Italian twirling dance delights multicultural Dublin

Declan and crew were at Dublin’s historical Cobblestone Pub in Smithfield, this month, to capture Italian traditional dancer teacher, Eliana Valentini delivering a workshop to the multicultural Balfolk dance group. And traditional Italian musician, Andrea Facco, was on hand to provide live music for the delighted participants.

Filming was part of Declan’s BAI-funded “Home thought’s from abroad” multicultural TV series, due to hit the screens early in summer 2023.

“We had interviewed Eliana and Andrea about the dance and music that they display as part of Italian heritage in Ireland,” explained Declan, “so it was great to get the chance to film a live workshop. What struck me about the dance and music is the regionality of it all. Eliana, for example, was demonstrating two dances from the Campania region – Tammuriata and Montemaranese. But she and Andrea made it clear that every region of Italy. has it’s own music and its own dance. It’s a bit like Italian food. We think of that as something generic when, actually, the food differs from one region to another.”

The dance workshop was hosted by the Balfolk dance group who meet, every Sunday evening, at the Cobblestone – a venue which the owners give them the use of for free. Afterwards, Declan interviewed five of the Balfolk group who were from Italy, France, Spain and, in one case, Dublin.

“Our TV series is about giving the wider Irish community an insight into the cultures of our newer arrivals. I was delighted by what we were able to capture at Eliana’s workshop with the Balfolk group in the Cobblestone. It’s a really positive melting pot of cultures that, I feel, represents all that’s good about being European and the Irish welcome.”

Eliana can be contacted through her website: or on Instagram at

Balfolk Dance Group can be contacted on Facebook at:

Eliana Valentini and Andrea Facco play traditional Italian music from the Campania region