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This is a story from the past, a story that still lives in the present and one that will continue to be a staple in the history of mankind for centuries to come. When one of the most important masterpieces of Italian literature meets the art of dance and the beauty of some of the South African languages, the only possible outcome is an experience that will leave you questioning the secrets of the afterlife.


To celebrate 700 years of the death of the Italian poet Dante Alighieri, Joburg Ballet and Italian Institute of Culture of Pretoria have collaborated to create a dance performance based on Alighieri’ “The Divine Comedy taking the audience on a journey through the first realm of the great beyond:


For the first time since it was written, parts of the poem have been translated into the South African languages of Zulu, Sesotho, Xhosa and Afrikaans. This extraordinary event has been the inspiration behind the creation of this ballet and it represents one of its key elements, together
with the wonderful score by Hans Zimmer “The Gladiator which accompanies the story beautifully. The journey of our protagonist, Dante, is narrated through music, dance and spoken word, and it takes us among some of the most conic sections of the poem, in a scenery filled with desolation and eternal despair. You will experience the concept of Hell through the eyes of the Italian poet as he
within the depths of eternal damnation, meeting historical and mythical characters from centuries long
gone, listening to their stories of life and death and taking us face to face with Lucifer himself. Abandon all hope, you who enter here”.

“Dante and Virgil in the Ninth Circle of Hell” by Gustave Doré