Segmento Tarantella Festival 2022

‍On Sunday 20 November 2022, the first Segmento Tarantella Festival was held in the beautiful park of Edwardes Lake, Reservoir, Melbourne.

At Segmento, we believe that understanding different cultures and traditions in a globalized and multiethnic society is essential for the harmonious and peaceful coexistence of all communities. For this reason, we brought together Australian and Italian creatives to provide an original and multi-immersive experience of Italian traditional music and dance. Participants and facilitators included dancers, musicians, writers, poets, and visual artists. 

Under the artistic direction of the Melbourne School of Tarantella, the Segmento Tarantella Festival hosted local bands Zumpa!, Rustica Project, Sanacori and, directly from Calabria,  Progetto Tarantella – Valentina & Fortunato. The festival was honored by the presence of special guest Alfio Antico, Sicilian singer-songwriter, musician, theater actor, and one of the world's leading interpreters of the tammorra, a traditional large frame drum.

The crowd for the Segmento Tarantella Festival at Edwardes Lake

In spite of the not-so-sunny weather, around 2000 people joined us in a celebration of traditional southern Italian music and dance. Throughout the festival, the Melbourne School of Tarantella invited the audience to join them in dancing, recreating the feeling of a festa di paese!

The festive atmosphere attracted people of all ages, connecting the elderly with the young, and encouraging second- and third-generation Italo-Australians to maintain a bond with their cultural heritage beyond language and other already established cultural practices.

Melbourne School of Tarantella

People from all walks of life joined in, proving that sharing aspects of the southern Italian tradition is not necessarily tied to one’s geographical provenance. A multimedia exhibition titled Calabrian Voices, curated by Yamunindi Art & Culture, showcased works by five Melbourne-based Australian artists. The artworks respond to the themes of cultural identity and belonging and encourage reflections on our shared experiences of migration and relationships to our roots. 

From left to right: Nicola Carè, Member of the Italian Parliament; Giovanni Butera, Publisher of Segmento; Fabio Motta, Festival MC; Lina Messina, Major of Darebin City; Rosa Voto, Festival Art Director.

The event would not have been possible without the support of Nixora Group, main sponsor of the festival. Special thanks to Lina Messina, Mayor of Darebin City Council, where the festival was held; Nicola Carè, Member of the Italian Parliament, for his continuous support; Sam Sposato, President of the Federation Association of Calabrian Clubs of Victoria, for involving the community. We are also thankful to Claudia Masina, the festival manager who coordinated all event-related activities; Helen Raizer, who in many occasions managed the public relations for the events run by Segmento; and the Monash University Italian Club and the Melbourne University Italian Club for volunteering at the event.

Photography by Vincenzo Cascone, Renato Colangelo, & Sebastiano Motta

Cover image: Alfio Antico