GISELLE, photography as resilience…

From Wikipedia: “In psychology, resilience is a concept that indicates the ability to cope positively with traumatic events, to positively reorganize one’s life in the face of difficulties, to rebuild oneself while remaining sensitive to the positive opportunities that life offers, without alienating the own identity”. I learned to be grateful for all the difficulties I encountered in my life thanks to resilience, which I didn’t know I had. It happened that in a very difficult period for me, I would have had to choose between to leave the photography or look for “a normal job” to cope with the great difficulties I was going through. Rationality required me to give up photography and to integrate with society, becoming what I have never been and never wanted to be. But sometimes, especially when it comes to photography, to which I dedicated three quarters of my life, the heart and instinct prevail over rationality. . And it was then that I decided to follow the preparation of a dance show organized by the choreographer and friend Enzo Celli. Today I can say with absolute certainty that things never happen by chance, that there are no coincidences but synchronicities. But I didn’t even imagine it at that time. So, for two months, instead of looking for work while I was evicted from my home studio, I decided every morning to go and photograph the rehearsals of the dance company involved in the preparation of Adolphe-Charles Adam’s Giselle, reinterpreted by Enzo Celli. I had no certainties, I had no expectations, it was an act of escape from reality, too too heavy to accept. And I photographed with all my passion, my soul, my attention … as it hadn’t happened for a long time. When you are a professional it is not automatic to always have the same passion, the same enthusiasm. In thirty-four years dedicated to photography and video, different phases can happen, of pure love or hate. Well, in those two months, different things have happened: my first and only show was organized, and for the first time in my life I decided to take part in an international photo contest, the SONY WORLD PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS that in 2015 registered a boom of participation: 173,444 images from 171 countries. You can read the details of this experience in the article dedicated to the competition. So resilience, wonderful, divine resilience. The beginning of a new beginning …

GISELLE, the show

A dance full of symbolisms, mannerisms, is the one conceived by Enzo Celli for the Giselle of the Botega Dance Company, staged on November 30th at the Auditorium Conciliazione in Rome. With this “Giselle” Enzo Celli celebrates the beginning of a second phase of his career, reworking in terms of grammar and structure the show to which he is more attached.The fabric of history is that of the oneiric dimension in which Albrecht’s memory is articulated, increasingly distorted with the continuation of the show, as shown by the evolution of the second act. It is set in a women’s prison where the Villi are dressed as inmates, and Giselle always appears in an elegant setting that changes from ever-changing colors to red, the symbol of martyrdom. This happens because as the protagonist approaches the sad epilogue of history, in the mind of Albrecht, she assumes more and more supernatural connotations, to indicate how she herself becomes redemptive of the path of our fallen (political) prince, who thanks to it learns the profound sense of life. Among the protagonists is Elisabetta Minutoli, Giselle, a member of the BDC since 2008, a dancer who boasts an international education having studied at the Alvin Ailey, at the Steps on Broadway, at Dance New Amsterdam, and at the Peridance Capezio Center in New York. In particular he studies with Stephen Petronio, Igal Perry and Nathan Trice. The role of Albrecht is entrusted to Manuel Vignoulle, trained at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Danse de Paris and dancer, among many other experiences, also of the Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet. The show benefits from the extraordinary participation of Laccio in the role of Asrael. Among the other protagonists: Debora Regoli, Matteo Fiornai, Chiara Corradi, Simona Cutrignelli, Giulia Donati, Alice Papa, Giulia Mancini, Gloria Ferrari. (cit. Giornale della danza)
This image contains a special moment, the dancers during a rest phase, a few minutes before the start of the general rehearsals, who watch the slideshows of the images taken during the previous two months for the first time. This is the foyer where the exhibition will then be set up.

I would like to share the words I wrote when I presented the exhibition, my intention was to make people understand what my personal vision was about the type of images and the technique used to make them.

The black and white

The rehearsal sessions, the time passes, the idea of ​​the choreographer is materializing in the movements and actions of the dancers. Day after day, rehearsal after rehearsal the girls begin the path of harmony, of safety in movement, fatigue and emotions dig faces, sweat illuminates the skin. The more time passes, the more they forget that I’m there to photograph them with Enzo who guides them. There is a lot of intimacy in observing a choreographer and his dancers who vibrate and who, going ahead, take hold of the soul of the show in unison. And it is also very beautiful. At this moment the details and the looks, the concentration and the movements are of such intimacy that black and white is for me the only way to “tell these nuances of the soul”. For the rest it is the search for the moment in which a look and or a movement express tension, energy, intimacy …

The grain, the blur and the focus
There are some images intentionally blurred and moved, originally the heritage of research and experimentation on the soul of the dance expressed by the brushstrokes and the trails that a movement can give to the air … In Giselle there are moments in which blurry is for me is necessary, it means maintaining an ideal distance of respect for the ecstasy of the moment, the tension of the body. The intention is to “Perceive”, not to see. “Feeling” without looking … without the need for details, focus, sharpness … I also chose to use a grain that adds to the image a “taste” of film, of “pictorial paste” … aspects now lost with the use of digital cameras. With Giselle I felt the need to recreate it.

I have collected the two months in 12 chapters, each of which contains a selection of the many images I have made. Then in the end, there are two final chapters of the show.













The day of the show, the rehearsal

The day of the show, the rehearsal. It is at this moment, before going to the stage that every dancer, according to my perception and my opinion, comes into contact with a deep part of his soul. It is a moment of tension but also of great calm at the same time. The dichotomy of being is expressed, the stretching, the looks that tells all the work done previously. There is a moment of silence that fills everything, in every dimension … I don’t know if I managed to photograph it, but I know I was there and I am a witness. And for this I am very grateful and fortunate, for having seen how passion these dancers, these people put into what they do. And this is one of the most beautiful things you can attend.

The show