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The talent and creativeness of Emilia-Romagna production for “DANTE 700 in the World”

Performances, videos, readings, books in the program of Dante celebrations promoted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

"DANTE 700 in the World", the celebration programme promoted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI) has been presented online on March 17 in a conference attended by the Minister Luigi Di Maio, the Director General for Cultural and Economic Promotion and Innovation Enzo Angeloni, the represantives of the main institutions involved in the Year of Dante, and with the interventions by authors and promoters of the most relevant projects.

The programme – including more than 500 initiatives in over 100 venues the worldwide – starts on Dantedì (Dante Day, March 25) and lasts until the 21st Week of the Italian Language in the World (October 18-24), which this year is dedicated to the Poet (“Dante, the Italian”).

«It’s a tribute due to the Sommo Poeta who, with the Divine Comedy, represents vices and virtues of all mankind», declared the Ministry of Culture of Emilia-Romagna regional government Mauro Felicori. «Emilia-Romagna responded with enthusiasm to the call of the MAECI presenting innovative and high-quality projects that can speak to everybody and travel throughout the world».

In fact, among the main events of "DANTE 700 in the World", we find the project by Marco Martinelli and Ermanna Montanari "Dante in the five continents", produced by the MAECI with the support by Emilia-Romagna Region, the Municipality of Ravenna, and the Dante Celebrations Committee: a show by Teatro delle Albe/Ravenna Teatro that, between 2021 and 2022, will be performed in New York and Buenos Aires –for the Americas, in Jakarta –for Asia, in Adelaide-Melbourne –for Oceania, and in Nairobi –for Africa, besides in Ravenna –for Europe.

Martinelli –attending the online conference– explained that the show will reproduce the working method used for the setting of Inferno and Purgatorio, inviting groups of citizens of the different cities. Just like in a Medieval Sacra Rappresentazione, people not only see the performance but participate in, and in this way Dante can really become the ‘everyman’, the man who crosses the ‘dark wood’ and goes to the light – as testified in the short video with footage from his documentary The Sky over Kibera, a ‘Dantesque’ experience done with 150 teenagers of one of the biggest African slums.

The two artists, who have been researching Dante's poem for years, were also chosen as ‘ideal voice’ of the Italian version of the audiobook Dalla selva oscura al Paradiso (From the dark wood to Paradise), presenting select passages from the Divine Comedy in thirty-three languages, and another show by Teatro delle Able is included in the celebration events: fedeli d'Amore, that will be staged in Madrid and in Tunis between October and November.

The projects presented and supported by Emilia-Romagna Region include other types of art.

Videodante, curated by Instabili Vaganti theatre company, is a web series of 7 video-performances made in co-operation with artists from the different countries of the Italian Cultural Institutes and Embassies joining the project, starting with New Delhi.

The pop-up book La Divina Commedia - Inferno is an original proposal curated by Massimo Missiroli: 3D images with annotations on Dante’s verses plus Dolby Surround soundtrack and 14 excerpts from the two movies on Inferno by Bertolini/Padovan and by Berardi/Busnengo, also declined in an exhibition of the single pages in large format, to be displayed in the Italian Cultural Institutes.

The musical projects are four. Codice incanto, by Icarus Ensemble, is a video-concert (and an album) of classic contemporary music. First selected for “Vivere all'italiana in musica", now broadcasted on the MAECI platform “italiana”, it will tour abroad.
A riveder le stelle, Dante inside Bach by Matteo Belli and Paolo Dirani (the author of the project) consists in lyrics with French/English/Spanish subtitles on big screen from the most famous passages of the second and third cantica of Dante’s Commedia accompanied with musical pieces by Bach. It will be on stage in Strasbourg and other venues.
Two projects by Laura Catrani, Vox in Bestia and La Divina Sonata: the first, a solo voice concert, revolves around the fantastic bestiary arousing from the pages of the Divine Comedy; the second is a narrative, mythological path through new and ancient music adapted for solo voice.

The project by Artemis Danza company is a chimeric and thundering dance accompained with the readings of some tercets from the cantica, where dark and light, contemprary and ancient language unceasingly dialogue on music by Verdi (the Requiem) and by Piazzolla. It will tour ‘on stage’ and ‘virtual’ in Tel Aviv, Tunis, the United States, and other venues being defined.

Moreover, among the important initiatives taking place in the United States, the virtual screening of the silent film L’Inferno (1911) by Francesco Bertolini, Giuseppe de Liguoro, and Adolfo Padovan, based on the first cantica of the Commedia – the first Italian 5 reel film, digitally restored at L'Immagine Ritrovata laboratory. In collaboration with the Cineteca di Bologna, and introduced by director Gian Luca Farinelli, it will be presented within “Filming Italy Los Angeles” on March 25.

Still in Los Angeles, on March 25, opening of Drawing Dante: One, None and 150 Faces, a selection of 30 works from an exhibition set in Ravenna city center, at the Magazzeno Art Gallery. They are part of the four editions of Dante Plus, a collective exhibition of works inspired by Dante’s face, including artists like Milo Manara, Mauro Gatti, Resli Tale, and Ilaria Urbinati. The exhibition can be visited with a virtual tour. In Autumn, it will be set also in Sofia, Lisbon, and Dakar.

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