Michael Counts, Paradiso: Chapter I, immersive theater (2016)

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[…]  “Illusion is a staple in all kinds of theater, but it is doubly vital to Paradiso, a suspense thriller that is also a game. Using a structure that borrows from Dante’s Divine Comedy, it has a vibe that, in Mr. Counts’s telling, owes something to Ridley Scott’s futuristic classic Blade Runner and the TV drama Mr. Robot.

“With a plot that involves a conspiracy, it’s a narrative-driven twist on the increasingly popular escape-room genre of participatory entertainment. According to convention, a group of people is closed in a room, or sequence of rooms, with a single collective aim: to solve a series of puzzles in under an hour. Their prize is liberty — which, it’s true, will come at the end of the hour either way.” […]    –Laura Collins-Hughes, The New York Times, July 7, 2016

“PARADISO: Chapter 1 drops audience members (10 at a time) into a noir-ish nightmare that combines the surreal mystery of Stanley Kubrik with the stylized futuristic terror of Blade Runner into a one hour immersive theatrical Escape Room experience set in and inspired by the heart of New York’s Korea Town. Featuring a cast of dozens, highly designed sets with state-of-the-art special effects and the next generation of puzzles and mind-bending challenges, this immersive attraction is unlike anything audiences have ever seen or experienced.”    –from the Paradiso: Chapter I FAQs

Paradiso: Chapter 1 website

Contributed by Emma Pyle (Bowdoin, ’12)

Dante: Restaurant-Bar and Ice Cube

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[…] “Preserved in ice. Gaze down at the huge ice cube floating in your old-fashioned at Dante, the Italian-style aperitif bar in Greenwich Village, and you’ll have no doubt about where you’re drinking. Cut into the side of the frozen block is the bar’s poetic name.” […]   –Robert Simonson, New York Times, May 15, 2015

Dante: 79-81 Macdougal Street, NY, NY 10012

 

Valentino Dress at the Met Gala 2016

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Rachel McAdams in a gold-beaded Valentino dress with lines from Dante’s Divine Comedy.    —US Magazine, May 2, 2016

Contributed by Donatella Stocchi-Perucchio

PrPh Rare Books: Exhibition of Livio Ambrogio’s Dante collection

PRPH Books is pleased to announce that from April 8th, 2016 an exceptional exhibit on Dante Alighieri will be hosted in our gallery on the Upper East Side. The exhibit will show an outstanding selection of fifty books and manuscripts, all coming from the collection of Livio Ambrogio, without any doubt the most important and comprehensive Dante collection today in private hands. The exhibit will remain open until May 13th, 2016, Mon-Fri 10am-6pm. For further information, please contact us at news@prphbooks.com

Trump Circle

160222_a19809-1000The New Yorker, February 22, 2016

Thinking Against Violence

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Images projected in Lyon, France, as tribute to the victims of the Paris attacks. Credit Robert Pratta/Reuters

This is an interview with Brad Evans, a senior lecturer in international relations at the University of Bristol in England. He is the founder and director of the Histories of Violence project, a global research initiative on the meaning of mass violence in the 21st century.

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[…] “But let’s consider for a moment what the thinker [the sculpture by Rodin] is actually contemplating. Sat alone on his plinth, the thinker could in fact be thinking about anything in particular. We just hope it is something serious. Such ambiguity was not however as Rodin intended. In the original 1880 sculpture, the thinker actually appears kneeling before the Gates of Hell. We might read this as significant for a whole number of reasons. First, it is the “scene of violence,” which gives specific context to Rodin’s thinker. Thought begins for the thinker in the presence of the raw realities of violence and suffering. The thinker in fact is being forced to suffer into truth.

“Second, there is an interesting tension in terms of the thinker’s relationship to violence. Sat before the gates, the thinker appears to be turning away from the intolerable scene behind. This we could argue is a tendency unfortunately all too common when thinking about violence today. Turning away into abstraction or some scientifically neutralizing position of “objectivity.” And yet, according to one purposeful reading, the figure in this commission is actually Dante, who is contemplating the circles of hell as narrated in The Divine Comedy. This is significant. Rather than looking away, might it be that the figure is now actually staring directing into the abyss below? Hence raising the fundamental ethical question of what it means to be forced witness to violence?” […]   –Natasha Lennard and Brad Evans, The New York Times, December 16, 2015

“Daily Life Everlasting”

Daily Life EverlastingDaily Life Everlasting” is a dance-theater piece written by Charles L. Mee and directed by Dan Safer, performed at La MaMa in New York City by Witness Relocation.

“The third collaboration between Witness Relocation and acclaimed writer Charles Mee, in which people meet, fall in love, make out with each other, find being alive awkward but funny, and dance quite a lot. With original songs by Obie-winning composer Heather Christian and costume design by Brooklyn-based maverick fashion designer Brad Callahan.”    —La MaMa

“When the actors do speak Mr. Mee’s lines, they’re usually playing with or around or against them — and probably nuzzling each other at the same time. Plato is name-dropped. And Aristotle. And Dante. But love and lust rather than dusty old books set the play’s libidinous heart aflutter.”    —The New York Times

Nathaniel Rich, Odds Against Tomorrow (2013)

Odds Against TomorrowMitchell Zukor, the protagonist of Nathaniel Rich’s Odds Against Tomorrow, suffers from panic attacks and often uses phrases like “going to a deeper circle in hell.”

Rich’s website describes the novel:

“New York City, the near future: Mitchell Zukor, a gifted young mathematician, is hired by a mysterious new financial consulting firm, FutureWorld. The business operates out of an empty office in the Empire State Building; Mitchell is employee number two. [. . .]

“As Mitchell immerses himself in the mathematics of catastrophe–ecological collapse, war games, natural disasters–he becomes obsessed by a culture’s fears. [. . .]

“Then, just as Mitchell’s predictions reach a nightmarish crescendo, an actual worst-case scenario overtakes Manhattan. [. . .]

“At once an all-too plausible literary thriller, an unexpected love story, and a philosophically searching inquiry into the nature of fear, Nathaniel Rich’s Odds Against Tomorrow poses the ultimate questions of imagination and civilization. The future is not quite what it used to be.”    —Nathaniel Rich’s Website

 

Contributed by Thomas Jonkergouw, Universiteit Utrecht

Danton Walker, Danton’s Inferno (1955)

Danton's Inferno

Danton Walker’s 1955 novel, Danton’s Inferno: The Story of a Columnist and How He Grew is a memoir by Walker (1899-1960) about his time as a columnist for The New York Times. The book is similar to the Inferno in that it lists people with whom Walker worked throughout his career, sometimes condemning them.

Access Walker’s work for The New York Times here.

 

Contributed by Scott Reid

Yellow House, Dante: The Motion Picture

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Dante: The Motion Picture will be a cinematic effort by production company Yellow House to accurately represent The Divine Comedy‘s story and settings.

“One small production company taking on the challenge of creating a piece of cinema magic, based on the epic poem, The Divine Comedy.

“You’ve seen the cartoons and video game adaption tie-ins, but none of the films based on Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy quite cut it for an accurate portrayal of the events, locations and characters that readers have grown to love over the centuries. Fans of the material have been begging for Hollywood’s take on the classic Italian poem since the dawn of cinema, however, time and time again they have been left empty handed. [. . .]

“This is a live-action, all out ‘in your face’, portrayal of Dante’s journey. A journey fueled by his love for Beatrice while being led through the depths of hell by the seemingly all-knowing Virgil.”    —Dante: The Motion Picture’s Kickstarter

 

To donate to the project, visit their Kickstarter page by December 14, 2014.

Learn more at www.dantemotionpicture.com.