My name is Antonio Cangiano. I was born and raised in Naples, Italy and moved to New York City in 2014. I joined Ballet Hispánico in 2019.
When and where was your first performance?
My first performance was when I was 8 years old in Italy. I danced with a group of ladies, including my mom, to the song “She Bang” by Ricky Martin.
What experience, mentor, or teacher supported your passion for dance?
I’ve had many mentors and teachers that I’m extremely thankful for. Stefania Sansavini, Director of ATENEO DANZA (IT), helped me understand from a very young age the importance of working hard to become a professional dancer. Stefania also showed me how beneficial it would be for me to have an experience outside of Italy.
Virginia Mecene, Director of the Martha Graham School and Graham 2, gave me a scholarship that granted me the opportunity to study and dance in New York City. I am extremely grateful to her because she allowed me to have my first professional experience with Graham 2. I also had the privilege to dance ensemble and main roles from the beautiful and iconic Graham repertoire.
Others include: Nai-NI Chen, Director of Nai-NI Chen Dance Company. I danced for the Company for a duration of two years and gained another rich and great experience as a working professional dancer; Antonio Fini, Director of Fini Dance, is an amazing curator of an Italian dance platform. He gifted me the opportunity to be noticed when I was back home. I wouldn’t be where I am today without him; Dino Carano Director of Acsi Ballet (IT) is also a great mentor that supported my first steps in the professional dance world.
Lastly, Eduardo Vilaro, Artistic Director & CEO of Ballet Hispánico, who believed in me and gave me the wonderful opportunity to dance for Ballet Hispánico, the company I first fell in love with from the beginning of my chapter in New York City.
Why did you choose to come to Ballet Hispánico?
I was new to New York City and exploring the dance field to see what it was like and what it could offer me. When I saw Ballet Hispánico perform in 2015, I realized it was the place I wanted to be. I fell in love with the Company’s fusion of music, dance and style.
When and where was your favorite or most memorable performance?
My favorite performance was dancing with Ballet Hispánico for the first time at the Joyce Theatre in New York City in 2019. Performing on that stage with the Company made me realize how far I had come in my career as an Immigrant artist from the other side of the world
How do you see dance progressing as an art form and what impact do you feel you or your generation of dancers will have on the field of dance?
Dance, like many art forms, is in constant evolution affected by what is happening around us in today’s world. I believe that during this pandemic, artists have become more aware of how necessary it is for us to create art for ourselves and others to survive. Simultaneously, it has allowed us to expand our knowledge in finding new and creative ways to produce art.