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Polka saltata and violin mission

Andrea da Cortà warned me: "If you don’t come to listen to them during carnival it will be difficult to do it after". Unfortunately, I can reach Comelico Superiore just a month after that time and the only two violinists in the village do not want to play again. We have to wait another year to listen to them. In this village located in the Belluno Dolomites it is celebrated a typical carnival with the masks Matazìn and Matazina (among others) and a procession of accordion, guitar, bass and... violin players.
 
The opportunity to visit Comelico and to know its people and the Polka Saltata has been offered to me by the Association “Gruppo Candide” (www.gruppocandide.it) and the “Union ladina dal Comelgo”. Thanks to the initiative of the multi instruments player Andrea da Cortà (in the center; see picture www.altei.it), they invite me for my Video show”, thus this is the right opportunity for a syncretic exchange of Italian / Latin American / Comelico musical views.

The idea to organize a "video show" has the purpose to flush out the violinists, to sensitize them and try to make them play with the pretext of the invitation. Unfortunately in the village they say that without the accordionist the violinists do not play, thus the organizers take the phone and start looking for the accordion.
 
The sun sets and so do the lights of the theatre and the show begins. I must say that the participation of Comelico audience was one of the warmest (and they say that the inhabitants of the mountains are cold!), everybody knows each other and the atmosphere is very intimate. I play the last piece and the musicians start being itching to play, they take out their instruments and….the dancing is opened .... What about the violinists? I will find them next year.

The piece of the movie is a Polka Saltata. Andrea da Cortà tells me that this type of dance is present only in Comelico Superiore, in Dosoledo, Candide and Padula. Then there is another conservative oasis in the Four Provinces (Genoa, Alessandria, Pavia and Piacenza ). In all these places the dance is the same, but the steps are slightly different. The people present at the show are able to recognize the origin of the couple by the way they dance. The violin, formerly used for this type of music, seems to be doomed to disappear. In Comelico Superiore,  a part from the two "ghost" violinists there is nobody ready to continue the tradition. Moreover, the introduction and wide dissemination of the accordion in popular repertoire have substituted the use of the strings due to the technical easiness an the timbre possibilities.

 

TO BE CONTINUED...

 

Thanks to: Andrea da Cortà, Lucio Eiche Clere, Ass. "Gruppo Candide", Manuela da Cortà, il pubblico di Comelico, Union ladina dal Comelgo.

 

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