Merián Soto, Professor at Esther Boyer College of Music & Dance of Temple University and Artistic Director of Merián Soto Performance Practice, was awarded the Bogliasco Foundation Fall 2014 Fellowship. Her selected project was a celebration and affirmation of the artist’s mature dancing body, an opportunity to intensively prepare for the next decade of dancing, performing, and creating work, and to articulate (in movement and writing) an updated personal experiential philosophy of the body.
The Bogliasco Foundation supports the Arts and Humanities by providing residential Fellowships at its study center in Italy’s most vibrant, historic crossroads, where gifted artists and scholars of all cultures come together to connect, create and disseminate significant new work. Located in the fishing village of Bogliasco near Genoa, in a region of extraordinary beauty whose landscape has stimulated creative expression for centuries, the Bogliasco Foundation offers one-month residencies to individuals who can demonstrate notable achievement in the Arts and Humanities: those disciplines that seek to understand our place in the world, shaping and defining what it means to be human.
Artistic Director Merián Soto is the creator of Branch Dancing and Modal Practice. Her work has been presented across the US and internationally since the mid ’80s.
Soto is one of the Founding Artistic Directors, along with Patti Bradshaw and Pepón Osorio, of Pepatián, the Bronx-based, multi-disciplinary Latino arts organization. In that capacity, she developed, curated and produced numerous projects featuring new works by emerging Latino dance and performance artists, including the celebrated Rompeforma Festival presented in Puerto Rico from 1989-1996.
Soto is known for her experiments with Salsa – the dance and music of Pan-Latino collective experiences – in critically acclaimed works such as Así se baila un Son (1999) Prequel(a): Deconstruction of a Passion for Salsa (2002) and La Máquina del Tiempo (2004).
Since 2005 Soto has created an extensive series of dances with branches including two award winning works: SoMoS (2012) and the One Year Wissahickon Park Project (2007-08).
Soto is the recipient of numerous awards including a New York Dance and Performance Award “BESSIE” for sustained choreographic achievement in 2000, a Greater Philadelphia Dance and Physical Theater Award “ROCKY” for her One-Year Wissahickon Park Project in 2008, and in 2012 a Next Generation Award from the Philadelphia City Paper for SoMoS.
A renowned educator, Soto is Professor of Dance at the Esther Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University.