Italian Embassy In Ghana Holds Workshop With Ug School Of Performing Arts

Dr. Anna Nacci delivering the Lecture             

The School of Performing Arts in collaboration with the Italian Embassy in Ghana has held a workshop on the theme “Two Cultures, Same Rhythms”, at the School of Performing Arts. The workshop was organized as part of activities lined up for the Italian Cultural week celebration organized by the Italian Embassy in Accra. Faculty and Students of the School and students from Ghana International School (GIS) took part in the workshop.

Dr. Anna Nacci, Musician and Sociologist from University of Bologna, gave a presentation on Tarantism. She explained “Tarantism” as the ancient healing trance rite, used to communicate with the gods to grant grace to victims suffering from depression, resulting from the bite of a spider. She drew similarities between the use of Tarantula (the spider) and Ananse in Italian and Ghanaian folk tales respectively and how both cultures represent the spider in the dispersal of wisdom in their tales.

Dr. Nacci noted that it is believed that only a repetitive and obsessive rhythm played by tambourines together with a special melody could help the people suffering from depression. Those special rhythms and melodies made the people dance for hours, for 3-4 days to get rid of the poison of the spider’s bite.   

A display of the Taranta dance

A demonstration of the rhythm was held during the percussion session by Dr. Nacci and her Tarantula Rubra Band. Participants were introduced to the rhythm of the Pizzica. A dialogue between pizzica rhythm and West African rhythm was also held. There was also a demonstration of a “love pizzica” – the mating dance of Taranta.

The Italian Ambassador to Ghana, Her Excellecy Laura Carpini was grateful to the School of Performing Arts for hosting the event.  She said the event was a means of strengthening ties with countries with which they share diplomatic relations. It was also a way of bringing people and their cultural expressions together to identify and dwell on their commonalities rather than their differences.

Some participants in a Group Photograph with the Italian Ambassador after workshop

Earlier, Dr. Sylvanus Kwashie Kuwor from the Department of Dance Studies welcomed the team on behalf of the School of Performing Arts and intimated that the workshop underscores the need to harness the diversity of cultures in the world for the purpose of building a contemporary multicultural society that serves the needs of all.