LSU Theatre Group Takes Production of “Dante” to Scotland for Performance at Edinburgh Festival Fringe
BATON ROUGE – Physical theatre students and faculty in the LSU Department of Theatre traveled to Scotland earlier this month, where they performed the physical theatre piece, “Dante,” as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The trip was made possible through LSU Academic Programs Abroad and its LSU at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe program.
Directed by Nick Erickson, LSU Theatre assistant professor of movement and associate head of the department’s Master of Fine Arts Acting program, “Dante” is a contemporary adaption of Dante Alighieri’s “Inferno” - the first part of the 14th-century epic poem, “The Divine Comedy.”
In a review of the festival, the New York Times culture blogger Rocky Casale cited the LSU Theatre troupe’s performance as one of the favorites of the festival.
“Using dance, video, masks and original composition, ‘Dante’ tells the story of a man’s journey through the nine circles of hell in search of his love, Beatrice,” Casale wrote.
To read the full New York Times blog post on highlights from the 2012 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, visit http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/15/fringe-benefits-highlights-from-the-edinburgh-festival/?ref=t-magazine.
For “Dante,” Erickson collaborated with LSU Theatre MFA graduate Alex Galick to write the adaption for the physical theatre production.
“This show gives my students the opportunity to showcase their range of talents in performance and design in a unique collective collaboration,” said Erickson, who is also a founding member of Diavolo Dance Theater. “They probe contemporary issues in a timeless epic.”
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world and takes place every August for three weeks in Scotland’s capital city. Each year, thousands of performers take to a multitude of stages all over Edinburgh to present shows for every taste. The festival caters to everyone and includes theatre, comedy, dance, physical theatre, musicals, operas, music, exhibitions and events. More information is available at www.edfringe.com.
The LSU at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival program is an instant immersion into world cultures and theatre. While attending the festival, students on the program have direct contact with world-class performers and performances from all parts of the globe. They also perform in the festival as theatre professionals and earn six college credits in the process.
“This trip culminates a two-year preparation for physical theatre students in training new skills and techniques to engage with the international marketplace of the arts,” Erickson said. “After this program, students see themselves as emerging professionals with a place in the competitive world of live performance. They understand that they have to consider their work academically and professionally with a new seriousness of resolve, commitment and dedication. After viewing emerging and established companies from around the world, they are inspired and driven to raise their standards and have a clearer idea of where they would like their careers to go. They return to the department eager to assume leadership positions to affect change in student involvement, engagement, fund-raising and outreach. I am proud to see our students go through this gauntlet of a reality check and come out stronger, better equipped and more driven than ever.”