Tradizione Vivente – The Italian Dance Group of Milwaukee has been in existence for over 70 years.
Though the exact date the group was formed is unknown, it is estimated that The Italian Dance Group of Milwaukee was established sometime in 1945, by Lisa Di Polis, so that its members might spend time with those dear friends and family from the “old country”, fondly known as paesani. The original members of the group have since departed, only to leave behind a treasured legacy.
Today, the dance group strives to keep alive the traditions that were passed on to us by our ancestors.
We work hard to preserve Italian heritage the way we know best: through music, dance, and costume. It has been our honor to travel all over the United States performing for various events. Our performances include festivals, weddings, benefits, anniversaries, religious functions, and other types of events near and far.
In Milwaukee, we are proud to be a part of local events such as “International Holiday Folk Fair”, and “Festa Italiana”, where we have performed since its inception more than 30 years ago. Festa Italiana fills the Milwaukee lake shore with singers, dancers, musical groups, traditional and cultural exhibits, artwork, and of course cibo (food) and vino (wine) — all Italian — with thousands of visitors attending, who are also Italian — at least for the day!
Tradizione Vivente (Living Tradition), currently consists of 35-40 members.
The group’s members range in age from 13 to 50-plus years old. Since Tradizione Vivente involves a children’s group as well, we are able to further our pursuit of cultural preservation by passing on to the children what we have been given. The members of the children’s group, I Bei Bambini, often join the adult group after dancing for so many years with the children. This is one of our purposes – to inspire the younger generation of Italian-American children to keep alive the traditions of our past. The future belongs to the youth, therefore it is the privilege of Tradizione Vivente to teach them, and inspire them.