Beppe Maniglia – Napoli
Napoli, or Naples as it is sometimes known, is a destination certain to excite everyone: from the art and history enthusiast to the nature and sea lover, from connoisseurs of gastronomy to those of ancient traditions. The vitality of Neapolitan music extends from the operas of Rossini to such popular songs as ‘O Sole Mio and Funiculì Funiculà. There’s also the somewhat secretive subgenre of Napoli Disco, of which this track here is a splendid example.
The dance of Napoli is the Tarantella. This was reportedly born around the region of Taranto, Apulia, where the bite of a spider named tarantula after the region caused people to fall into a hysterical condition known as tarantism. The victims would dance uncontrollably, trying to to sweat the poison out. This action can be seen in the film Flavia the Heretic / Flavia, La Monaca Musulmana, a French-Italian nunsploitation film directed by Gianfranco Mingozzi in 1974.
How to do the dance? Here are the basic steps.
•Facing front, cross your right foot in front of the left. Cross your left foot in front of the right. Step your right foot to the side, step your left foot to the side. Repeat this while the woman shakes the tambourine in a clockwise circle in front of her body.
•Place your hands on your hips, kick the right foot out to the front keeping it low to the ground, then step on the right foot putting weight on it, slightly in front of the left foot. Touch the ball of your left foot to the ground (without putting your full weight on it) then step in place with the right foot. This sequence is called the tarantella step. Repeat this sequence beginning with a left-foot low, front kick. Repeat again beginning right, then repeat once more beginning with the left. Perform this sequence three more times, traveling backward slightly.
•Face your partner. The woman hits the tambourine to her left shoulder, her left hip, then her right hip. Repeat this, making a triangle across the body. Tap the left hand twice with the tambourine. Perform the tarantella step forward twice, beginning with the right foot kick, so that your right shoulders pass each other. Dance the tarantella step twice moving backwards to return to the starting position. This back and forth sequence can be referred to as a “do-si-do.” Moving the tambourine twice as quickly, the woman taps her left shoulder then right hip. Repeat this tambourine sequence, then tap the left hand twice with the tambourine. Repeat the “do-si-do.”
•The man holds the tambourine in his left hand and kneels on his right knee, tapping the tambourine for seven counts of music on his right hip. On count eight, tap it twice. The man continues to kneel for eight more counts of music. Meanwhile, the woman places her hands on her hips and dances eight tarantella steps in place.
•The man remains in the kneeling position for the next 16 counts of music, but with the tambourine now shaking above his head. The woman performs eight Tarantella steps forward in a counterclockwise circle around the kneeling man.
•Two couples stand opposite each other with right hands reaching center, holding hands, forming a star shape, with left hands holding the tambourines. The couples perform eight tarantella steps simultaneously, the group rotating in a circle clockwise. Clap the tambourine on the last step. Everyone turns to join left hands in the center. Perform the eight tarantella steps again, now turning in the opposite direction. Clap the tambourine on the last step.