De La Salle–College of Saint Benilde mounts Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’ | Inquirer Lifestyle

De La Salle–College of Saint Benilde mounts Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’

dante alighieri


The De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) commemorates Dante Alighieri’s 750th birth anniversary by staging his epic poem “Divine Comedy,” with special focus on the “Purgatorio” on Friday the 13th of November from 1:30 pm to 6 pm.

Titled “Purgatory: Love Gone Wrong/Love Redeemed,” the five-hour production is a multi-genre series of site-specific performances and installations at the De La Salle -College of St. Benilde’s from 1:30 pm to 6 pm.

DLS-CSB president Brother Dennis Magbanua, FSC, said “our production of ‘Purgatory: Love Gone Wrong/Love Redeemed’ is intended to instill an appreciation and deeper embodied understanding of Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy.”

“As an innovative and inclusive college, the Benilde community benefits from this project by finding relevance in this medieval masterpiece as a way of understanding personal struggles and yearnings for spiritual rebirth amid the urban blight and congestion and the seduction of consumerism,” said Magbanua, who plays the role of Angelos, Dante’s messenger of joy who guides him to Heaven.

“With this long vibrant afternoon presentation, the DLS-CSB affirms its place in creative excellence, innovative performance design, and the inclusion of three Benilde campuses, and the community at large,” Magbanua said.

Benilde School of Design and Arts Dean Jose Maria U. Yupangco, who is playing the role of Dante, said “Purgatory explores and grapples with the excesses of love and its eventual righteous temperance through movement, music, theater, and co-splay pageantry.”

“The production is part of a series of events undertaken in collaboration with the Societa Dante Alighieri Manila, which promotes Italian culture and language in the country,” Yupangco said.

The journey to purgatory will take the participants to the different locations within and floors of the School of Design and Arts building-campus.

The seven deadly sins of pride, envy, wrath, sloth, avarice, gluttony, and lust are interpreted through installations and performance art by the faculty and students from the degree programs of theater, dance, music, design foundation, production design, multimedia and fashion.

Benilde School of Design and the Arts Associate Dean Sunita S. Mukhi said that “the production is based on Dante’s magnum opus The Divine Comedy, which is considered pivotal in world literature and a masterpiece of writing in the Italian language.”

Mukhi, who is lead creator of the production, said among the “highlights of the journey through purgatory are the student and faculty co-splay parade along the streets of Leon Guinto and Pablo Ocampo led by Dean Yupangco, a capella chants and music instrumentations by the Coro San Benildo, and a movement piece by the deaf dancers of the School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies and those of the Romancon Dance Company, the SDA’s dance program.”

Associate Dean Asela Domingo plays the role of Faith, Associate Dean Abigail Cabanilla is Hope, and Vice Chancellor for La Sallian Mission and Student Life Carmelita Lazatin is Charity.

The DLS-CSB’s Purgatory is part of the bigger Dante commemoration participated in by UP Diliman, Ateneo, San Juan de Letran, Lyceum University in Intramuros, University of Asia and the Pacific, and by the De La Salle University – Taft, among others.

About 150 members of the the DLS-CSB’s various departments and programs are taking part in the production.

Members of the Italian diplomatic community are expected to attend the event.

The Benilde Dante Project is led by the DLS-CSB School of Design and the Arts’ Culture and Arts Cluster. Together with it are the SDA cluster in New Media, Fashion Design department, the Office of Arts and Culture, School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies, School of Hotel, Restaurant and Institution Management, the School of Multidisciplinary Studies, the School of Management and Information Technology, and the Benilde Pep Squad.

For more information on how to visit DLS-CSB on Nov. 13, please contact the SDA Dean’s office at 2305100 loc 3812 or via email at [email protected]

To learn more about the other Dante Today initiatives of the Societa Dante Alighieri Manila, please visit their Facebook page.

The project uses the hashtags: #BenildeDante; #BenildePurgatory; #BenildeLove; #BenildePagibig; #BenildeAmore; #Benildecultureandarts