Every year in May in Piazza Umberto at Arce is the Ballarella Festival, dedicated to the most passionate of traditional Ciociarian dances and popular folk music.
The Ballarella Festival was born in 2013 to make known the power and variety of the music of the lower Lazio region. For two days even the elderly become children again and young people rediscover the soul of the land of Ciociaria. Ballarella is the music of this area, a rhythm that accompanied the ancients on days of celebration and work and already the name evokes the passion of music.
Sounds and dances are reinforced over time because everything that surrounds these places is Ballarella!
In the course of the festival, beside the music and the opportunity to dance at concerts, one can take part in meetings on the annual theme of the festival that is chosen from time to time. Musicians and scholars of folk culture meet together. In 2018 the dedication is addressed to the subject of women, specifically to the music of women musicians.
The festival also hosts a photographic exhibition and has a craft market.
In addition, the tourist can learn to play and sing by participating in traditional singing and drum courses, in which teachers show the different techniques and variations born over the decades on the basic structure of the Ballarella and the similar Salterello.
At the end of the practice, the musicians play their instruments for dancing and to entertain those who want to participate, while the lucky visitor can taste the traditional local dishes while listening to the Ciociarian sounds.
In the food stands you can enjoy craft beer and specialty local dishes such as gnocchetti or fettuccine with cabernet, prosciutto, sausages and broccoli. In the craft market there are crochet work, musical instruments, pottery, creative recycling and papier mache products.
In the first few years of the festival, some excellent musicians and dancers have performed with music and dance classes that stand out in the Italian music scene such as I Bifolk di Veroli, Eduardo Vessella, Ambrogio Sparagna and Benedetto Vecchio of MBL, Giuliano Gabriele with his band, Antonio Petronio EtnoProject, Loredana Terrezza, Oriana Iannetta, Valentina Ferraiuolo, the BandAcornice association with the Piccolo Laboratorio Popolare, the Hernicantus, the Saltarello Amatriciano of Alessandro Calabrese, the Piccola Folk Orchestra Canto D’Inizio , the Choir of the University Popolare Antica Terra di Lavoro and many others.
It is an event not to be missed to discover the musical traditions of the wonderful land around Arce and the opportunity to visit the Archaeological Park of Fregellae, the Antiche Città di Fregellae Nature Reserve, Fabrateria Nova and Lake of San Giovanni Incarico, the museums of the nearby Pofi and Ceprano to immerse oneself in this corner of Ciociaria.
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