“Lines & Faces, the collaboration of artist/printer Robert Woods and writer/translator Alan Bern, is engaged in a project based on Dante’s Commedia: illustrated broadsides available to view at linesandfaces.com/divine-comedy. In these broadsides we attempt to capture and respond to central moments within Dante’s canti. As a poet and translator, Alan enjoys responding to Robert’s images in both our Dante work and in other projects (also available on our website, linesandfaces.com). At other times Robert responds to Alan’s words. We also work on parallel tracks and combine our work successfully. All three modes function very well after almost fifty years of producing broadsides together.
“In working to capture these Dante moments, we operate in a mode similar to that of haiku writers and haiga artists. Robert and Alan decide together on small sections of Dante and respond to them: Alan translates them into poetry (the middle panels), and then he creates a modern association to his work (the third panels). Robert creates a graphic work that illuminates the chosen moment,and he pulls all the elements together with his broadside design.” –Alan Bern, in private email communication
In addition to their illustrations and translations from the Commedia we invite Dante Today readers to check out Bern’s translation of Dante’s sestina Al poco giorno e al gran cerchio d’ombra with an accompanying image from Woods.
Contributed by Alan Bern
“Presented as part of the 700th anniversary celebrations of the poet’s death, Dante’s epic journey through the afterlife, The Divine Comedy, is realised in a major artistic collaboration between trailblazing forces of the contemporary arts scene.
“In an inaugural co-production with Paris Opera Ballet and music co-commission with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Wayne McGregor’s groundbreaking choreography comes together with a virtuoso new score by one of the most influential musicians of the 21st Century, composer-conductor Thomas Adès, and designs by the acclaimed artist Tacita Dean, celebrated for her pioneering and poetic work across film and other mediums. With esteemed lighting designer Lucy Carter and dramaturg Uzma Hameed, the creative team unite in this three-part work for the full Company to illuminate the extraordinary vision of Dante.” —The Dante Project, Royal Opera House
Book tickets here (runs from October 14-30, 2021).
Stream the ballet here (from October 29, 2021).
A couple of teasers! Watch principals Francesca Hayward and Matthew Ball rehearse Inferno 5 (Paolo and Francesca in the whirlwind), with direction from Wayne McGregor, here.
And watch principals Edward Watson and Sarah Lamb rehearse the meeting with Beatrice in the Earthly Paradise here.
Sarah Crompton, writing for The Guardian, calls the performance “bold, beautiful, emotional and utterly engaging. The opening section, Inferno, where Dante (Watson) journeys to hell in the company of Virgil (Gary Avis), all but blows your socks off.” Read the review here.
“Nel 700° anniversario della morte di Dante Alighieri, siamo qui sul palco del teatro dell’Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Istanbul, con una lettura drammatica della Divina Commedia.
“L’attore Nuri Karadeniz declama in turco (sottotitoli in italiano) il Primo Canto dell’Inferno mentre il musicista Yiğit Özatalay eseguirà al piano sue composizioni jazz originali scritte per l’occasione.”
The performance is preceded by a short lecture (in Italian with Turkish subtitles) by Salvatore Schirmo, Director of the Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Istanbul, who highlights the influence of Dante and his works on contemporary Turkish literature and culture. The video premiered on YouTube on Dantedì (March 25) 2021.
Sign displayed above The Bookstore and Get Lit Wine Bar in Lenox, MA (Summer 2021).
Photo courtesy of Christian Dupont, contributed by Christian and Silvia Dupont