July 28, 2021

Raffaella Carrà and the Tuca tuca scandal. How the dance that seduced Italy was born

Rome, 5 July 2021 – All the boomers, born in the 1960s, know the Tuca-tuca, the song dance with which Raffaella Carrà – died today at 78 – scandalized and seduced Italy. We danced it as kids, mimicking the movements of the national Raffa without knowing that it was so transgressive and singing the refrain: “Tuca, Tuca, Tuca … I invented it / To be able to tell you / I like you, I like you, I like you, I I like you, I like it… “.

The great loves of Raffaella

But how was the Tuca tuca born? Sung and danced for the first time in 1971, during “Canzonissima” (Rai’s popular Saturday night show in black and white) from a Raffaella in great shape, it was a very alluring and transgressive for the rules of public TV of the time. To the point that in order to continue singing and dancing the “Tuca tuca” it was necessary to involve the great actor Alberto Sordi, who with his irony played down those sexy moves that had caused so much clamor and moved the censorship. Raffaella herself, in an interview with Corsera in December 2018, retraced the history of that dance: “I love the ‘Tuca tuca’ and it has an amazing history. I danced it with Enzo Paolo Turci and it was considered too transgressive so they wiped it off the television. There was also an article by the Osservatore Romano and so on they also removed him from the rankings. After some time, one evening I invited Alberto Sordi to dinner and I made him listen to the ‘Tuca tuca’ again: it was he who wanted to bring it back on TV. IS they couldn’t say no to him “.




From Vasco to Arbore, the memory of the artists

The song “Tuca-tuca” was written by Gianni Buoncompagni, the pygmalion of Raffaella Carrà, and from Franco Pisano. The choreographer Don Lurio he conceived a dance for two which consisted of touching first the knees, then the hips, then the shoulders, then the forehead of the other. Raffaella performed it for the first time with the dancer Enzo Paolo Turchi.

The scandal of the Tuca tuca had been somehow prepared, again during the ‘Canzonissima’ of 1971 by another, great revolution of customs: Raffaella Carrà for the first time wore a super-tight dress, which moreover uncovered the navel. The clamor for that daring clothing was extraordinary and at the same time controversial: for days the news only talked about that navel and the controversies were endless. Then came the Tuca tuca: Raffaella entered the scene with the navel uncovered and, together with the dancer Enzo Paolo Turchi, began to dance. They touched each other’s head, shoulders, hips and legs. It was the end of the world among the right thinking.




The most famous songs of the national Raffa