Italian folk dancing revolves around the Tarantella, a quick dance with dancers moving around, which is ofttimes finished at weddings. It originated in southern Italia and has a abundant story.
Who Created the Tarantella?
The Tarantella was originally a dance done by lower and middle-class Italians and was considered a dance that would heal the sick. It later developed into a courtship dance and was performed by young couples. In the courtship version of the dance, the woman uses the dance to attract her partner, who is attracted to her beauty, elegance and fitness.
Never Performed Alone
Italians believe that it is unlucky to perform the Tarantella alone, so it is always performed with at least one other person.
There is a myth that the Tarantella originated as a cure for a bite by the Tarantula, a poisonous spider. The person who was struck by the spider would perform the Tarantella nonstop to avoid being overcome by the venom.
While it is believed that the Tarantella originated in Southern Italy, there are versions found throughout the country. The Furlana and the Saltarello—found in Venice and Rome, respectively—are similar to the Tarantella.
Tarantella translates to “little spider.” It is believed that the town of Taranto had an epidemic of poisonous spider bites during the 13th century.
Tarantella Caused More Harm Than Good
If the dance was actually used as a cure for spider bites, it would actually do more harm than good. Vigorous dancing would cause the toxins to be released in the body, thus increasing the effect of the bite.