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.


Van Loon and Wilder chronicle their individual remembered experiences during the making of their collaborative dance piece Eulogy for John Kerry.

Leading hip-hop artist Raphael Xavier brought together masterful street performers, extreme BMX riders, acrobatic contortionists, and live music by saxophonist and composer Bobby Zankel for a contemporary circus-style performance in City Hall’s courtyard that paid tribute to the soul of the urban street.

Spanish dancer and choreographer Rosario Toledo choreographed an original dance for Pasión y Arte, marking the company’s first collaboration with a major flamenco artist.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Associate professor and coordinator of world music and ethnomusicology at San Diego State University, Kevin Delgado leads performance ensembles and labs on Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian music.

In perceiving the “just this”-ness, Group Motion Dance Company shares a preview of a new work by choreographer Susan Rethorst.

Grants & Grantees

Group Motion, Philadelphia’s oldest contemporary dance company, commissioned choreographer Susan Rethorst to create a new work for its dancers.

Collaborators & Colleagues

John Rasmussen is Midway Contemporary Art’s executive director. He founded the organization in 2001.

Grants & Grantees

“I have never had a shortage of ideas for creating music,” says 2007 Pew Fellow Jamey Robinson.

A yearlong research project on voice and movement culminates in an open public showing and panel discussion with Pauline Oliveros, Stuart Dempster, Stein, and the research ensemble.

Founded in 1986, Sruti promotes and presents Indian classical music and dance to educate the greater Philadelphia community on the importance of Indian arts.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Richard Maxwell, playwright and director, is the artistic director of New York City Players and a two-time Off-Broadway Theater Award winner.

The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia opened to the public in 1954 and is located in the former home of brothers Philip and Dr. A.S.W. Rosenbach, international dealers in rare books, manuscripts, and fine and decorative arts.