The new life
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They are nine years old and meet the love of their life. You don't really meet them, it's just a look. But they are dazzled. At the age of 18, they see her again: a greeting (not a kiss) from her, from far away. And actually, that's about it. Not a word, not a contact. But they will dedicate their whole lives to this love.
Then you feel like Dante Alighieri. An Italian, one of Europe's greatest writers of all time; 2021 marks the 700th anniversary of his death. But that's secondary for now. Let us put ourselves in his position, his position and that of his beloved. Beatrice! Shyly, he keeps his distance. Because as soon as he approaches her, he loses his temper and is laughed at. He even fakes other relationships to cover up his true love. That only makes it worse in the end. When the plague rages and Beatrice dies young, he has achieved nothing – except a stack of glowing love poems and love songs. What is the use of love in thoughts? A lot! As if in a diary, Dante bundles his experiences, dreams, spiritual number mysticism and, above all, his youthful love poetry, which he interprets for the audience like school poems to make sure that everyone understands him. For Dante, a new life begins through inner renewal. His work also represents how poetry is inspired by love. In the end, there is a wish: Dante wants to see Beatrice again. And for this, some 20 years later, he wrote his millennium work: "The Divine Comedy". A ride through hell and purgatory to paradise – where he meets Beatrice again. And talking to her for the first time. Not possible on earth, but in fictitious heaven it is.
Everyone has felt the hope of a second chance at one time or another. Here's to a new beginning. How do you actually do that, asks director Christopher Rüping in his first work at the Schauspielhaus Bochum. His productions are evenings that are as tender as they are exuberant, in which the actors can freely meet themselves and the audience, and which have made him one of the most influential directors in German-language theatre. With the ensemble, he embarks on an exploration of Dante's love world and that of his pop-cultural heirs, from Meat Loaf to Britney Spears. Love is all. Together, they ask themselves even after this long period of prevented interpersonal encounters: What can the new life be if the old one is no longer possible? How do we start anew? Where do we all go from here? Beatrice may have an answer.
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