2005 - 2007: “Tarantella, Tarantula” Production

Ancient Lore for Contemporary Art Practice

Assorted baskets and basket-making materials


The Artship Ensemble's “Tarantella,Tarantula,” under the direction of Slobodan Dan Paich, premiered in San Francisco in the fall of 2006 and began its multi-year international tours with 8 days of performing at 2007 Prague Fringe Festival.

The “Tarantella” is a folk dance that originated in Puglia, a region of South Italy, where by tradition and practice, it is believed that the dance cures the poisonous bite of the tarantula spider.

Trulo doorway at Fano, Puglia, Italy

A doorway to the Trulo used by the school

From 1975 to 1980, Slobodan founded and directed an international art summer school in the Puglia region. He has been fascinated by and has studied the rich traditions and expressions of Pugliese folklore.

Since 2001 Slobodan has been reconnecting deeply to his earlier experiences in Puglia. His research into the multiple strands of Tarantella dance forms and music comprise the basis of the Artship Dance/Theater’s Tarantella, Tarantula production.

Trulo dwelling at Fano, Puglia, Italy

A beautiful example of a summer dwelling, Trulo, in Puglia, southern Italy. The arts summer school participants lived in them.

Salvatore Rizzo pictured at right with Slobodan, has taught us many, many things: how to make baskets, harvest and cook wild chicory, and grow and harvest various foods. He also has told us infinite stores about local places, people, beliefs and the significance of certain names, saint’s days and festivals.

At Artship we currently are exploring the movement and visual arts of ancient measuring systems, inspired by witnessing Salvatore’s use of his body as originator of dimensions for household objects and tools.

Salvatore Rizzo's simple and continuous use of the body as a source of proportion was as powerful an inspiration as our inhabiting and measuring ancient buildings, listening to songs and seeing dance.

Masseria Caves, Puglia, Italy

Built similarly to this, the caves at Masseria, Fano, containing traces of ancient civilizations and are one of the unique springs of water in the region .1976

Trulo dwelling at Fano, Puglia, Italy

Slobodan restoring an ancient precinct to one of the dwellings at Masseria Fano in Puglia, southern Italy.1976

Slobodan atop a trulo, Fano, Puglia, Italy

Slobodan atop a trulo, waving a flag, Fano, Puglia, Italy

Slobodan experimenting with over 80 feet of fabric in the wind on top of one of the trulo, where he stayed the duration of the summer school.

Trulo dwelling at Fano, Puglia, Italy