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Photo: Henrik Stenberg


A downright fabulous musical experience frames Wayne McGregor’s hyped designer ballet, an international prestige co-production based on Dante’s The Divine Comedy, which should be seen in Copenhagen right now.

The music alone by the brilliant British composer Thomas Adés (52) makes it a performance not to be missed. Adés works his magic with a modern, cinematic/symphonic score that bursts with energy, sharp rhythms, overwhelming percussion, wonderful, imaginative soundscapes and breathtaking lyrical soundscapes.

I’ve already secured a ticket to see the show a second time to take it all in.

The finale, Paradis, is a gut-punch of enlightened purity in perfect symbiosis with expressive dancers dressed in white catsuits, framed in a breathtaking lighting.

Before that, two completely differently designed acts, Hell in a bleak, pitch-black cave look and Love in a more open, lyrical setting, take us through the realms of the afterlife, on Dante’s pilgrimage towards an understanding of the true meaning of life.

Dante Alighieri’s 14th century epic tale stands as a milestone in world literature, captivating readers with its deep insight, vivid imagery and poetic beauty.

Let me put it this way: I experienced Wayne McGregor’s imaginative ballet interpretation forwards and understood it backwards. It’s a multi-faceted, philosophical tale that can seem rather introverted until you decode the many spectacular tableaux with titles like Pavane of Souls, The Suicide Forest, The Soothsayers, The Thieves, The Wrathful, etc. Do your homework beforehand and get your money’s worth.

It seems as if the entire corps de ballet is on stage in a multitude of combinations, all in breathtaking costumes, bathed in a magnificent lighting design. The choreography is by turns gobsmackingly soft, toe-tappingly staccato, crassly raw, playfully humorous, affectionate and satanic in an impressive diversity of look and feel.

In the lead roles this evening I saw Ryan Tomash (Dante), Alban Lendorf (Vergil) and Astrid Elbo (Beatrice). How lucky can you get.

Five stars from GOT TO SEE THIS. Playing until 18 November. Get in quick.