1/2: Merián Soto’s SoMoS. Photo by Lindsay Browning.
2/2: Dancers in Merián Soto’s SoMoS project. Photo by Lindsay Browning.

Merián Soto’s SoMoS was the culmination of her ambitious Branch Dance series, which began in 2005. SoMoS took place in a parking lot in North Philadelphia’s barrio, a primarily Latino community. Under Soto’s direction, the typically congested, urban lot became a carnival of images, sounds, and smells of nature, in a presentation that was part of Taller Puertorriqueño’s “Café Under the Stars” series. Soto’s performance encouraged audiences to participate in meditative movement with the dancers, in the hopes of achieving heightened consciousness for all. The choreography in SoMoS employed tree branches as talismans, connecting both the performer and the observers in the audience to renewed ideas of time and touch. “I am committed to collaboration as a source of empowerment, for both the dancers and the artists that work with me, as well as audiences who experience and contribute to it,” says Soto.


Collaborators & Colleagues

Kevin Ward is a former director of Santa Fe’s Dayton Contemporary Dance Company.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, pianist, and professor Shulamit Ran is the Andrew MacLeish Distinguished Service Professor in the department of music at the University of Chicago.

As part of Pasión y Arte’s Philadelphia Flamenco Festival, International House Philadelphia will host a screening of Flamenco Hoy by the celebrated film maestro Carlos Saura.

In the second iteration of the Center’s danceworkbook series, dancer and choreographer Roko Kawai reflects upon and shares images of her dance work since 1992.

Rajagopalan, associate artistic director and principal dancer of Chicago’s Natya Dance Theatre, discusses her perspective on co-authorship—one that stands in relation to a time-honored form.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Jean Isaacs is the artistic director of San Diego Dance Theater and the founder of Trolley Dances.

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

Grants & Grantees

Losang Samten is a visual artist and a 2004 Pew Fellow in folk and traditional arts.

Several Center-funded performances and exhibitions have garnered national and regional media coverage in recent weeks.

A number of ongoing and recently completed Center-funded projects have filled theater houses and garnered extensive media coverage.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Jorge Valdivia is the Director of Performing Arts at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, IL. He served as a Center management panelist in 2011.

Grants & Grantees

Robert Lepage’s multi-media theater work was inspired by stories written by famed Danish author Hans Christian Andersen.