Pizzica (Italian pronunciation: [ˈpittsika]) is a popular Italian folk dance, originally from the Salento peninsula (in Apulia region) and later spreading throughout all the Puglia and Calabria regions and eastern Basilicata. It is part of the larger family of tarantella (plural: tarantelle) dances.
Dancing the pizzica
The traditional pizzica is a couple dance. This couple need not necessarily involve two individuals of opposite sexes, and often two women can be seen dancing together. Nowadays it has become rare to see two men dancing an entire pizzica. An exception with a pizzica between two men can still be found in the town of Ostuni, where one of the two men who dance jokingly pretends to be a woman. Another exception is where two men pretend to be engaged in a duel. The most important book about Pizzica and the ritual of Tarantismo is The Land of Remorse, write by the italian philosopher, anthropologist and historian of religions Ernesto De Martino. There are several traditional pizzica groups, the oldest being Officina Zoé, Uccio Aloisi gruppu, Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino, I Tamburellisti di Torrepaduli.
Since 1998 there has been a summer Notte della Taranta (taranta night), consisting of a whole night where many famous musicians alternate their performances with pizzica orchestras. Some of them include Stewart Copeland, Franco Battiato, Gianna Nannini, Raiz, Lucio Dalla, and Carmen Consoli. The 11th Festival was held in Lecce in August 2008.
Well known Pizzica musicians and bands
- Alla Bua
- Anna Cinzia Villani
- Antonio Castrignanò
- Arakne Mediterranea
- Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino
- Officina Zoè
- Enza Pagliara