Stefania Rotolo Is the Sara Carlson of Tilt, Whatever the Hell Tilt Is

Once, not so long ago, I discovered the ferocious dance magic of 80s Italian variety show superstar Sara Carlson, and it was fabulous.  Sure, she set an impossibly high bar by which all others must be judged (sorry, Bonnie Bianco), but Sara Carlson busts moves worth the mind-blowing paradigm shift that will force you to recalibrate your feeble understandings of reality and consciousness.  I imagine it’s like dropping acid, but without the whole mess of making your spinal fluid run backwards.    

Anyways, while we may never match the inimitable batshit insanity of Sara Carlson’s days on Al Paradise, it’s comforting to also be reminded that Italian television’s well of crazy runs deep.  Like, ridiculously deep:

The best I can tell, Tilt is some sort of disco-era dance competition, which explains why everybody’s dancing around in a discotheque straight out of 2001: A Space Odyssey.  And the Dali-meets-Magritte floating-apple backgrounds (sure).  As well as the two separate instances where Stefania Rotolo flies around on a piano (of course?).  You know, the usual imagery for a disco competition.  When you’re on angel dust.

Judging by the next clip, though, perhaps Tilt is actually a children’s variety program:

Sweet mercy, I hope Tilt wasn’t a children’s show.  Choreographed dance routines in Flash Gordon pajama onesies may be your idea of children’s entertainment, late 70s Italy, but that Uncle Sam is the shit nightmares are made of.  If I were watching this as a child, I’d be terrified.  Then again, my shit gets freaked out by the Sun Baby from Teletubbies, which I’ve always thought of as a show made for toddlers by habitual drug users; so, on second thought, Tilt probably was a late 70s Italian kids show.


My point is that, whatever Tilt actually was, Stefania Rotolo was clearly its superstar of totally bonkers song-and-dance numbers.  Hell, even before Tilt, she was a superstar of totally bonkers song-and-dance numbers, which explains the time she took the stage by slide and danced like, well, this:  

Or the time she shared the stage with the Italian knock of the Village People (whaaa?) and danced on a table like, well, this:

I don’t know what that just was, crazy-haired man at the end of this performance, but I CONCUR.

So three snaps in a z formation to  Stefania Rotolo, y’all.  Pre-cursor to Sara Carlson, superstar in her own right, and further incontrovertible proof that Italian variety television will give you a contact high from its crazy.

Many thanks trailerpilot for introducing discovering our latest obsession.

One Response

  1. Having grown up in Argentina (Italy-and-US-obsessed culture…) we had several local talents doing similar things, probably copied from Italian shows. In fact, Rafaella Carrá I think was italian but was very popular in Argentina.

    But the US-style music video trick of dancing zombies in sync with everyone facing forward also strikes me as deeply weird. When I watched the Thriller video for the first time, the zombies-in-sync part looked utterly stupid. Watch it today — and it feels stupid again. Of course, the dance-in-sync segment is a staple of MTV. Cringe-worthy every time.

    It’s not natural, not about the music, not about the musicians.

    Perhaps it’s more macho than the campy European / Latin thing, but both are WTF weird.


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