Calabrian Tarantella

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Tarantella players

Calabrian Tarantella (in italian: Tarantella Calabrese or "Sonu a ballu": playing for dancing) is a generic term to include different musical-dancing expressions spread in Calabria peninsula and different from other southern Italian dances called simply Tarantella. It is played and danced during religious festivals and other social occasions. In recent times the tradition has been revived as new groups are taking an interest in instruments which had been falling into obscurity; they played "ad usu anticu" (in the old/traditional way) or they modernised the sound adding a Bass line or new sounds.

Musical instruments[edit]

Musical instruments of Calabrian Tarantella are: Zampogna, substituted often by organetto, with tamburello, in some areas was used Zampogna with Pipita and Fischiotta, while in Locride e Monte Poro was used calabrian lira. Rhythm is based on terzine with time in 12/8 and sometimes in 6/8.

Although there is homogeneity in Tarantella played and danced in all Calabria, there are some geographical differences: there is libera in east catanzarese, sonu a ballu in Aspromonte and Zumparieddu in Sila and Viddanedda in Reggio Calabria and style differences: fimminina (female style), masculina (male style), libera.

Calabrian tarantella at Caulonia (August 2010)


Tarantella calabrese is a man-women couple dance, but it could be also man-man and woman-woman, in a circular space made of moving people named "rota" (wheel). "U mastru i ballu" (Master of dance) decide the order of the dancers inside rota managed turns. Players outside rota follow and feel dancers and change music rhythm. In the past, during dancing, the people created a unique rota in the square where they danced.

Main calabrian Tarantella festivals[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]