Palo Alto, CA
Ancient Dancers Of The Tarantula Dance
Painting - Oil On Canvas Jute Sheet
Traditional Dance of The Tarantula Spider. Ancient Dancers.
This is a oil painting, 33x25 inches, made on canvas jute sheet in 2012. This dance represents a hundreds years ancient tradition of the dance of the Tarantula, from a rite that date its roots back to the Greek rites of the Bacchae. It was, and still is, a liberating dance, undertaken mainly by women once a year, and lasts for days. Only on those feast days, women could freedom themselves from the oppression of their lives. The manifestation of this dance, took place in a public square, starting with the rests phase, lying down on the floor. Then, accompanied by the obsessive rhythms of violins and tambourines, they were starting dancing as they were possessed by the evil. From that the believes that they had been bitten form the Tarantula spider. The old female relatives of their families were closely follow them, holding a pillow, to prevent them, the dancers, to bump their head on the stone floor, as the "bitten" women were often falling on the ground, exhausted still restless, completely out of control, in a total state of trance.
This dance was the liberation of cruelty and bitterness of women's lives from a reality of a world ruled by men, and through their body shaken by the madness of three days, women where freedom their souls from the torment of their lives. This is history, anthropological phenomenon, part of our culture of south Italy. Today, this dance is still alive, is a show that attracts many tourists and curious people all around the world. But for us it is something more than a show. Nowadays at the end of August, in the night of The Tarantula, we dance restless for hours (visit my other painting "Traditional Dance of the Tarantula, Modern Dancer") all night, from sunset to sunrise not to forget, and proudly we still dance to honor our freedom!
April 4th, 2013
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