Arci Tavola Tonda - WE ARE...


Do you want to know who we are? Well, make yourself comfortable: it's a long story...
The history of Arci Tavola Tonda is a bit like the history of the folk revival movement in Palermo.
If we really want to choose a starting point (because, you know, we could go back and forth indefinitely), we could say that it was the very first edition of the Experimental Laboratory of Ethnomusicology conducted by Professor Garofalo in the roaring years at the turn of the century. , when the course of anthropology studies in Palermo still boasted, in addition to Garofalo, the teachings of Giovanni Giuriati, Sergio Bonanzinga, Silvana Miceli, Elsa Guggino.
At the Ethnomusicology laboratory a series of students - musicians and non-musicians - put themselves to the test by studying the traditional repertoire to perform it on a stage as a final exam of the course. In this journey Barbara Crescimanno and Michele Piccione met for the first time. Barbara conducted the first courses in the city on European dances, from which the study and research group would be born which then - thanks to a happy intuition of Enzo Guarrasi, professor of Geography of Barbara's course of study who was in turn his teacher of traditional dances - will be baptized with the name of TrizziRiDonna; Michele founded the LassatilAbballari, one of the very first groups in Palermo that specifically dealt with the repertoire of folk dances.
While some began to make the European and southern Italian musical repertoire known to the Sicilian public, the others brought the DANCES in the square around Italy and Europe! The Trizzi shows, designed to involve the public, made hundreds of people dance and thrill.
Thus the INTRODUCTION COURSES TO TRADITIONAL DANCES, permanently hosted first in the premises of via Tavola Tonda, from which we take the name, then in via delle Alpi when in 2013 we left the first location and today at the Cantieri Culturali alla Zisa, have grown rapidly by frequency and number ...
The same curiosities and passions (for the research and transmission of cultural roots) have made TrizziRiDonna meet and meet several times over the years with LassatilAbballari.
When this passion was combined (in every sense, in 2009) with a strong idea of ​​community brought by Marco Tarantino, the TAVOLA TONDA association was officially born, affiliated with ARCI and, together, the first nucleus of the Popular School of Dance and Music with Barbara conducting the dances and Michele attending the courses of frame drums (ps: to avoid misunderstandings Barbara married with Marco or vice versa). The attention to music and dance in Sicily and in the Mediterranean has led Tavola Tonda to expand the staff of its associates, enriching themselves with new friends who have given their mastery and expand the number of courses offered.
Thus, between lessons, in recent years we have organized or hosted hundreds of concerts, reviews, theatrical performances, debates and book presentations, lectures-concerts; we have invited musicians and dancers friends - or we have been invited by them to play and conduct workshops - from Macedonia, Poland, France, Germany, Spain, Greece, the USA to exchange repertoires, to 'play' together, to share our desire for community ...
Since then the association has grown to reach a thousand members, its monthly 'Feste a bballu' have become an institution (you can find them 'mentioned' in "101 things to do in Palermo at least once in a lifetime" by G . Terranova, Newton Compton Editori) and the dissemination of popular music and dance has generated a fantastic cascade effect that from the ribs of Trizzi (version 1.0) and LassatilAbballari saw the birth of the Matrioskas and the PopolArti association (from the name of a our old project) as well as from the autonomous initiative of some alumni of the School comes the movement of the CalaBalFolk (before) and of the PAF (Now)...
In the meantime, consolidating the teaching group, the Popular School has become a unicum in Southern Italy both for instruments and for the proposed musical and dance repertoire (frame drums, African percussion, transverse flute, mandolin, violin, guitar, accordion, accordion , oud, ney flute, vocal technique, folk song and, of course, traditional dances) and we have been invited across half of Europe to conduct workshops and balfolk.


In 2015 we won the Youth for Social call, from the Presidency of the Council of Ministers - Youth Department and SCN, with the CULTURAL ARTISANS project, a 2-year training course aimed at girls and boys between 14 and 35 years to create a Popular music orchestra, a company of dancers, a workshop of luthiers and a team of sound engineers.
We just have time to publish the membership application on social networks and distribute the first posters that we are overwhelmed by requests. In a couple of weeks, over three hundred people ask us to become Cultural Artisans, compared to the 80 places available.
We are forced, in spite of ourselves, to make selections and we are so displaced by "having to choose" that we choose to turn to a psychologist (of groups, but still a psychologist), who we will always thank for not giving up immediately, finding ourselves in front of a heap of assorted musicians, artists and extra-parliamentarians, with the same predisposition to the order of Asterix's fellow villagers ...
At the end of the selections, over 140 girls and boys officially join the project (fewer for us it was unacceptable!) Who from April 2016 until December 2017 attend courses in instrument, music theory, dance, ethnomusicology, lutherie and sound technique.
This project has allowed us to obtain from the Municipality of Palermo a space for rent within the Cantieri Culturali alla Zisa, to host our activities which, magically, have doubled! A space that we have renovated at our own expense and which since 22 September 2017 hosts all our activities and which includes a concert hall-dance room, recording and direction room, teaching rooms, a luthier.


Already super busy in all the ordinary activities we have, at the beginning of summer 2016, the brilliant idea of ​​reuniting with those other irresponsible people from the Arci Porco Rosso club, the Maghweb Association and the CISS (South-South International Cooperation), also involving friends from outside Italy. (from Greece, Romania, Malta) and their associations; so we write another project and the European Commission incredibly decides to fund our "COMMUNITY: INteractive and Creative Approaches to Discover Different Cultures" presented during the last call of the call for Creative Europe - Support to Refugee Integration Projects. Only 12 in all of Europe have made it and we are among them, despite us ...
In a nutshell we have created a Songbook with refugees, learning their songs, playing with them and producing a cd that keeps track of them. Something that thrilled and frightened us at the same time, a subject to be treated with great delicacy and attention.

SPONDE SONORE, il festival 

Finally, since 2017 we have been organizing a festival called SPONDE SONORE which in the first edition was able to count on the mastery of Alfio Antico, L'effet Dulogis from France, Cantigas and Agarimos from Spain, Nando Brusco, TrizziRiDonna, Luca Recupero, traditional Sicilian musicians flocked and scholars who gave lectures on the subject (from Sergio Bonanzinga to Nico Staiti, from Silvia Bruno to Giorgio Adamo and Grace Magazzù).
In short, a great organizational effort paid off by the presence of hundreds of people every evening and by the pride of seeing the Orchestra degli Artigiani Culturali debut on the final evening with a full house...
And we have arrived at today; Of course, many things have changed over the years: those who arrive and those who leave, new members who become pillars, old members who find new paths. Even the location has changed (now you can find us at the Cantieri Culturali alla Zisa, Pavilion 18A) but we will always carry our name which, for the record, indicates the area of ​​the city where the newly disembarked strangers were housed and fed. they found themselves around a Round Table. Exactly!
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