Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten, “Popopera” (2009)

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“After presenting their highly acclaimed HELL, based on Dante’s Inferno, Emio Greco | PC has completed [purgatorio] POPOPERA which will have its NYC premiere at The Joyce Theater. The company takes its inspiration from Dante’s literary depiction of a geographical place and feeling of transition that provides the opening for inner transformation. Greco and Scholten have said, ‘whereas in HELL we let our dancers wander round the same circles each time, in [purgatorio] POPOPERA they break out of them. The will, the need to live and especially the hope for the future are the essential motives. In [purgatorio] POPOPERA we try to show the audience other images than it expects of those overly familiar themes that cling to the concept of purgatory (catharsis, purification through suffering, …) in order to approach these themes from new angles.’ The company invites audiences to witness the transformation and synergies between dancers’ bodies and the lustrous black electric guitars they carry in this performance that melds dance with rock concert. The piece features original music composed by Bang-on-a-Can founder Michael Gordon, performed live by the dancers and soprano Michaela Riener.” [. . .]    —Off Broadway, September 16, 2009

Dante in Amsterdam

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Dante Kitchen and Bar, Amsterdam

Photo contributed by Ben LeHay (Bowdoin, ’08)