“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

Dante Inferno Piekło (1997)

Dante PiekloIn 1997, Polish and Italian artists staged an adaptation of the Inferno at the Franciscan Church in Kraków. Pictured is the poster for the show, created by Rafal Olbinski.

 

James Sewell Ballet, Inferno (2014)

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“Dante’s Inferno is the ­ultimate midlife crisis story.

“The Italian poet’s 14th-century epic confronts the dangerous path toward personal ruin but also rails against piety and greed in a fiery commentary, still relevant today, on the corrupting forces within religion, business and politics.

“On Friday night, James Sewell Ballet flung open the gates of hell and let its depraved denizens run wild at the Cowles Center. Who knows how Dante might have envisioned his poem brought to life, but this interpretation captures its disquieting spirit.” [ . . . ]

“There are clever moments including the descent into hell via New York City subway with damned souls as straphangers, a barb against resident Ayn Rand (‘nobody likes her’) and the swirling dances of those doomed to an eternity living out their lusts (this is an R-rated show by the way).”   –Caroline Palmer, “James Sewell Ballet’s Inferno,” Minneapolis Star Tribune, April 28, 2014

Contributed by Iris McComb (Bowdoin ’14)

The Rogue Theatre’s Dante’s Purgatorio (2014)

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“Baliani has adapted Purgatorio, the second part of Dante’s Divine Comedy for the stage.” […]

“See this Rogue production, directed by Joseph McGrath, and you’d wonder why it hasn’t been done before (we could not find references to any other stage adaptations). It was completely engrossing.”   –Kathy Allen, “Review: The Rogue’s ‘Dante’s Purgatorio‘: Sins and shades shape an engrossing climb,” Arizona Daily Star, May 01, 2014

See also Sherrilyn Forrester’s review in Tucson Weekly, May 01, 2014.

Lee Breuer, La Divina Caricatura (2013)

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“She has floppy ears, eyes of exquisite sadness and an operatic tendency toward ecstasy, anguish and other big emotions. Leave her alone in a thunderstorm, and she may fall into despair. She is a dog named Rose, and her Dear John letter to the man she loved is the battered heart of Lee Breuer’s dark, joyous and utterly splendid musical fantasia La Divina Caricatura, Part 1, The Shaggy Dog, at La MaMa, in a co-presentation with St. Ann’s Warehouse. An East Village tale told in a subway, it’s a doomed cross-species romance inspired by The Divine Comedy, but Mr. Breuer uses Dante more as catalyst than template. The strongest classical link is to Japanese theater’s Bunraku.”     –Laura Collins-Hughes, The New York Times, December 19, 2013

“Kindred Spirits: A Juxtaposition of Dante & Dickens”

dante-and-scrooge“. . . I cannot recall a time when I didn’t know the story of A Christmas Carol. The images and themes have delighted or haunted me since my childhood, either in the form of the ‘Dickens Village’ adventure at the mall or the hundredth or so viewing of the Muppet version. (Michael Caine, you will always be my Scrooge.) So when I studied Dante’s Commedia in college, it was no leap for me to recognize the countless similarities between the two stories. I would write C.C. in the margin every time I came across another bit of Dickens in Dante. At long last, I can pitch some these ideas to the wider world.”     –Kathyrn (blogger), Through a Glass Brightly, December 18, 2013

Contributed by Patrick Molloy

Niki Ulehla, The Inferno (2011, 2013)

Niki-Ulehla-Puppet-CharonDuring a 2011 residency at Recology SF, San Francisco puppeteer Niki Ulehla began a multiple-phase project to dramatize Dante’s Inferno with her handmade puppets. The first performance, featuring puppets crafted out of discarded materials from the Recology Public Disposal Area, staged the first seven cantos of the poem.

This performance was followed by a second, at the Sanchez Art Center (Pacifica) in February-March 2013, in which a new set of puppets embark on the second part of the journey, Cantos 8-17. Sanchez Art Center describes the second performance as follows: “[Ulehla] combines traditional carved wooden marionettes with found object based ‘toys’ to create the characters inhabiting the hell described by Dante. [. . .] The performance will begin with the two travelers, Dante and Virgil, crossing the river Styx. They will pass through the fifth circle of Anger, the sixth of the Heretics and the seventh of Violence. This portion of their journey will end riding away on Geryon, the beast of Fraud.”    —Sanchez Art Center, Pacifica, CA

Video of both performances can be seen here.

“Dante Now!”: Notre Dame students perform the Divine Comedy

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Students in the Italian program at the University of Notre Dame stage public readings of the Divine Comedy across campus (fall 2012).

“Organizers said the event was meant to bring the ‘vibrant immediacy’ of The Divine Comedy to life for a modern audience. ‘Students of Dante will know that reading his works alone and silently can be a life-changing experience, the fruits of which will endure and ripen,’ said Anne Leone, postdoctoral research fellow in Italian studies. ‘But reading his works aloud—and together—promises to be another experience entirely.'”    —Notre Dame News

For video coverage of the event, click here.

Vittorio Gassman reads Inferno 26

 

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Vittorio Gassman reads Inferno 26

Contributed by Andrea Sartori

 

 

 

Dante’s Fire-Con

dantes-fire-con“With “Geek!” the playwright Crystal Skillman and the troupe Vampire Cowboys fly high the freak flag of fantasy. An ode to fangirls and fanboys, the show, in Cowboys tradition, celebrates the universe of anime, comics, science fiction, manga and Hollywood effects spectaculars. It’s a milieu Ms. Skillman clearly knows well and depicts with affection. At an Ohio anime convention called Dante’s Fire-Con two fans take on the guises of their fictional heroines…” [. . .]    –Andy Webster, New York Times, March 29, 2013

See also: Incubator Arts Project, New York