Women Drummers for World Peace - TBA155 First Avenue
New York, NY 10003
Internationally renowned Italian Singer & percussionist - Alessandra Belloni
presents her women ensemble
DAUGHTERS OF CYBELE -
WOMEN DRUMMERS FOR WORLD PEACE
featuring sacred chants and drumming in Honor of the Black Madonna & the healing women trance dance Pizzica Tarantata
Alessandra Belloni : voice, tambourines, frame drums, ocean drum, ritual dance - Eve Sicular – drumset, dumbeck Serena Davini drum set, djembe- Olimpia Avignone – African percussion, frame drums, shakers, Dancers: Caterina Rago, Francesca Silvano, Danielle Hartman, Amra - fire dancer.
Special guests to be announced
Presented to sold out audiences at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, NYU Casa Italiana, New York Open Center, PASIC Indianapolis, DROM, Joe’s Pub, and Los Angeles, Venice , Lerici, Perc Fest and Salsomaggiore Italy,
- Links to article “Daughters of Cybele” at NYU Casa Italiana: http://www.essenceofitaly.net/journal/2014/01/daughters_of_cybele_fire_up_a.php
- Alessandra Belloni & Daugheters of Cybele Live at WOMA Jazz 2009
- Tambourine Solo http://youtu.be/-h2pyzZBUBM
- Cuncti Simus' Requiem http://youtu.be/pdoMPzTVEKQ
Countries around the world, including Southern Italy, Brazil, Africa and the Middle East have musical traditions based on the power of women. Belloni and company will emulate one of the most ancient ways of praying and healing, including sacred chanting to the Black Madonna sung by female voices in harmony, accompanied by various percussion instruments (frame drums, tambourines, shakers, djembes, dumbecks, riqqs, mazhars). Dancers will spin and stomp their feet in celebration of life and peace with the healing trance dance of the TARANTELLA.
With "Daughters of Cybele," Alessandra Belloni carries on the tradition of Roman priestesses who played the tambourine in worship of Dionysus, god of ecstasy and wine, and the Earth goddess Cybele now worshipped as the Black Madonna.
The concert is inspired by two geographically distant but thematically parallel traditions. Southern Italian and Brazilian purification rites and procession performed in the summer to honor the archetypical sea goddess. In Brazil she comes from the West African Yoruba culture and is called Yemanja , in Italy she is called the Black Madonna of the Sea (once called Aphrodite). Internationally renowned singer, percussionist, dancer and REMO Artist Alessandra Belloni will be playing the ocean drum, recreating the sound of the waves of the ocean , her Yemanja drum made by Remo that combines the sound of the water with the drum, her line of Southern Italian tambourines and frame drums accompanied by a small ensemble of women percussionists, dressed in white and blue to honor the sea.
THE DRUM IS FEMININE LIKE THE WOMB AND RHYTHM OF THE EARTH
LIKE THE HEART BEAT OF THE MOTHER GIVING BIRTH LIKE THE HEART BEAT OF THE CHILD BEING BORN WE HONOR THE EARTH WITH THE DRUM AND WOMEN VOICES AS IT WAS DONE IN ANCIENT TIMES, WHEN PEOPLE LIVED IN HARMONY AND PEACE
GIVING THANKS TO OUR EARTH MOTHER
Don Hackman, writing in the Los Angeles Times, found that "Alessandra Belloni and "Tarantata: Dance of the Ancient Spider" is a revelation, utterly fascinating."
Drum Magazine noted that "Italian-born virtuoso Alessandra Belloni is established as a unique phenomenon, not just a percussionist, but also an actress, lecturer, entertainer, and healer."
Jon Pareles of The New York Times, reviewing an I Giullari di Piazza show, remarked that "Ms. Belloni sang in an exultant voice. The songs blazed with an age-old momentum."
Alessandra Belloni’s links to TV appearances:
Alessandra Belloni Live Appearance on ABC-TV7 Chicago http://youtu.be/3J9ZlzKLzPw
Alessandra Belloni featured on CNN Worldbeat http://youtu.be/IkOqBrpcB9Q
Alessandra Belloni "Spider Sex documentary " on National Geographichttp://youtu.be/vp8dE3jJnq0
New York press:
Noted Italian percussionist/singer Alessandra Belloni and her all-female trio As the lights onstage went down, it was as if the crowd had been transported to a secret clearing somewhere in the Piemonte to witness some wonderfully obscure, mystical ritual. Alternating between high, eerie incantations and earthy folk melodies and playing a small museum’s worth of percussion instruments, they wove a sonic web not unlike another very popular vocal group, le Mystere des Voix Bulgares. As head spell-caster, Belloni was so wrapped up in the music herself that she’d back off the microphone, eager to launch into the next song, even as she announced what it would be. In addition to melodies from various parts of Italy as well as Brazil and a couple of impressive solo turns from band members, their dancer whirled through the club, finally dragging a couple of audience members out on the floor as the drums and voices wailed high overhead. It was a performance that was as physically gripping as it was sonically captivating, even psychedelic.
CAROLINE MASONE: Essence of Italy: during the Casa Italiana performance, the tribal and ancient drum beats were the perfect driver behind the ritual trance dances, belly dances, tarantellas and other steps of ritual purification. Many of these songs had been sung by groups of women long ago while working in the fields or mending fishermen's nets. In the performance, long, filmy cloths with vibrant colors were waved and danced, accentuating the music and movement. The songs alternated between bestowing blessings, yearning laments, joyous celebrations and heartfelt invocations. They flowed one to another as if to mimic the sea; either crashing like a wave in a riot of spinning, dancing chaos or ebbing in meditative reverence or deep, internal sorrow. Belloni's performance of Requiem for Elvira was a highlight, written by Belloni in honor of her mother's death. Closing her eyes, her voice was at its most raw and emotional. She seemed alone in the room, transported. We listened as her voice and drumming created a bridge to another world.