Wednesday, 23 April 2014

The Tarantella

My A-Z Challenge series is about Italy, it's lifestyle, the country and other miscellaneous things in regard to it.


This is a dance mainly danced in the South of Italy, generally during traditional festivals or weddings. The name comes from a type of poisonous spider whose bite was believed to cause people to move convulsively. This in turn was used as a form of medication back in the middle ages, if someone had a bite wound doing this dance was meant to remove any venom. It may have had it's roots from further back in Roman times and is still actually used today to remove depression and similar mental health ailments, the belief going that the fast music and movements will drive it out somehow. Research has begun to see how much efficacy there actually is in this.

There are different versions, either being used for courtship or as a simulated sword fight between two men. When danced at a ceremony such as a wedding all guests often join in and it's just a fun dance for entertainment.

Another dance where lots of people join in is the Hulli Gulli which was American but seems to have reached Italy back in the sixties and is still very popular now. You see it at weddings, dances on the beach and all over. It generally is danced to the tune of The Watusi, a song which will undoubtedly get your toes tapping, hum it anywhere in Italy and someone will sing along and probably start up the dance. It's a type of line dance, some people get it right every time but often people will be out of time but no-one minds, a fun dance for everyone of every generation. Click on the link below to watch The Hully Gully being danced to The Watusi, and see if you can find any recommended YouTubes for The Tarentella being danced by brides and grooms and their guests at a wedding.


Susan Kane said...

Love the music and the joy in dancing.

Over visiting from the A to Z.

Tina said...

I love dancing. In Sweden, there is dancing around the decorated pole set up for the summer solstice celebration called Midsommar, which I think is easily translated even for non-Swedish speaking people.

I've never danced either of these two dances you wrote about, but I'd sure like to try!

Thanks so much for visiting Life is Good and for following! I'm following you now :-)
Tina @ Life is Good
A to Z Team @ Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2014

DayDreamer said...

Susan, they can be very toe tapping.

Tina, doing the Watusi is so much fun even though I'm useless. I've always wanted to dance round the pole, it's done in the UK too, very complicated twists with ribbons which maybe in Sweden is the same.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Daydreamer - Tarantella is an amazing dance and stemmed so many other theatrical ideas .. such fun ... cheers Hilary

DayDreamer said...

I didn't realise that about it, but it does make sense.