The tarantella

The Sorrentine Tarantella in today's reality. Songs with dums in the rural world. Maritime traditions. In 1500 the Sfessania Dance was played in Naples, it was a Spanish dance introduced by the Aragonese who, together with the tarantismo phenomenon must be considered as the ancestor of the Napolitan Tarantella. This is confirmed also by the numerous production of the lithografies of the 17th century made by the French painter and etcher Calliot, who lived in Italy and showed the Napolitan masks in the steps of the famous dance with the typical instruments of the Tarantella, that is crackers and tambourine.
Since there has never been a popular tradition of dance it is clear that the dance has developed in Sorrento owing to tourism. Between the 19th and 20th centuries it was offered as folkloristic show of entertainment to travellers of the Grand Tour. Therefore, if on the one hand this dance is regretted to have become a tool in the hands of the touristic industry, thanks to it the Tarantella has survived till now, in the absence of cultural support, being already a typial local element. The Big Sorrentine Hotels had their own groups of dancers. A group of dancers and musicians every evening gave an exibition in the inner courtyard ("piazzetta") of the hotel, by candlelight in a very evocative atmosphere such as to make the "foreigner" remember an unforgetful evening.A beautiful description made by the French writer Dauzat in the first years of the 20th century "... Tarantella is only danced during the evening in some Sorrentine hotels, nevertheless the show is still worth seeing, since it is infinitively graceful and evocative(...) there are no dancers trained according to the "rules" of a dance master, but fishermen, artisans, children of sailors that have learned from their parents the ancient national dance and most of them wear for this occasion authentic dresses, a little decorated, kept in the familiar wardrobes (...). In a courtyard with an arcade, like the Roman fashion, turists are sitting in a circle on rocking-chairs or tasting fresh drinks in front of a little forest of palm-trees and fragrant orange-trees.
A changing and multicolour human wreath comes out of the archways, insinuates itself among the groups of spectators at the rhythm of violins hidden behind the trees. The Tarantella is beginning..."
The same show is repeated today, not in the hotels anymore but in the night clubs where at a certain hour the tradition makes way for modernity. After the Tarantella, in the sixties the twist and today the lambada