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This modern twist on the classical tale is a journey through "the Hell" of the schizoid realities of a street person named Sadie, and the "Purgatory" of young artists struggling for beauty. The fourteen-year-old Mandi is at one of the most prestigious ballet schools in the country for the summer. In her struggle for perfection of dance, we discover her hidden struggle for freedom from her twisted demon of a stepfather back home. She meets Dante, a young portrait artist who longs to accomplish something great in art. Meanwhile, Dante's mentor, a popular artist, has been struggling to artistically portray the three stages of the classic poem, "The Divine Comedy" for several years. The artist has decisively grappled with Hell, but now is stuck in Purgatory, unable to get any further. Dante, however, suddenly emerges as a serious artist with Mandi, the young ballerina, as the subject of his splendid and popular series of pastels and paintings. Could it be that young Dante is going to beat his mentor to "Heaven?" At the heart of the tale are several mysteries. Why does the Sadie have such a preoccupation with ballet students, and who is this stranger that has appeared in the city looking for her? Meanwhile, a hand full of malcontent students, and a strange group of old men connected with the gothic Chicago Opera House, are each conspiring in their own way to bring down the ballet company. More than a journey through Hell, Purgatory and Heaven, The Divine Comedian is a dance through the malformed inner worlds of the mentally ill, the struggle and passion of the arts, the comical inner workings in a caricature of a ballet company, and the madness of a surrealistic Chicago. It is a story of suspense, mystery, intrigue, romance, and the struggle for artistic beauty.
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