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  • Lecture: Tarantella

Lecture: Tarantella

  • 18 Jul 2018
  • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM


Registration is closed

Talk Story on "Tarantella" 

with Dr. Incoronata Inserra

The myth of the "bite of the tarantula" has been a legacy of the Southern Italian culture for centuries and is where the origin story of the "tarantella" begins!

We're excited to welcome back to Hawai`i former UH Professor Dr. Incoronata "Nadia" Inserra for a special scintillating talk story about her book Global Tarantella: Reinventing Southern Italian Folk Music and Dances (click here for Amazon link to purchase book).


Wednesday, July 18, 2018, 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Hawaiian Aroma Caffe, located at the Outrigger Waikiki Beachcomber

2300 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815 (2nd floor)


This event is FREE! Friends of Italy will provide light pupus for attending guests. Please RSVP so we have sufficient food for attendees. Additional food and beverages (e.g., coffee, espresso, cocktails, sodas) are also available for purchase.


Tarantella, a genre of southern Italian folk music and dance, is an international phenomenon--seen and heard in popular festivals, performed across the Italian diaspora, even adapted for New Age spiritual practices. The boom in popularity has diversified tarantella in practice while setting it within a host of new, unexpected contexts.

Nadia (Incoronata) Inserra will be speaking about her experience researching and writing her 2017 book Global Tarantella: Reinventing Southern Italian Folk Music and Dances. She will discuss what initially drew her to this topic both as a Southern Italian woman and as part of the Italian “brain drain” in Hawaii, and also about her encounter and work with world-renowned tarantella artist Alessandra Belloni, who has been performing and teaching tarantella in Hawaii since 2006. This encounter ultimately inspired Nadia to write about the continued significance of the tarantella genre today, both in Italy and the US.

Her book ventures into the history and global circulation of this fascinating genre. Examining tarantella's changing image and role among Italians and Italian Americans, the book illuminates how factors like tourism, translation, and world music venues have shifted the ethics of place embedded in the tarantella cultural tradition. Once rural, religious, and rooted, tarantella now thrives in settings urban, secular, migrant, and ethnic. Inserra reveals how the genre's changing dynamics contribute to reimagining southern Italian identity. At the same time, they translate tarantella into a different kind of performance that serves new social and cultural groups and purposes. Indeed, as the book shows, tarantella's global growth promotes a reassessment of gender relations in the Italian South and helps create space for Italian and Italian American women to reclaim gendered aspects of the genre.

Friends of Italy Society of Hawaii is a 501(c)7 non-profit organization | P.O. Box 1376, Honolulu, HI 96807 | info@friendsofitalyhawaii.org

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