What is a wonderful little town of Sora in the Liri Valley in Ciociaria for someone who wants to fly? For Enzo Celli, Sora is a starting point, but also a safe haven to which to return.
Sora seemed to be a cage that, with open doors then becomes a nest.
The new emigrants of Sora are very different from those who left after World War II and who could only write letters to keep in touch with their familtes of origin. Airplanes, internet, digital world and virtual world intertwined create new dimensions of living where relationships break up and recompose themselves in an unexpected way.
But let’s go back to the beginning because Enzo Celli’s story is a serendipidy of opportunities found, while he never stopped dreaming, and they were opportunities to fly higher and higher:
‘I live by teaching people to dance. Isn’t that wonderful?’
He likes to move and feels comfortable in space. He has an athletic physique, he is a coach, but his movements do not follow sports rules as much as those of the soul. By chance he had discovered dance at 15, too late to follow a traditional path but early enough to be free to float.
Vittoria Ottolenghi, a dance expert and one of Rudolf Nureyev’s best friends, noted this. Vittoria is also an outsider who, with her role as a critic and her dance programs for Rai, has made Italians discover dance. She cared for young people and was thrilled to discover true talents.
She noticed Enzo Celli and took care of him. She understood that he is a dreamer but also a hard worker. She asked him what his dance style is called and Enzo was surprised because he didn’t expect this question and didn’t have the right words to answer.
She invited him to study dance by observing the work of the masters and choreographers and Enzo discovered that what she felt she wanted, but she did not imagine she could achieve, is right there in front of him.
He threw himself into dance and began his journey throughout the world touring among the best theaters in the world until, after about twenty years of ups and downs, he arrived in America for a tour. In the taxi that took him back to the airport for Rome and Italy, another question changed his life.
It was Igal Perry who naturally opened up the scenario of dance to him in New York, the world centre of artistic expression. Shortly after that he invited him to teach in the USA with an official letter of request.
16 reference letters, a portfolio of articles and an interview: this is what the American Embassy asked from him in order to approve his visa to start a work experience in NY.
Then a chair at the university, the Green Card for artistic merits and a kaleidoscope of emotions.
Sora U New York
He often returned to Sora. Many here have not understood what he does. In Sora, the theater had not existed for a long time and culture had become important again only recently, after the intoxication of an easy industrialization that has taken off and left no beauty.
A culture that perhaps still has to know freedom and which, as often happens in Italy, is recognized only if it follows some formal canons. A culture that sometimes looks more to the past than to the desire to experience the future.
In Sora is he always the son of Anna and Nello and he doesn’t need to prove anything to others. His father had understood this and their meeting as men was told in an exciting way during the Visionary Days in Turin (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOmnTV3pU0E).
Enzo’s real challenge was not with Sora or his family, but with himself. He was the only one who saw the cage from which he wanted to fly, but the others did not see the wings.
He returned to Sora as a free man, as an artist and here he renewed himself once again with the pandemic by starting again his previous life before the dance.
From choreographer and dance teacher he has become a motivational coach for artists.
For everyone the pandemic was difficult, but it hit the artists in a particular way with particularly strong bass strokes. Dancers live in symbiosis with their audience and undergo exhausting training to excite and give their best. With the theaters empty, the real obstacle to overcome was to maintain the balance of these fragile souls who had to stay closed in the house.
Enzo Celli by chance (but it’s not a real chance) started talking on the web in a project that he calls The Talk and which serves to help artists . Many follow him and he finds himself once again a beacon.
This is followed by a new path with Orbo Novo and with Veronica Gianello. It is the beginning of a new phase: ‘I’ve never really taught dance but I teach dance. I take care of the dancers and help them to express themselves in their movements but also in their emotional aspects. I find myself in the meaning of the word ‘educator’ (pull out) and I act as a sculptor of people ‘.
He is excited to discover the real raw talent and to help them blossom, a bit like Vittoria Ottolenghi did with him. To give back to life what it has received and to spread beauty.
And Sora is there in front with all her beauty, the river draws soft curves with the mountains in the background. And we all have to spread our wings to fly. The cage must become a nest to return to.
If we know how to dream we can fly.
Pictures by Anuska Pitotti