July 11, 2023

At the Valmiermuiža ethnomusic festival on July 15, a special hot-blooded Italian dance tarantella master class will be offered by the best tarantella group in the world, Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino (CGS), who will also perform in the festival program.

Tarantella is a fast, trance-like dance that can heal the bite of a poisonous tarantula spider. The birthplace of the dance is the south of Italy - the port city of Taranto, where the "heel of the boot" begins. This is also where the name of the dance comes from, which in the Salento region is known as pizzica. There is an opinion that this dance has traveled to the present day from deep antiquity, from the times when the cult of Dionysus was still practiced in Ancient Rome. Bacchanalian rites were strictly restricted by the Roman Senate, and the dance went underground, reviving again as an emergency therapy for tarantula bite victims. The dance is fast, fiery, and if it's not the spider's poison, then the gloomy thoughts are scattered in the field as usual!

CGS dancer Silvija Perrone will show the participants of the master class how to dance Pizzica Pizzica - the traditional dance of the Salento region of Southern Italy. The master class is suitable for both experienced and inexperienced dancers. Silvija will also briefly tell about the history and meaning of this fascinating dance.

The tarantella group Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino (CGS) is Italy's leading and longest-running traditional music ensemble, founded in 1975 in Salento. The group of seven musicians and dancers, led by violinist and percussionist Mauro Durante, has released 20 albums and performed countless times around the world. Songlines Music Award in 2018 awarded CGS the title of the best group in the world. CGS performances are live explosions: full of energy, passion, rhythm and mystery, they connect the past with the present, reviving the ancient legend of the tarantella known in Salento as picika (pizzica).

The CGS tarantella master class will take place at 2:30 p.m. on the Small Stage and will be available to visitors with festival tickets. On the other hand, their performance will start shortly before midnight, after the burning of the fire sculpture, when everyone will be able to try out the learned dance steps!

With this year's motto "opposites attract", the Valmiermuiž ethnomusic festival will offer the opportunity to experience both diverse concerts and fire sculpture burning, as well as various workshops that will provide an opportunity to learn the skills of traditional crafts and look at them anew together with skilled masters from the Center for Traditional Culture Initiatives "KasTe" .

Visitors to the sound workshop will be given the opportunity to get to know and learn different, large and small, easy-to-play musical instruments - small percussions, staves, kokles, tambourines and drums, while making music themselves.

In the planing workshop, not only planing will be done, but decorations will be made from the planed shavings - bouquets, little birds, decorated bows. The masters will show you how to plan wood, make decorations and invite you to participate so that everyone can prepare a beauty item to take home.

In the workshop "Swiests ālš, sviests šalš" you will churn butter according to the methods of the ancestors, enjoy both salty and sweet butter cream, highlighting Vidzeme's culinary heritage.

The textile and metal workshop will provide an opportunity to create decorations using opposite techniques and materials - wool and metal. The workshop leader will not only demonstrate techniques, but also help visitors make their own decorations. Familiarization with the loom, setting up the canvas and weaving is expected here. You will have the opportunity to both watch the masters and try to weave the fabric for the shopping bag yourself, making the threads from linen, but putting the strips of plastic shopping bags in the fabric so that they can be reused instead of being thrown away.

About the ethnomusic festival of Valmiermuiža
On July 15, Valmiermuiža Park will host the most ambitious contemporary ethnomusic event in Latvia, gathering outstanding representatives of the genre on two stages. Here you will meet global stars - the tarantella group from Italy Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino, the Norwegian group Torgeir Vassvik Band with shamanic vocals and percussion ritual, the rocking turbo-folk group Joryj Kloc from Ukraine and the home-grown New John Orchestra full of primordial energy with a world premiere. Also, the ethno-disco duo - Dīvs Reiznieks and Kaspars Zaviļeiskis will offer a colorful jumping program of different world music, you can also enjoy art, theater, the latest Latvian cinema, sustainable and traditional workshops, excellent beer, delicious food from different nations and a summery atmosphere. At the climax of the festival, the lighting of the fire sculpture by the Spanish artist Jordi NN with a musical modern circus performance.

The Valmiermuiža ethnomusic festival is organized by the Valmiermuiža cultural association and the Cultural Management Center "Lauska". Supported by: State Cultural Capital Fund, Valmiera County Municipality, Valmiermuiža Brewery, Vidzeme Planning Region, Gardu muti zelteri, ZAAO, Ramirent and others.

More information - Facebook and etnovalmiermuiza.lv.

Additional information:
Liva Jäger
Communication consultant of the Valmiermuiža ethnomusic festival
tel.: (+371) 26151344
e-pasts: liva@deepwhite.lv

July 24, 2023