Dancer, choreographer, video, and improvisation artist, Merián Soto is the creator of aesthetic- somatic dance practices and methodologies. She is the recipient of numerous grants and awards including a New York Dance and Performance Award BESSIE for sustained achievement in 2000, a Greater Philadelphia Dance and Physical Theater Award “ROCKY” in 2008 for her One Year Wissahickon Park Project, a Pew Fellowship in the Arts (2015), a Leeway Foundation Transformation Award (2016), and a 2019 United States Artists Doris Duke Fellowship in Dance.
Since 1999, Soto has taught Dance at Temple University in Philadelphia. Her writings on dance have been published in Choreographic Practices, Heresies Magazine, Movement Research Journal, and Contact Quarterly. She is also Curator of the Temple University Institute of Dance Scholarship’s Reflection/Response Choreographic Commission. Soto’s 40+ years career in dance has spanned various artistic movements. A central figure in the ‘80s and ‘90s Latina Arts, Equity, and Community Arts movements in New York City, Soto collaborated extensively with visual artist Pepón Osorio on full-evening interdisciplinary works. Soto is also known for her experiments with Salsa. Since 2005, she has developed the Branch Dance Series, which includes dozens of performances in theaters, galleries, and in nature, as well as video installations, and year-long seasonal projects.