout the Mediterranean. Participants will learn the unique style of tambourine playing and the ancient healing trance dance of the tarantella, used to cure the mythical bite of the tarantula.This workshop focuses on releasing blockages of energies and breaking the imaginary "spiderweb"of the subconscious mind.Through this work, Alessandra has helped transform many people's lives through the years. Learn more at links below:
Rhythm Is The Cure Italy
Rhythm Is The Cure Hawaii.

TARANTATA DANCE CONCERT: A mystical and sensual music and dance production, about the history of the dance TARANTELLA, a wild erotic Most specifically, the performance harkens back to the historic Dance of the Tarantula, a healing trance dance for women from the Greek rites of the "Baccantes." Women involved in these rites, called Tarantate, danced the "Pizzica Tarantata" ("the bite of the spider tarantula," also called "the bite of love"). A bite of love supposedly drove them to dance in a wild frenzy in order to free themselves of repressed sexual desires. The dominant music was percussion, with large tambourines playing non-stop to a 12/8 beat, with loud accents. By spinning and stomping their feet, participants symbolically expelled the "poison" of the mythical bite of the tarantula from their bodies. Learn more about the Tarantata dance concert here.

PILGRIMAGE TO THE SACRED SITE OF THE BLACK MADONNA: (this year has been postopend) This tour through Southern Italy, as seen in my book "Healing Journeys with the Black Madonna" (Bear & Company) is a journey to seven sacred sites of the Black Madonna that are called in the Italian tradition "the seven sisters.” They are connected to seven Goddesses that are part of the ancient worship of Mother Earth and the Moon Goddesses and the archetype of the African Mother.  This pilgrimage is dedicated to the Divine Feminine and LA MADONNA NERA in places where she is still worshipped as she was in pre-Christian times. Unlike Spain or France, in Southern Italy we still dance, chant, and play our drums for Her. This will be a VERY unique and special experience!! This pilgrimage will be offered in person in Italy as well as through an online virtual pilgrimage / offering. Learn more about this sacred journey here: Voyage Of The Black Madonna


To watch some of Alessandra's TV appearances: 

Alessandra Belloni Live Appearance on ABC-TV7 Chicago
Alessandra Belloni featured on CNN Worldbeat
Alessandra Belloni "Spider Sex documentary” on National Geographic

To learn Alessandra's future pilgrimages to the sacred sites of the Black Madonna in Italy, please click here. 

Alessandra appreciates your patronage and looks forward to continue to live a live in devotion to the Black Madonna and bringing the healing musical traditions of Southern Italy to the great world. 

We look forward to a more connected and healing future. It's important to support our teachers and guides, especially during these challenging times. 

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