Past event

12 June 2024

Ex orologeria Diantus Watch, Castel San Pietro


13 June 2024

Ex orologeria Diantus Watch, Castel San Pietro


Created as part of the collaboration between mk and LAC Lugano Arte e Cultura for the Lugano Dance Project festival, MOBILE HOMES – Album degli abitanti del Nuovo Mondo (“Album of the inhabitants of the New World”) is a project that creates connections between different yet complementary specialist skills related to the theme of corporeality and living: an exploration of the relationships between bodies and things, understood as an environmental possibility of reinventing space.

At the beginning of 2024, the LAC helped arrange a meeting between Michele Di Stefano, the choreographer and artistic director of the mk group, and the architect Riccardo Blumer, a professor and former director of the Academy of Architecture of the University of Lugano (USI) in Mendrisio, with the aim of creating a project that would explore dance and design, developed with students of the Academy during the spring semester and hosted at the former watchmaker’s factory Diantus Watch in Castel San Pietro during the festival.
The workshop combines choreographic systems and machine design through a dynamic and procedural approach in order to generate unpredictable events: anatomies and objects enter into dialogue within a single moving landscape, which the audience can visit and traverse during the durational performance at the Lugano Dance Project. A shared environment that arises from the relationship between anatomies and constructions, different atmospheric densities, permeable qualities of bodies and objects, waste, entropy, thawing, the materiality of sound, structural tangents, and soft collapses.
Michele Di Stefano's work is enriched by an exhibition curated by the Atelier Blumer that presents the history of the former watchmaker's shop and its urban and production development from a point of view that goes beyond just the architectural. One of the goals of the exhibition is to communicate the importance of artefacts and architecture, to remember the history of places, promoting their preservation and reuse, turning them into incubators of culture.

The MOBILE HOMES project is the initial stage of PANORAMIC BANANA, organised in collaboration with the USI Academy of Architecture in Mendrisio.

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a project by
LAC Lugano Arte e Cultura 

USI Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio

curated by 
Michele Di Stefano / mk 

Atelier Blumer and the students of the Academy of Architecture USI of Mendrisio

Sebastiano Geronimo
Luciano Ariel Lanza
Flora Orciari
Laura Scarpini
Francesca Ugolini

modular system live
Biagio Caravano

with the support of
Fondazione C. Lab

Self-taught choreographer and artistic director of the mk group. He received the 2014 Silver Lion Award at the Venice BiennaleDanza, the 2018 Danza&Danza Award for the show Bermudas, the 2019 Ubu Award for the best dance show (Bermudas_forever) and the 2021 Ubu Special Award for Radio India/Indian Ocean, an artistic cohabitation project staged at the Teatro India in Rome. He is the Associated Artist at the Milan Triennale 2022-24. He has received choreography assignments from Aterballetto, Nuovo Balletto di Toscana, Korean National Contemporary Dance Company and Ballet de Lorraine. In addition to the international circuiting of shows and performances, he carries on an intense activity related to experimental proposals, including the Balinese Dance Platform at the Santarcangelo Festival (2014 and 2015), the curatorship of Buffalo for the Teatro di Roma, and training and research workshops for the Higher Institute for Artistic Industries (ISIA) of Urbino and the IUAV University of Venice.

Space and Dance, under the same sky called Architecture
by Riccardo Blumer 

Human beings throughout the ages have always pondered big questions about existence and life. There are also questions that could be considered more intimate or perhaps even simpler.
Asking questions is the only way to find out, to develop as a person.
It might therefore be in line with this to start from a question, looking if not for answers, then for notes along the short journey that thinking leads us on when composing a text:

Why are Dance and Architecture Applied Arts that could be considered complementary and related to each other?

In the first instance, it can be noted how the question deliberately specified that the two Arts are specifically defined as "applied". In fact, Applied Art Movements seemed very clear to everyone and well outlined within the Bauhaus School, where students challenged themselves in many disciplines, including Dance, under the guidance of great Artists, Designers, and Architects.

Questions don't always lead to individual answers. In many cases, it is necessary to take dialogue in various different directions, but all with the aim of finding a landing site. A quick first answer to the initial question could be derived from the fact that the body lives in a space. We live in spaces, public or private, outdoors or indoors. The bodies within these spaces move by generating actions, as a dancer does, as a crowd can likewise do in a church, and as a worker can also do in a factory. On a daily basis and often even involuntarily, our bodies generate repeated gestures, movement codes, that become rituals and therefore, perhaps, everyday dances. Reflecting on the above might bring to mind the first processions of Ancient Greece: the Panathenaea, around 500 BC. A large number of people went from Athens to the Parthenon in an orderly and strict arrangement to pay homage to Athena. An entire community moved as if guided by the instructions of a Choreographer, with the majestic Temple as the backdrop in the landscape. 
Another example, useful to get the measure of the relationship between Dance and space, could be represented by the ritual gestures that are performed when entering a place of worship, such as a church. The rite involves entering in strict silence, placing your right hand, and only your right hand, into the holy water font, then touching your head, the center of your chest, your right shoulder, and then immediately after your left shoulder, one after the other, at a rhythm encoded over time. You almost close your hand, bringing it close to your mouth. At the same time, you kneel slightly in reverence before the large Crucifix or other sacred image. The series of movements just described could be seen as an everyday Dance that has been repeated for centuries in a specific space. Outside of Sacred Architecture, these gestures would lose their meaning and therefore their direct relationship with the context. The moment the bodies were no longer in relation to the spaces, to Architecture, these architectural spaces would become abandoned, giving up their life.

Dance and Architecture have always been united by a strong bond. Both are expressions of a use and relationship of the body. Just consider that before units of measurement were invented, the body was the only measuring instrument. In the Renaissance, a unit known as "Piacenza arms", which corresponded specifically to the forearm of a body - about 44 cm - could be used to measure length. Everything built around us is based on the proportions of the body and of bodies. A dancer or multiple dancers often tailor their movements in relation to the space they are in. The Architect produces the space and the dancer uses it, but both measure it using the body.

The two Arts, while they may seem quite separate, produce moments of experiential didactics that the bodies feel, moving, speaking, and using space. One could say that the movement and size of bodies produce the rules of architectural spaces, but only when these two units become rituals and form a sense of community. If dance were among the origins of Architecture, as Simone Weil says, then that would make me happy, because it is this physical rite of living within which I would like to recognize myself.