On the evening of April 29, the Lugano Arte e Cultura (LAC) in Lugano, hosted the screening of the documentary "Dancing Free," produced by Fiumi Studios in collaboration with the KHR McNeely Family Fund and Franklin University Switzerland.

This documentary, first shot during the inaugural Lugano Dance Project in 2021 and presented at the Locarno Film Festival in August 2023, captures the intricate creative processes of three diverse choreographers—Canadian Virginie Brunelle, Anglo-American Annie Hanauer, and Swiss-German Lea Moro. These artists drew inspiration from the historical utopian ideals of Monte Verità, exploring themes of perfection and utopia in both their art and personal lives.

After the film concluded, the audience had the opportunity to learn more about the behind-the-scenes of the documentary directly from Producer Elettra Fiumi in a Q&A session with Sofia Chiusano, a Bachelor's student from Franklin University Switzerland.

The outstanding conversation allowed participants to explore the film in greater depth, analyzing it through the director's philosophical perspective. Fiumi shared her insights into the filmmaking process and her personal reflections on the concept of utopia, the main focus of the LAC Lugano Dance Project’s first edition. "Working on a documentary is challenging and requires a lot of problem-solving skills,” Fiumi explained. “The artists involved had a very busy schedule, making it difficult to coordinate everyone's availability. Despite the technical difficulties, I am proud of the work that has been accomplished.” Sofia Chiusano moderated the interview skillfully, eliciting valuable insights from the film director. This exchange highlighted the unique cultural engagement made possible by Lugano's vibrant scene, LAC, and Franklin's intimate student community. It showcased how such discussions can encourage active involvement in a variety of cultural events.

The discussion also touched on the individual stories of the featured choreographers, who have varied backgrounds and artistic philosophies but share common threads in their professional journeys and personal narratives. These stories of resilience and vulnerability underscore the complex realities behind the pursuit of an "ideal world."

This event set the stage for the upcoming second edition of the Lugano Dance Project, slated for June 12-16, 2024. Under the curation of Michel Gagnon, Carmelo Rifici, and Lorenzo Conti, the festival will explore the interaction between body and architecture, featuring performances in some of Ticino’s most iconic architectural sites.

"Dancing Free" serves as a precursor to a festival that continues to push the boundaries of dance and performance art. Special thanks to Kevin, Rosemary, and Hannah Rose McNeely for supporting the Lugano Dance Project, which remains a significant cultural event, drawing attention to the rich artistic heritage and contemporary creative potential of the region. As the documentary showed and the forthcoming festival promises, the synergy of history, culture, and innovation continues to thrive in Lugano, offering a platform for profound artistic expression and dialogue.