Merián Soto



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.