The selective excitation scheme known as 'DANTE' emerged from a confluence of several ideas for new NMR experiments, some more fanciful than others. DANTE offers a simple and effective way to restrict excitation to a very narrow frequency band, usually that of a single resonance line. Initially applied to the study of individual proton-coupled carbon-13 spin multiplets, the method has been extended to water presaturation, relaxation measurements, and chemical exchange studies. Through the imposition of a magnetic field gradient it offers a simple method to enhance resolution by restricting the effective volume of the sample. Multiple DANTE excitation (with Hadamard encoding) can speed up multidimensional spectroscopy by orders of magnitude. Applied to magnetic resonance imaging, the DANTE sequence has been used to superimpose a rectangular grid onto a cardiac image, permitting motional distortions to be monitored in real time.