(TAR-uhn-tiz-uhm)- An uncontrollable
urge to dance
Taranto, a town in southern
Italy where this phenomenon was experienced during the 15-17th centuries. It's not clear whether tarantism was the symptom of a spider's bite or its cure, or it may have
been just a pretext
to dodge a
prohibition against dancing. The names of the dance tarantella
and the spider tarantula are both derived from the same place.
"The director is in a wild delirium, spinning
in circles as though stricken with tarantism, his whirring camera
held at arm's length, panning, tilting, arcing and oscillating and making other moves
that have no name."