Celine (née De La Croix) is a Brooklyn-based dancer who specializes in the avant-garde. Her debut feature film is an art house movie titled “Magnum Opus: Resurgence Ex Cineribus” — a Latin phrase that translates into “I Will Rise From the Ashes.”

The piece chronicles Celine’s experiences striving to re-enter the artworks after suffering a bitter artistic failure and will be screened on Tuesday, February 12, 2019, at 7:30 PM at the Kickstarter HQ (58 Kent Street, Brooklyn, NY 11222.)

The event is free with RSVP when you reserve at Eventbrite(dot)com.

Celine can also be followed on Instagram via @celineismovedtomove

Celine is best known for her Tumblr Blog and the Instagram account which tend to be quite mysterious and cryptic. Little is known of the artist herself, who reveals only fragment bits of storylines in her writing which may or may not be factual. Is Celine a real person or merely a character being acted out? It is s question that greatly intrigues her followers.

Celine has long been associated with a critically-minded collective movement headquartered in Brooklyn called The People Movers who have earned much credit throughout the experimental performance industry.

Theater, social media and Brooklyn

Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you get involved with first social media, and then the theater, and how did you form your uniquely cryptic style?

Celine (née De La Croix) (C): Well, I did spend quite a lot of time deeply distrustful of social media, and purposefully avoided creating any kind of online account for years and years. It's just so easy for people to look at you and really pre-judge your essence online. And I really wanted to make certain that my spiritual side was trained enough to handle that, just like I've spent so many years training my body as a Dancer, creator, and seer-in-training.

Really my first foray into social media was with my Tumblr blog, and I began that because I really felt my relationship to internet spaces shift, you know, so it became less of a social anxiety instapot and more of a beneficent Void, where I could commune with the emptiness within creation in this beautiful unfettered way.

Also, the theater is not exactly what I do, is it?

I am a Dance artist and seer, so I don't really make plays or anything so much as craft a unique experience for the viewer or viewers to grow and change from. Like, I have never and would never do any Tennessee Williams, you know? I'm sure I'd be totally adequate at it if I did, but it's just not my Moira (like in the Greek sense, not the name, obviously). I absolutely have so much affection for those who do choose to spend their limited time on this planet pretending to be others, but I really feel that in the type of work I am creating it's just so important to stay grounded in the sense of who I am, in order to really deepen the impact of my message.

I don't know that I would term my style as cryptic, and honestly, it's this sort of framing that makes interviews just so challenging, because already I've been pigeonholed into responding to my work as having a particular style, and that style as cryptic, and I just do not agree.

I really think that I go out of my way to make the development of my MAGNUM OPUS really clear and relatable, and if it's cryptic to you, it's likely either your perception, the limitations of the audience members, and/or mundane production misunderstandings. Oh, and Celine is created by Kate Ladenheim and Cecilia Lynn-Jacobs and produced by the People Movers.

MM: How much of an inspiration is Brooklyn?

C: Oh my goddess, Brooklyn is EVERYTHING! So, this sort of query gets me very, very excited, because I really love imbuing my work with a very solid sense of place. I just think that while I am still remaking “Magnum Opus” and each attempt is slightly unworthy or clouded by my relationship to the specific circumstances, I am still so inspired by our borough.

Really this is the whole raison d'etre of “MAGNUM OPUS,” you know? My observations of nature and industry colliding and intertwining and battling in this beautiful, vicious, essential way. I saw such a mess of imbalance and chaos, and realized that our city is much better at neutrally honoring the duality of holding both the natural, impulsive, intuitive world and the clang and battle of structured human endeavor than I am and I think most people really are, and so I created “MAGNUM OPUS” as a sort of dance prayer to restore that balance between me, who is so in touch to the world of freedom and impulse, and the forces of industry that we are encouraged to honor exclusively.

Performances, dance, characters and projects

MM: What prompted you to perform in your own piece and why is dance so integral to what you do?

C: So, it seems like this is a question that you framed with the understanding of me as a dance artist, but not as a dance artist/seer/guide. Obviously, I'm in the piece because I don't really make work that doesn't rely on my own sense of spiritual and physical sensation to craft my movement. It would be nearly impossible, and probably unpleasant to use another person in place of myself in that process. Dance is one of the overlooked media for a transformative experience, I think, because the body is where we all house so much fodder for our own healing.

I believe that through dance I have greater access to the creative promptings of the void, and that my audiences are able to experience that direct connection in a much more visceral way, which is, after all, the point.

MM: Some people claim you aren’t real or are merely a character, so how do you respond to that?

C: Well, I think that some people are really concerned with their own reality, and feel really very insecure about their own ability to relate to others as real, or simply characters in their own little life performance, so when I hear stuff like that it just seems like a flag that they may have some personal work to do, and I should give them the space to do that.

MM: Typically, what do you feel are the differences between being pretentious compared to being truly profound?

C: Isn't pretentiousness essentially created by those who declare something pretentious in the first place? I'm not sure if an individual can be faulted for using the communication tools available to them, or that they most respond with, any more than I can fault those that would write off using those tools as pretentiousness because they feel excluded. Perhaps profundity is merely an instance of both parties finding a communal place of understanding in the wide chasm between human experiences?

MM: What do you hope audiences will remember most about your impending performance project, “Magnum Opus”?

C: My fondest hope is that it serves to remind audiences of the balance within themselves – of a delicate, intuitive, peaceful being and of the great sequential story-creating brain on top of our necks.

I think that I am uniquely positioned to remind people of their duality and also that the power paradigms that attempt to rule the Western/global capitalist society are designed to honor your brain and not the softness of the nature within you. I also hope audiences see the strength and bravery that it takes for me to stand up and demand that honoring of them, for I am perhaps not their typical idea of a prophet, and I have endured a lot of rejection this year.

MM: Is there anything else that you would like to talk about—for instance, have you any other projects coming up in 2019?

C: Well, I'm screening “Magnum Opus: Resurgere Ex Cineribus” at Kickstarter on the 12th, and I just received word after developing that connection that I'm able to develop the work at Brooklyn Studios for Dance, so I will be sharing my first evening-length attempt to crack the show in April.

After that I expect that I shall have finally made my perfect version of the performance and will be soliciting touring opportunities, so please tell your friends with well-stipended festivals about this transformative work!