Santa Marta is a church waaaaaay out in the Venetian boonies, at the chin of the fish (if you think of Venice as a fish with a face to the west). I just came from their neighborhood festival, with food booths, yellow and red streamers over the picnic tables, and a couple bands in the campo.
The first band was Rio Tera’, a Venetian band. In fact, the lead singer was wearing a red shirt that read “100% Venexian.” (Not a spelling error–that’s in dialect.) They were lively and fun, kind of a gypsy sound to them. Folks stood around drinking beer or wine and eating spaghetti with tomato sauce off plastic plates. A biggish German shepherd chased around his mini mutt friend, and the kids danced or jumped off the stairs. The long haired guys and dreadlocked people gathered in their tribes.
Then, after some technical difficulties (and the arrival of the scent of pot smoke), the next band, Jammarea, took the stage and started up. For the first song, the lead singer, a lovely young woman in a long hippie skirt, left the stage and danced in front of it, also pacing along the front row to look people in the eye before whipping her hair as she turned around. For the second song, three beautiful bellydancers in coin bedlah entered from the sidelines and danced and spun in front of the stage. The two dogs came back, fighting over a plastic bottle at the feet of the bellydancers. The women exited, and for the third song, everybody else decided it was their turn to dance, wildly, with abandon, running into each other as they spun and twirled.
When I finally left, I could hear the band continuing as I walked and walked. Venice doesn’t absorb sound. But it does keep its culture alive.