Tuesday, November 20, 2012

TRIANGULATIONS: Revisiting OYWPP, Merián Soto

Poster for the show.

Jumatatu Poe self documents. Photo: Pepón Osorio (2007)

Merián Soto
December 7th to January 19th, 2013
at the Lorenzo Homar Gallery
December 7th, 5:30 to 8:00 p.m.

Triangulations, Soto’s first one-person exhibition features two, three-channel video works created from a number of performance-documents from the award–winning One Year Wissahickon Park Project   (OYWPP). The videos were generated through a process wherein the performer documents her/his own performance. Triangulations recaptures the intersection of movement, sound, place and time in OYWPP.

OYWPP was a series of branch dance performances in Wissahickon Park throughout 07-08, featuring dancers Shavon Norris, Olive Prince, Jumatatu Poe, Noemí Segarra, Merián Soto, and percussionist and composer Toshi Makihara. It was designed around the concept of working with the four seasons, in four sites, for four performances in each site for a total of 16 performances. Performances lasted 45 minutes and were held Sunday mornings at 10:30 AM, to take advantage of the crisp morning air and angled sunlight. The 16 performances were completed in all sorts of conditions including temperatures ranging from 20 to 98 degrees, rain, snow, sleet, and high winds. OYWPP was awarded a ROCKY (Greater Philadelphia Dance & Physical Theater Award) in 2008.
Installation view.  Front Gallery
A brief video of the exhibition is presented here.

Triangulations: Revisiting OYWPP continues Soto’s Branch Dance Series that began in 2005. The series has included dozens of solo “guerilla” performances in Philadelphia’s Wissahickon Park (2005–06), the award-winning year-long seasonal project One Year Wissahickon Park Project or OYWPP (2007–08), critically acclaimed staged works, the performance/installation Postcards From the Woods (2009 Live Arts Festival), two year-long “sister” projects of four seasonal performances: Wissahickon Reunion in Philadelphia, and Branch Dances at Wave Hill in New York City, and most recently the monumental and critically acclaimed SoMoS that concluded Taller Puertorriqueño’s Café Under the Stars Performance Series

The branch dances are simple, yet powerfully communicative, works centered on consciousness in performance and in practice. They are grounded in a meditative dance practice involving the detailed sequencing of movements through the investigation of gravity through a dynamic shifting of balance and alignment. The placement of the body in nature, either real or simulated, triggers recognition of ourselves as nature. 

Merian 4:6:08-2

More information on her Branch Dances can be found at: http://branchdances.blogspot.com

Merián Soto began working with video in the mid-1970’s, collaborating with video artist Edín Vélez on early experiments with interactive video. In the early 1980’s, Soto studied and performed with Elaine Summers, an original Judson Dance Theater artist, co-founder of the Experimental Intermedia Foundation and pioneer of dances in projected environments. Soto has collaborated extensively with award-winning visual artist Pepón Osorio on large-scale performance works incorporating videos such as No Regrets (1987), Historias (1992) and Familias (1995), as well as with filmmaker Irene Sosa— Así se Baila un Son (1999), Prequel(a): Deconstruction of a Passion for Salsa (2002), and La Máquina del Tiempo (2004). In her recent Branch Dance Series, she has expanded her work with video using nature footage to create immersive performance environments in critically acclaimed works such as States of Gravity & Light (2007), Postcards From the Woods (2009) and SoMoS (2012). Soto is a PennPAT roster artist and an Associate Professor of Dance at the Esther Boyer College of Music & Dance at Temple University.

Reception for Triangulations

Videos in the exhibition: 

Triangulations: Revisiting OYWPP
Concept- Direction- Editing: Merián Soto
Music: Toshi Makihara
Projection Consultant: Lauren Mandilian
Sound editing: Cicada Brokaw Dennis
Assistant to Merián Soto: Melisa Putz
Photos: Pepón Osorio


10/7/07, Livezy Dam,   8:42 min.
Dancers:  Noemí Segarra, Olive Prince, Danielle Kinne, Shavon Norris, Merián Soto
Camera: Noemí Segarra, Shavon Norris, Merián Soto

2/24/08,  Bluebell Meadow  4:57 min.
Dancer & Camera: Jumatatu Poe

3/09/08,  Mt Airy Avenue 7:16 min.
Dancers: Merián Soto & Jumatatu Poe
Musician: Toshi Makihara
Camera: Merián Soto & Jumatatu Poe

6/8/08,  Livezy Dam 8:42 min.
Dancer & Camera: Jumatatu Poe

3/9/08,   Cathedral 6:40 min.
Dancer and Camera: Shavon Norris

2/20/10, Lake Erie 6:52 min.
Dancers: Beau Hancock, Caitlin Quinn, Merián Soto
Camera:  Merián Soto

One Year Wissahickon Park Project: Summer, 2008 22:00 min.
Directed by Merián Soto
Camera and Editing:  Laura Zimmerman
Dancers: Olive Prince, Noemí Segarra, Shavon Norris, Jumatatu Poe, Merián Soto
Musician: Toshi Makihar

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