Paul Taylor, “Scudorama” (1963, 2009)

paul-taylor-scudorama-1963-2009“In Scudorama eight dancers, wearing street clothes and bright leotards and using beach towels as shrouds (with sets and costumes designed by the artist Alex Katz), disintegrate into ravaged forms. Like shifting shadows they crawl across the floor in jagged bursts of bewilderment, emptiness and rage. The dance’s accompanying program note, from Dante, begins with ‘What souls are these who run through this black haze?’ For Mr. Taylor, those words refer to the ‘lost souls in purgatory, because they hadn’t done anything good and they hadn’t done anything bad.'” [. . .]    –Gia Kourlas, The New York Times, February 13, 2009

“Blasphemy! strikes Madison: Walmartopia creators discuss new disco opera”


“Religion has always been a central element of American political strife, with the excesses and calumnies of Christian fundamentalism providing a broad and sustained target for satire by believers and nonbelievers alike. Playwrights Catherine Capellaro and Andrew Rohn flout the latest manias and offer up laughs with Blasphemy, their new ‘wicked trio of musical comedies that takes aim at creationists, George W. Bush, Rapture Christians, and intolerance of all stripes.’
Premiering at the Bartell Theatre on January 9, this production is the latest creation by the husband-and-wife team, whose previous musical Walmartopia broke theatrical box office records in Madison before hitting the national stage with an Off Broadway run last year. As they did with their send-up of the smiley-faced corporate behemoth, the pair goes for laughs in Blasphemy by taking on an American institution, in this case the tenets of faith-based politics.
In a nod to Dante’s Divine Comedy, the show is split into three tales, titled ‘Rapture,’ ‘Purgatory,’ and ‘Paradise.’ The anticipation of politicians like George W. Bush and Sarah Palin for the return of Jesus, a disco meditation on death, and a parable about the revelation of evolution to Adam and Eve together comprise a wicked triptych of sacrilege.” [. . .]    –Kristian Knutsen, The Daily Page, December 23, 2008

Contributed by Patrick Molloy

Johnny Depp to Play Protagonist in Nick Tosches’ Novel “In the Hand of Dante” (2002)

johnny-depp-to-play-protagonist-in-the-hand-of-dante-2002“Johnny Depp’s production company Infinitum Nihil has acquired screen rights to the Nick Tosches novel ‘In the Hand of Dante.’ The novel will be developed as a potential star vehicle for Depp. . .
Book revolves around Dante’s masterwork “The Divine Comedy,” and tells parallel storylines involving Dante in 14th-century Italy as he tries to complete the work, and a contemporary storyline involving Tosches, who is asked to authenticate what might be Dante’s original manuscript. Depp would play Tosches. The novel was published in 2002.” [. . .]    –Michael Fleming, Variety, December 2, 2008

See Also: MTVnews update on the film’s progress as of July 2011.

Contributed by Patrick Molloy

“Dr. Who: The Impossible Planet & The Satan Pit” (2006)

dr-who-the-impossible-planet-the-satan-pit-2006Second series of Doctor Who, Episodes 8 and 9: The Impossible Planet and The Satan Pit

Francesco Bertolini, Giuseppe De Liguoro, and Adolfo Padovan, “L’Inferno” (1911)

francesco-bertolini-giuseppe-de-liguoro-and-adolf-padovan-linferno-1911Watch YouTube video clips of Inferno (1911) and Satan Eating Human (1911).

“The Italian epic came of age with Giuseppe de Liguoro’s imaginative silent version of the Inferno, loosely adapted from Dante and inspired by the illustrations of Gustav Doré. L’Inferno was first screened in Naples in the Teatro Mercadante 10 March 1911. The film took over three years to make involving more than 150 people and was the first full length Italian feature film ever made. It’s success was not confined to Italy it was an international hit taking more than $2 million in the United States alone.
Tangerine Dream have composed the soundtrack based on their opera of Dante’s Inferno producing a soundtrack truly worthy of their position as one of the top film music composers in the world.”    —L’

Contributed by J. Patrick Brown (Bowdoin, ’09)

Claymation “Inferno” by Alexis Waller


Learn more about Alexis Waller and click image above to watch the video.

Marc Caro, “Dante 01” (2008)

marc-caro-dante-01-2008“Deep space, at the edge of the galaxy. The future. A new prisoner arrives on top security prison ship and psychiatric research unit Dante 01. Sole survivor of an encounter with an alien force beyond imagining, Saint Georges is a man possessed by inner demons, caught up in the battle to control the monstrous power within him. It’s a power that will infect the other highly dangerous occupants of Dante 01, gaolors and prisoners alike, unleashing a violent rebellion that turns this terrifying, labyrinthine world upside down. In the otherworldly hell of the ship’s depths, through danger and redemption, each must journey to his very limits… each must confront his own Dragon.”    —IMDb

Check out a review of Dante 01 here.

Dante Hall Theater, Atlantic City, NJ

dante-hall-theater-atlantic-city-nj“Located in the heart of the historic ‘Ducktown’ neighborhood of Atlantic City, Dante Hall was originally built in 1926 by St. Michael’s Catholic Church. Dante Hall served the predominantly Italian-American community of the neighborhood as a church hall, school gymnasium, and community theater where both school plays and the St. Michael’s Opera Company staged performances. When St. Michael’s closed its parish school in the late 1980s, Dante Hall remained dormant until an eighteen-month, $3.5 million renovation, funded solely by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, was completed in October of 2003. Renamed ‘Dante Hall Theater of the Arts,’ this beautifully restored and intimate performance space reopened with the promise of renewing the tradition of serving the Atlantic City and surrounding communities as a home for the performing arts. In 2011, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey took control of the theater. By providing quality programming and performances to local communities, Stockton College and Dante Hall Theater aim to strengthen New Jersey’s efforts of restoring Atlantic City to a cultural and family destination.”    —Dante Hall Theater

Jozef Szajna, “Dante” (1974)

jozef-szajna-dante-1974“Among his other plays are “Rejoinder,” “Reminiscence” and “Dante,” the latter based on the journey through the realms of the dead in the 14th-century Divine Comedy but laced with Mr. Szajna’s depictions of 20th-century hellishness.”    –Dennis Hevesi, The New York Times, June 30, 2008

“Sex and the City” the Movie (2008)


Samantha’s handsome neighbor “Dante” inspires her to think she’s going to Hell just for looking at him.