A long standing traditional folk dance in the Puglian region is the Pizzica. Its origins are believed to be derived from the Tarantella dance which was performed by people who had been bitten by a deadly tarantula. It is believed that the poison sent people into a hysterical dance, and that sweating it out by dancing and stomping formed a sort of exorcism which eliminated the symptoms of the poison.
The Pizzica expresses forms of the Tarantella but the difference between the two is that the Pizzica is usually performed by a couple in an entangled romantic embrace. The woman is often dressed in white, signifying a bride, and dancing with a handkerchief or a scarf. For a more dramatic effect, a group of dancers take to the centre stage.
The Pizzica is more elegant with an up beat tempo, and is usually accompanied by a guitar, a mandolin, an accordion and tambourines.
If you have never seen this dance being performed before, check out this video. The Salientes Dance Group perform the Pizzica in dramatic style, in the beautiful walled City of Ostuni.
Salientes Pizzica video – http://youtu.be/u8D6G1csDn8