"Holding the paradox of simplicity and complexity, being in the space in-between, at the intersection of sensing and responding, we enter a state of expanded consciousness."
Merián Soto's (b. 1954) 40-year career in performance has been marked by a concern for the body—most recently manifested in a somatic, conceptual, and process-based practice that investigates the living body in its relationship to consciousness. Working toward, in the artist's words, "a dance of the future, a dance of healing, transformation, and transcendence," Soto has created the Center-funded Branch Dance Series, SoMoS, and Wissahickon Park research project, as well as Historias (1992), which the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) recognized in its American Masterpieces program. Soto received a 2014 Bogliasco Fellowship and is a four-time NEA Fellow in choreography. She was a 2009 Master Artist in Residence at Pregones Theater, and was named a 2000 Bessie Award recipient for sustained achievement in the field. Soto holds an MA in Dance Education from Columbia University and has studied with choreographers Anna Halprin and Mark Taylor, among others. Her current work combines video and dance, documenting her experience of place by recording her shadow in motion.