by Joel Markowitz
A conversation with Synetic Theater Artistic Director Paata Tsikurishvili, director of Dante and Ben Cunis, co-adaptor, who appears in the title role.
Three hours before their call at Rosslyn Spectrum, Paata Tsikurishvili and Ben Cunis sat down with Joel Markowitz to talk about the daunting task of creating a play out of one of the most extraordinary works in world literature – Dante Alighieri’s classic poem The Divine Comedy.
Paata and Ben take us on their 6 month journey of adapting the Inferno portion of the poem into a play. Ben: ” “It’s such a huge masterful work, and there’s so much imagery in it, there’s so many characters, there is so many things you see – just the wealth of story was really incredible”.
They both agree that the 16 member Dante is the most technically demanding show ever produced by Synetic. They tell us about creating the music (composer Konstantine Lortkipaniedze) to match choreographer Irina Tsikurishvili’s ideas, scenes created then cut, lightning fast behind the scenes costume changes, the surprising inspiration for the Glutton scene, and the strength and complishment of Tsikurshvili son, Vato, who has two challenging roles.
Enjoy this look into the creative process behind what DC Theatre’s Scene’s Tim Treanor called “the best Synetic ever.” Includes music clips from the show.