"Let us read and let us dance - two amusements that will never do any harm to the world." Voltaire
Enzo Celli of VIVO Ballet on The Dance Gallery Festival’s 10th Anniversary at Manhattan Movement & Arts Center
WHAT: The Dance Gallery Festival’s 10th Anniversary
WHO: Enzo Celli/VIVO Ballet
WHEN: Friday-Sunday, November 11-13th 2016
WHERE: Manhattan Movement & Arts Center, 248 West 60th Street, New York City
MORE About the Artist: vivoballet.com/team/enzo-celli/
MORE about the Festival: http://bit.ly/2eHKfNA
Sammi Lim for The Dance Enthusiast: So The Dance Gallery Festival is divided into three segments: “Best of 10,” “Level UP,” and “Dance Gallery.” You’ll be presenting in the first category, which is reserved for the top talent. Complimenti!
Enzo Celli, Artistic Director of VIVO Ballet: Thank you for the compliment, Sammi! I was grateful for this honor, to be in the "Best of 10," celebrating The Dance Gallery's 10th anniversary. I accepted the opportunity to perform with great joy. I must say I am very attached to The Dance Gallery Festival and particularly to the people on staff. The first time I participated in the Festival was a time of great change in my career. As my career evolved, my relationship with the artistic staff of The Dance Gallery remained close. I'm happy to say we've continued to remain close to this day. More than being featured in the "Top 10," I feel like an uncle who is celebrating a birthday with his family.
Dance Enthusiast: You were able to make New York your second home by means of a unique Visa – an artist visa for ‘Extraordinary Ability in the Field of Art.’ Was the application process a laborious process?
EC: I believe that an artist is a "Citizen of Art." Work is produced in a place that feels close to the spirit. New York, and the dance community in NY, has made me feel accepted and respected and gave me the feeling of opportunity. Different from Europe, the dance community in NY is strong and healthy, adult and not egocentric. Artistically speaking, over time New York has begun to feel like my first, rather than my second home. This is because of the extraordinary privilege in having an artist visa for "Extraordinary Ability in the Field of Art."
Getting my Visa wasn't hard - it's renewing that is hard - and thanks to my sponsors, Igal Perry (who always believed in me) and the Peridance staff, I've felt taken care of. Also, I began the Visa process while my career was already in development, when I was already familiar with foreign Visa requirements.
Dance Enthusiast : How does your Italian heritage resonate throughout your work and your life in New York? Are there moments where stark differences in your born and adopted cultures sync or clash?
EC: I am reminded of Paul's letter to the Romans in Chapter 11 when he says, "It's not you who brings your roots, your roots are leading you," My heart is Italian, especially in my vision of beauty, and my interpretation of beauty - all typically Italian. The delicacy and search for poetry is typical of Italian literature, and I'm thinking of Guareschi or Pasolini, and the writings of Luigi Verdi. This is deeply rooted in me. My whole life follows this course. I am totally immersed in this state in all the things I do: the way I look at a sunset, the moon or the people on the street - all is conditioned by this culture of beauty. It is something that belongs to me biologically.
Of course I am in touch with reality, but still, I am a representative of Italy. I am an artist who translates 'Italy's way of being' in his work. I do not speak of 'being Italian'; I speak of my life.
Dance Enthusiast: Tell us about VIVO Ballet’s line-up for The Dance Gallery Festival. What influenced your decision to present these particular works?
EC: I decided to present an excerpt from Disgelo Solar, my most recent work. It is a duet with myself and my wife, Elizabeth Minutoli. This piece represents what I do well. Astrid Von Ussar, artistic director of The Dance Gallery, saw the entire work this spring at IDACO (Italian Dance Connection Festival) at The Sheen Center in New York City and liked it so much that we decided to include a portion of it in The Dance Gallery Festival.
Dance Enthusiast: The Dance Enthusiast is a huge proponent of audience reviews. What are your thoughts on receiving feedback? On this note, do you have any words for those who are watching your show on November 11th?
EC: When I learned that The Dance Enthusiast wanted to ask me questions about the Dance Gallery Festival, I was... enthusiastic! I have followed The Dance Enthusiast for a long time and am quite a fan. I feel audience feedback is very important, and I have tremendous respect for that. Of course, I hope the feedback is good! As for catching the show, I'd say these words from Luigi Verdi, who guided me in my process: "The greatest courage is the imagination; giving up arises from hunger, not from fear."