Branch Dance Series

Merián Soto’s SoMoS. Photo by Lindsay Browning.

Merián Soto began her Branch Dance Series in 2005. “This work takes an enormous amount of discipline,” Soto says. “The performance task is simple—asking the performer and the audience to connect energetically and to be present while approaching stillness. There is an expansion of one’s sense of touch and the act of touching that holding the branch provides. Slowing down can be difficult particularly as one shifts weight, or moves from the ground to standing or when balancing these branches. Yet it’s thrilling to achieve things that one never thought one could. A balancing happens in the body and the psyche. We always feel better after dancing in this way. A transformation happens.” Postcards from the Woods, the culmination of this iteration of the series, premiered as part of the 2009 FringeArts Festival. The work involved video projections by Soto, and was presented as an immersive experience for the audience.

References

Grants & Grantees

In 2006 the Center awarded Pew Fellowships to 12 Philadelphia-based artists, and grants to 73 dance, music, theater, and visual arts organizations and practitioners in the greater Philadelphia region.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Natasha Bakht is an Indian contemporary dancer and choreographer. In 2015, she was a panelist in Performance.

Grants & Grantees

Since 1980, Susan Hess Modern Dance has sought to grow the audience for contemporary dance and support independent dance artists in the Philadelphia community.

Grants & Grantees

Steve Rowland is a music documentarian and a 1997 Pew Fellow.

Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, founding director of Urban Bush Women, on why “wanting profound social change and being an artist [are] not contradictory or binary places.”

Collaborators & Colleagues

A Philadelphia dancer/choreographer with a penchant for humor and surprise, Gabrielle Revlock is a former Jeanne Ruddy Dance company member.

Brenda Dixon Gottschild’s Center-supported book on Joan Myers Brown received a great deal of media attention upon its release.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art presents portrait of myself as my father, a dance work by Zimbabwean dancer Nora Chipaumire.

Collaborators & Colleagues

John Collins is founder and artistic director of Elevator Repair Service (ERS), a theater ensemble based in New York City.

Taras Lewyckyj, the artistic director of Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, recovered, restaged, and documented lost works of acclaimed Ukrainian dance artist Anatoly Kryvochyzha.

Grants & Grantees

In 2001 the Center awarded Pew Fellowships to 12 Philadelphia-based artists, and grants to 57 dance, music, theater, and visual arts organizations and practitioners in the greater Philadelphia region.

“Reinventing Tradition: New Dance in Indonesia” was a workshop series on cross-cultural practice that explored notions of the contemporary and the traditional in Indonesian dance.