Love, Tragedy, Eternity


“La Divina Comedia” or “The Divine Comedy” by Dante Alighieri is considered as one of the treasures of the world literature coming from Italy’s remarkable cultural heritage. The epic has been translated and appreciated by people from all culture across the world. Written between 1308 to 1320 this Italian epic still mesmerizes us with its grandeur, philosophical negotiation and art of literature. It also opens up world about eternal curiosities of human beings about mystery of love, life and death and afterlife as a representation of the medieval world-view as it had developed in the Western Church in the 14th century. Through time, the epic has inspired some of the greatest artists, of various Countries and different periods, such as Sandro Botticelli, William Blake, Gustave Doré and Salvatore Dalí.

On the commemoration of 700 years of the epic, Kolkata Centre for Creativity announces a laboratory named “LOVE, TRAGEDY, ETERNITY” for musicians supported by Consulate General of Italy in Kolkata, dedicated to “La Divina Comedia”. This laboratory aims to inspire, explore and create “music and movement” performances responding to the selected portions of the epic looking through the lenses of artistic sensitivity of today’s time.

The chosen excerpt (please refer to line 73 on page 49 to line 142 on page 51) is taken from the “Inferno” part of the epic, where Dante meets with Paolo and Francesca from Rimini (A summary of the story is mentioned in English at the following webpage. https://www.italiantranslation-teaching.com/culture/italian-love-stories-paolo-and-francesca

A Bengali translation of the same excerpt by Shyamal Ganguly is available here in PDF.

Kolkata Centre for Creativity and Consulate General of Italy in Kolkata invite artistic proposals intending a confluence between of musicians (of all genre) and contemporary dances/ movement artists inspired by the chosen tragedy from the epic.


The story of Francesca and Paolo poses many questions to our modern sensitivity. Coming out of the fables of Christian morality their love story challenges the sanctified idea of institution of marriage and the transactional relationship that it promotes on the contrary of spontaneous connection between two hearts. The forbidden love story on one hand, falls in the category of epic love stories like Lyla Majnu or Romeo Juliet – on the other does it also promotes the supreme power of love that may concur all differences across cultures, religions or castes?

At the same time today’s artists can look at it as a hetero normative love story that does not have representation of love of all kind across all gender and sexuality. Even the appearance of Giovanni Malatesta, husband of Francesca in the text can be criticised in the light of inclusion and body positivity. Or even can it become the story of Frank and Paolo or Francesca and Paulina? May be in today’s time the epic tragedy for the protagonists does not have to exclude and interfere but can be an inclusive counter narrative! May be with the new writing after 700 years finally the tragedy would get its chance of some comic relief!

This project is an invitation to dancers, movement artists and musicians to respond to the story from their modern artistic sensitivity to re-interpret, alter, and challenge the age old epic with today’s creativity.

What will be offered to the selected project

To be paid to Collaborator 1 

Creation, Rehearsal and production cost, Artist fees, 
Technical cost of the light sound etc. 
INR 70,000.00 

To be paid to Collaborator 2 

Movement & Contemporary Dance 
Creation, Rehearsal and production cost, Artist fees, 
Technical cost of the light sound etc. 
INR 70,000.00 

Towards documentation (written and video) of final showcase (allotted only in the last stage of the project realisation)
A video documentation to be submitted of the final showcase INR 30,000.00 
* The Grant will be allotted in parts throughout the project. Detail will be given to the selected project

Application Guideline and Criteria 

- The projects must consider the chosen excerpt of “La Divina Comedia” as its primary inspiration and departure point. 
- Applications are open to a confluence group of: 
a) practitioners of Music and 
b) practitioners of movement & contemporary dance. 

Only the applicant groups that must be able to establish the collaboration, would be considered. 
- One project will be awarded for this laboratory program. 
- The performance can be pre-recorded or live in a physical space or a combination of these. (Subject to decide seeing the COVID situation while announcement). 
- The length of the piece must be at least 30 minutes and max 60 minutes. 
- The work must be a new work proposal and cannot be a film or a video/ audio recording of an existing performance by the group. 
- We encourage projects that are multidisciplinary and collaborative. 
- All the selected performance/ showcase of the project must be executed as per timelines given in ‘Important Dates’ at the end of this page. 

- This laboratory is offered for Indian Nationals only. (KCC Art Fellows for the current year of 2020-2021 are not eligible for application.) Applicants residing in West Bengal, Orissa, Jharkhand, Bihar, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura will be given preference. 
- The projects must be applied in Bengali, Hindi or in English. 
- Existing fellows/ grantees of KCC of year 2020-2021 are not eligible to apply for this grant. 

Things to Submit 

- Working title of the project. 
- A concept notes of the project. The synopsis of narrative can be included in this section. 
- A note on the ways that the particular excerpt of “La Divina Comedia” inspires or is related with the project. 
- A note on intention and possibilities of the collaboration between music, movement and contemporary dance practitioners collaborating in this project. 
- Bio and detailed role of the collaborating artists/groups and the team of collaborators. 
- A broad time-frame for the project. 
- An approximate breaking up of budget expenditure (in detail). 
- Everything must be submitted in one PDF to submission.kcc@akst.org.in as per timelines given in ‘Important Dates’ on Page 3. 

NB: Please mention the following at the first page of your application. 
Name of the main collaborators – 
Name of the groups – 
Working title of the project – 
Single point contact: Phone – 
Single point contact: Email – 
Name of the other collaborators/team members – 

Important Dates:

Deadline extended         
Deadline for submission - February 14th, 2021, 17.00 IST 
Announcement of selected application - February 28th 2021, 17.00 IST 

Time frame for execution of the projects 

First presentation on the progress of  project on/by- June 25th 2021 
Second presentation on the progress of project on/by- 25th September 2021 
Final presentation at KCC- November 2021 


Email – submission.kcc@akst.org.in 
Write Application_LTE_(working title of your project) in the subject of the email 
(Without the subject we shall not be able to identify your proposal, please pay attention)
Phone - +91 – 9051038394 (Tuesday – Sunday, 11.00 am to 7.00 pm)

Bengali PDF Link: