Dante Group, Fire and Security System (England and Scotland)

dante fire

Dante Group

Paolo Barbieri’s Illustration of the Commedia

paolo-barbieri-illustraion-of-dantes-inferno“È uno degli illustratori di albi e copertine fantasy più apprezzati in Italia. Il suo volume precedente, ‘Favole degli dei’, omaggia i miti dell’antica Grecia. Ma stavolta il mantovano Paolo Barbieri punta più in alto, ridisegnando addirittura la cantica più celebre della letteratura italiana. ‘L’inferno di Dante’ (122 pagine, edizioni Mondadori) sarà presentato a Napoli giovedì 21 marzo nell’aula magna dell’Accademia di belle arti. Il volume (122 pagine edite da Mondadori ), in parte ispirato alle celebri e immortali illustrazioni ottocentesche di Gustave Doré, descrive gran parte delle ambientazioni e dei personaggi che il Sommo poeta incontra nella sua discesa agli inferi, accompagnato da Virgilio. Da Paolo e Francesca al conte Ugolino, passando per Ulisse e Cerbero, ogni tavola è anche accompagnata dalle terzine a cui è ispirata. La presentazione è curata dalla scuola Comix di via Atri, diretta da Mario Punzo. Come anche il successivo workshop (info e costi 081 459 643) che Paolo Barbieri terrà  nei due giorni successivi, venerdì 22 e sabato 23. In programma, la realizzazione di un’illustrazione a tema libero, in bianco e nero o a colori, da sviluppare successivamente in digitale.”    –Paolo de Luca, La Repubblica, March 2013

Contributed by Michael Hannaman (Bowdoin, ’13)

Saltier Prosciutto Fit for Dante’s Bread


“A bite of Tuscan prosciutto is all you need to understand salt-free Tuscan bread, the stuff that Dante so deeply missed when he was in exile. Prosciutto Toscano is saltier and a bit spicier than prosciutto from Parma or San Daniele, so saltless bread is an excellent foil. And now you can see for yourself. After years of due diligence to comply with Department of Agriculture rules, the hams are being imported into the United States for the first time. They are different from other hams because of the somewhat smaller size of the pigs, which also have less fat, and the seasoning used in curing, which involves pepper and juniper as well as salt. ‘The texture is also drier than the others,’ said Cesare Casella, the Tuscan chef who is selling the ham in his shops. ‘It’s more like Spanish serrano ham’: $28 a pound at Salumeria Rosi Parmacotto on the Upper West Side and Upper East Side. Also at Eataly and Fairway.”    –Florence Fabricant, The New York Times, February 26, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI Resigns, February 11, 2013

pope-benedict-xvi-resignsOn NBC’s Today Show the correspondent from Rome mentions that this is first resignation of a Pope since Celestine V in 1294, who Dante may have been indicating when he referred to the sinner among the Undecided (Inferno 3) who made the “great refusal.”
Many other reporters and commentators discussing Benedict XVI’s resignation are also mentioning Dante’s supposed (but debated among scholars) placement of Celestine V in Hell. See, for example, Carol Zaleski’s piece in the New York Times, February 11, 2013.

Contributed by Julie Heyman

Director Tina Landau’s Dream Project

director-tina-landaus-dream-project“Recently, Paula Vogel’s Civil War Christmas (New York Theater Workshop); now, Bill Irwin and David Shiner’s Old Hats (Signature).
BEGINNINGS ‘I was like that kid in Annie Hall who says, ‘I’m into leather,’ except I’d walk around as a 6-year-old and say, ‘I’m into directing.’ I was raised on, and fell in love with, Broadway musicals and later fell in love with more experimental forms.’
AESTHETIC ‘I don’t gravitate toward new plays set in middle- or upper-class living rooms or kitchens. I prefer giving voice to the outsider, the minority, the renegade, and I love texts with stage directions like, ‘And then they fly to the moon and have a picnic with food that keeps changing color.”
CHANGING TIMES ‘I’ve always experienced Off Broadway and Off Off Broadway as being hospitable to me and other women I know. That said, I didn’t realize there were so many doing so much great work in New York right now.’
DREAM PROJECT ‘My own adaptation (with many collaborators) of Dante’s Divine Comedy, with characters and stories transposed to contemporary culture, with music by folks like John Zorn, Ratatat, Janelle Monáe.'”     —Eric Grode, The New York Times, January 31, 2013

Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, Caesar Must Die (2013)


“The Tavianis are now in their 80s, but at an age when most of their contemporaries have retired they continue making films, and in seamless unity. Their latest effort, Caesar Must Die, which opens on Wednesday, is one of their most artistically ambitious productions: a fictional feature with elements of a documentary and the theater, about the staging of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” in a maximum-security prison in Rome.” […]

Caesar Must Die was born when a journalist friend of the Tavianis urged them to visit a performance by the Rebibbia troupe. They were reluctant at first. ‘We thought, oh, it’s going to be the same old thing,’ Paolo said. But once they saw the prisoners performing Dante and Pirandello, they changed their minds.”    –Larry Rohter, The New York Times, February 1, 2013

Sean Curran Company, Fireweather (2013)


“How do they dance in hell? According to Sean Curran’s new Fireweather, the first half of his company’s program at the Joyce Theater, the damned gravitate to the floor. Stretch and spring up as they might, something keeps pulling them down.
Both Fireweather and its score, Charles Wuorinen’s ‘Mission of Virgil,’ are inspired by Dante’s Inferno. In a program note Mr. Wuorinen stresses that his atonal composition isn’t narrative and that his attitude, like Dante’s, is mocking. Mr. Curran’s attitude is more reverent, and his dance much more like an illustration.
Though there is no clear Dante or Virgil, there is a journey deeper into the circles of the underworld, with projected titles to announce each section. Warriors march and kick. Bodies mass into six-armed monsters. A naked Satan struts and stumbles. The adulterers Paolo and Francesca circle each other and kiss.
Much of the choreography has a monumental quality that recalls the mythic works of Martha Graham. Tense tableaus are composed like the paintings of old masters. Yet despite strong dancing and choreographic craft, the work falls short of its august models. The titles that guide us set up expectations nearly impossible to fulfill.”    –Brian Seibert, The New York Times, February 1, 2013

Marco Brambilla: “Civilization” and “Creation”

marco-brambilla-films“…The spectacular spectacle of a video loop, Civilization (Megaplex) by Marco Brambilla, playing in the elevators there has been blowing minds and starting conversations with its epically silly and demonic appeal since it was installed in 2009.
An equally wild piece in 3-D, Creation (Megaplex), opened at the Nicole Klagsbrun gallery in Chelsea last week, the third of a trilogy that makes art from film…
Indeed, all the people who entered seemed to enjoy themselves, almost like children in a tree house. They remarked on characters and scenes scrolling past in the animated tapestry, which was inspired by Dante’s Inferno, but which many critics have compared to the work of Hieronymus Bosch. The synthesized soundtrack was pure epic Hollywood kitsch.”    –Bob Morris, The New York Times, January 30, 2013

marco-brambilla-inferno-film-standard-hotel-new-york“Guests at the swank new Standard Hotel, on the western edge of Manhattan, are treated to an otherworldly piece of eye candy: ‘Civilization,’ a depiction of heaven, hell, and purgatory created by video artist Marco Brambilla. Inspired by Dante’s Inferno, it’s cobbled together from hundreds of scenes, lifted from movies; the piece runs as one enormous video collage. As the elevator rises, the sequence, running from an overhead projector, ascends to heaven. As the elevator descends, the video runs in reverse, ending in hell.” [. . .]    –Cliff Kuang, Fast Company, June 4, 2009

Contributed by Patrick Molloy