As mentioned in a few previous posts, they take their dancing very seriously in Salento. Since 1998 they have had a yearly festival called La Notte della Taranta, which culminates near the end of August with a huge free concert in Melpignano (this year on the 27th) that is attended by more than 100,000 people.
If you find appealing the thought of seeing, for free, some terrific pizzica and other folk music from Italy’s far southeastern corner (as well as sounds that come from further afield), but the thought of one-tenth of a million people crammed into a small town is a bit off putting, not to worry. For the two weeks before the Melpignano concert, smaller concerts take place every night in Grecìa Salentina, a group of towns in Salento where the culture and dialect are directly linked to Greece.
I attended the August 17 concert in Castrignano dei Greci and last night the one in Martano. I mentioned sounds from further afield: last night a guy in a kilt played a bagpipe in perfect harmony with the tambourines. The videos can give you a much better taste of what a Notte della Taranta concert is like than I would ever manage with words.
Video 1: the energy stays at full throttle all night
Video 2: the tambourine gets the status of the trumpet in a jazz concert
Video 3: the ronde (ronda is the singular) are the circles that form in the crowd, during the concert and during the breaks—as in this video, where people take turns dancing while the tambourine players bang away