The choreographer and artist discuss creating The Dante Project for the Royal Ballet – and their own visions of heaven and hell

When Wayne McGregor’s reimagining of epic poem The Divine Comedy opens at the Royal Opera House on Thursday, it will be seven years since he sent the first email to composer Thomas Adès proposing a collaboration. But however long a ballet is in the planning, the crafting of the choreography always comes down to the wire, crammed into the final weeks.

“For me that’s perilous but I just have to go with the flow,” says artist Tacita Dean, who has designed the production. “I think the adrenaline is important for the dancers,” she says, “the fact that it’s very fresh and unlearned.”

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