Italian folk dances are an innate part of Italy’s culture which was the power centre of the European continent from the days of the Roman empire. Italy as a nation has a very rich cultural history and is known for being the epicenter of the major historical event – ‘The Renaissance’.
In addition, it is also known for its unique cuisine like the world famous ‘pizzas and pastas’ and many more mouth watering dishes.
Infact, the Sicilians are known as the world’s best cheesemakers. However, what many people do not know is that Italian culture is also renowned for its unique folk dances. So here is a list of “5 most famous Italian traditional dances”.
TRADITIONAL ITALIAN FOLK DANCE
This Italian folk dance is related to the tarantella. It is known to be one of the most popular Italian folk dances. It originated in Southern Italy, and people immigrated during the 19th and 20th centuries to America.
The dance styles are as varied as Italy itself. Every town has its own unique traditional dance that depicts or represents stories or gives praise and thanks to higher powers.
Folk dance is done by ordinary local people without any professional training. The dance style is celebrated and performed during celebrations and parties, feast days, and informal family gatherings.
This type of dance is not recorded in a professional way. The movements and steps are full of the creation of their own individual minds through the simple act of watching each other.
FOLK DANCE NO 1: BALLU TUNDU DANCE
Ballu Tundu is a Sardinian folk dance first performed in the year 1805 and is supposed to have originated from an autonomous region called Sardinia in Italy.
Ballu Tundhu dance basically comprises ‘leaps and agile foot movements’. In addition, this form of folk dance is performed to music produced by instruments such as the Launeddas, and the accordion.
FOLK DANCE NO 2: CALABRIAN TARANTELLA DANCE
Calabrian Tarantella dance is a partner dance originating from the Calabria region in southern Italy. Furthermore, this dance is performed around a circle called ‘rota’ i.e. wheel.
In addition, instruments such as Zampogna (a peculiar instrument with double chantered pipes) and a diatonic button accordion are usually used to produce music for Calabrian Tarantella folk dance.
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FOLK DANCE NO 3: MONFERRINA DANCE
A popular folk dance known as Monferrina originates from a region called Piedmont in North Italy. In this “couple” dance the performers generally join both their hands as well as bend their knees while performing. Furthermore, Monferrina dance also involves the use of bows, mimed teasing and coaxing.
In addition, this folk dance is referred to as “Monferrina Di Friuli” in the Province of Bologna, and “Monferrina Mudnaisa” in the Province of Modena.
FOLK DANCE NO 4: PIZZICA DANCE
Performed essentially by “couples” is a popular Italian folk dance called Pizzica originating from a region called Salento located in southern Italy. However, it must be noted that this dance can be performed by “same sex as well opposite sex couple”.
Furthermore, Pizzica dance was developed mainly by women as a way to express their desire to break free from the norms set by a rather conservative patriarchal Italian society. The dance style has been updated by mixing modern styles of rhythm with the traditional beats of Italian folk dance.
FOLK DANCE NO 5: TARANTELLA DANCE
Named after a “wolf spider” is a group of folk dances called Tarantella, and is said to have originated from a region called Salento located in Southern Italy. Earlier, in the late 15th century and in Italy, “Tarantism” became a phenomenon.
Tarantella dance, the folk dance of Italy, also known as “courtship” dance is essentially performed by couples in rhythm with the music.
The performers use a lot of gestures while dancing. The music accompanying this group of folk dances is produced by instruments such as a mandolin, guitar, accordion, tambourine, flute, fiddle, trumpet, and clarinet.
Two amazing dance videos of the Italian folk dance Tarantella: Source – YouTube
Tarantolato – Tarantela Napolitana (Amadança 2015)
Tarantela Dance Italiana
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