Artistic Director Merián Soto is the creator of Branch Dancing and Modal Practice. Her work has been presented across the US and internationally since the mid '80s.
Soto is one of the Founding Artistic Directors, along with Patti Bradshaw and Pepón Osorio, of Pepatián, the Bronx-based, multi-disciplinary Latino arts organization. In that capacity, she developed, curated and produced numerous projects featuring new works by emerging Latino dance and performance artists, including the celebrated Rompeforma Festival presented in Puerto Rico from 1989-1996.
Soto is known for her experiments with Salsa - the dance and music of Pan-Latino collective experiences - in critically acclaimed works such as Así se baila un Son (1999) Prequel(a): Deconstruction of a Passion for Salsa (2002) and La Máquina del Tiempo (2004).
Since 2005 Soto has created an extensive series of dances with branches including two award winning works: SoMoS (2012) and the One Year Wissahickon Park Project (2007-08).
Soto is the recipient of numerous awards including a New York Dance and Performance Award "BESSIE" for sustained choreographic achievement in 2000, a Greater Philadelphia Dance and Physical Theater Award “ROCKY” for her One-Year Wissahickon Park Project in 2008, a 2014 Bogliasco Fellowship and a 2015 Pew Fellowship in the Arts.
A renowned educator, Soto is Professor of Dance at the Esther Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University.
" I want us to remember that we are nature" Merián Soto
Merián Soto. Photo: Nicole Myles
Modes! with Marion Ramírez & Beau Hancock
Photo: Bill Hebert