Merián Soto returns to the Bronx, her artistic home, to develop Branch Dances at Wave Hill, through generated@wavehill, a commissioning program that provides artists the opportunity to create temporal work for the grounds. During this year-long residency she will create four outdoor performances, one each season, and will participate in the Winter Workspace Program.
This new project borrows from the seasonal structure of Soto’s award-winning, One Year Wissahickon Park Project presented in Wissahickon Valley Park, a wooded section of Philadelphia’s famed Fairmount Park. Soto uses both choreographed and improvised movement to transform everyday life experience, memory and history into innovative works that create a heightened awareness of emotion, expression and consciousness.
Branch Dances at Wave Hill performances are slow and meditative, yet powerfully communicative. Soto works with her team of dancers―Beau Hancock, Jumatatu Poe, Olive Prince and Marion Ramirez―and musician Harold Smith, to connect body, mind, place and elements to stillness. For each perforamance Soto selects locations that respond to seasonal aspects of the landscape, taking advantage of Wave Hill’s brilliant foliage, sweeping vistas and sculptural trees. Audiences are invited to slow down and enter a state of heightened receptivity to nature.
Merián Soto, whose artistic life is rooted in the Bronx, is one of the Founding Artistic Directors of Pepatián, the Bronx-based, multi-disciplinary Latino arts organization. In that capacity, during the 1980’s and 1990’s she developed, curated and produced numerous projects featuring new works by emerging Latino dance and performance artists. Soto's work has been presented across the United States and internationally since the mid 1980’s. In 2000, she was the recipient of the New York Dance and Performance Award, or Bessie Award. She is an Associate Professor and MFA Coordinator of the Department of Dance at the Esther Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University. Soto is a PennPAT Roster Artist.
Fall: Saturday, October 29, 2011, 3PM
Winter: Saturday, January 7, 2012, 3:30PM
Spring: Sunday, April 22, 2012, 3:30PM
Summer: Saturday, June 23, 2012, 3:30PM
Performances are free with admission to the grounds. Check back closer to each season to confirm performance times.
Media sponsorship of this program is provided by BronxNet, which provides local television viewing for the people of the Bronx, by the people of the Bronx.
Branch Dances is partially supported by a grant from Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour, a program developed and funded by The Heinz Endowments; the William Penn Foundation; the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency; and The Pew Charitable Trusts; and administered by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation. Matching funds have been provided by The Harkness Foundation for Dance and The Stephen and Cathy Weinroth Charitable Trust. This project is supported with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, celebrating 50 years of building strong, creative communities in New York State’s 62 counties. Sustaining support for Wave Hill is provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.
Target Free Days
Target sponsors free Tuesday and Saturday morning admission to Wave Hill, providing public access to the arts in our community.
Support for the Visual Arts Program is provided by Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc., Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Community Trust Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts.