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About Us

“One of the things I love about the work made by Dante or Die is that every project is so different, so surprising and that’s rare”
Lyn Gardner
“So immersive that re-entering the world afterward comes as a shock”
“It feels like a privilege to listen to and watch O’Donovan so intimately”
“director Daphna Attias thrives, weaving a complex and beautiful depiction of modern loss”
“a beautiful dance of love, death and grief”
“A raw and magnetic performance… a gorgeous show”
“an ethereal experience of astonishing power”
“moving, funny and ultimately joyful”

When Daphna and I were students we made a show in a skate park in South London. The words ‘Dante or Die’ were graffitied on the concrete, and inspired an improvisation during the on-site devising process that resulted in a show that saw me rollerblading in an elaborate pink ball gown. When we were searching for a name for the company we came back to that graffiti. It came from the space – and from local people who had painted it there. We wanted to make shows that had a ‘do or die’ feel to them, something that would remind us to always be inspired by the spaces around us, and by the people who occupy them. So we became Dante or Die.” – Terry O’Donovan, Co-Artistic Director

Since 2006, we have been creating original performances that have taken place in cosy cafés, an artificial ski-slope, high end and some lower-end hotel rooms, anonymous self-storage buildings and sweaty leisure centres... The list goes on. We've had the pleasure of performing across the UK and at brilliant international festivals. Creating performances for everyday spaces means that we have the chance to meet new people all the time, to be inspired by stories we wouldn’t otherwise hear, and invite people who might not otherwise, to go on a theatrical journey with us.

As Co-Artistic Directors, Daphna and Terry co-create the productions. We put together teams of collaborators and participants specific to each project. They include playwrights and designers as well as leisure centre managers, neuroscientists and people from the communities that we’re working in. The creation process is usually a couple of years long, and involves dozens of people, knocking on a lot of doors and a lot of surprising conversations. Hundreds of participants have taken part in our productions, and we’ve run thousands of hours of development workshops and residencies in person, online and as far afield as Hong Kong.

We create partnerships with arts organisations and local businesses and have had the pleasure of collaborating with organisations that we hugely admire such as Almeida Theatre, Traverse Theatre, The Lowry, BAM New York, Cork Midsummer Festival, Lighthouse Poole, Ideas Test… We're proud SITELINES Associate Artists at South Street Reading.

Ranjit Atwal, Kirsten Burrows, Vijaya Fatimathas (Chair), Helen Hughes, Lisa Woynarski.