Franklin University Switzerland recently hosted another impactful two-day dance workshop, the first to be held in the inspiring spaces of the McNeely Center for Ideas & Imagination. Led by the renowned Maria Bonzanigo, co-founder of the Compagnia Finzi Pasca, this event was much more than a series of dance lessons; it was an exploration of collective creative expression, a tribute to the enduring value of embodied learning and the liberal arts.

The workshop - which included students, staff, faculty, and leadership, provided a unique opportunity for collaboration through the arts. Bonzanigo, with her multifaceted expertise as a choreographer, composer, and actor, guided the participants beautifully. Her approach was based on active listening; it was about expanding the vocabulary of bodily expression, paying attention to the layers of rhythms and melodies of musical composition, and the power of non-verbal communication. She emphasized quality, control, and harmony in movement, transforming our understanding of dance and its applications to work and life in general.

The diversity of participants – from novices to accomplished dancers – created a rich tapestry of learning experiences. Bonzanigo’s methods encouraged participants to move beyond preconceived notions of dance. Everyone discovered a newfound freedom in movement, exploring a broader range of motion with greater control and sensitivity.

This workshop sets the stage for future collaborative and creative initiatives on the Arts and Cultures agenda at Franklin this Spring. It also deepens our connection to the local Swiss community, especially as we anticipate the upcoming Lugano Dance Project festival at Lugano Arte e Cultura (LAC) in June 2024.


Written by Fabio Ferrari, Chair of the Division of Arts and Cultures, Associate Professor of Italian and Comparative Literary & Cultural Studies

Photo credit: Alex Hoffman