This opening sequence titled "Ancient Measures" from the Artship's original theatrical piece "Tarantella, Tarantula" reconstructs and expresses ancient measuring systems through dance.
Artship Foundation, archival footage. Performed in 2006 at ODC Theater, San Francisco.
Tarantella, Tarantula -- Panacea for everything form tarantula venom to unrequited love, the tarantella has been danced in Europe for hundreds of years to release both emotion and reptile poison. Now the dance of Italian elders and heartsick youth crosses the ocean to weave together narrative and dance in Tarantella, Tarantula, the joint effort of Slobodan Dan Paich and the Artship dancers. Historical characters, based on memories of the dancers' own ancestors, join contemporary immigrants in learning to navigate a new life that inhabits two cultures simultaneously. Lush with Mediterranean folklore and cultural transference, Tarantella, Tarantula explores the importance of passing heritage down through the generations through the lens of the tarantella. A tool to cope with emotions that don't have a traditional outlet, the tarantella is "about the age-old yearning to cure the Dark Night of the Soul." The performers would also like it noted that the show is not about spiders.
Conceived and choreographed by Slobodan Dan Paich
Performed by Catrian Kaupat, Tom Franco, Mardi Van Winkle, AnaDiane Landelle, Craig Coss
Music by Suellen Primost (Cello), John Kadyk (Clarinet, Steel Drum), Marie Perry (Accordion)