Merián Soto is a Puerto Rican choreographer, video, and improvisation artist who has been creating and presenting solo, group, and collaborative pieces across the U.S. and internationally since the mid-1970s. Soto has collaborated extensively with visual artist Pepón Osorio on critically acclaimed works such as Historias, a piece that toured nationally and internationally from 1992-1999, addressing issues of racism and the exploitation of women by the pharmaceutical industry in Puerto Rico; and Familias, the Emmy-nominated work created in collaboration with eight South Bronx families in 1994-95. Committed to supporting new Latino dance and performance arts and artists, Soto is a founding artistic director of Pepatian, the Bronx-based Latino arts organization, for which she curated and produced numerous Latino artists projects including the celebrated Rompeforma festival in Puerto Rico, from 1989-1996. Soto teaches dance at Temple University in Philadelphia, where she has developed Modal Practice, the powerful improvisational methodology now practiced widely by choreographers in Philadelphia, New York, Puerto Rico and beyond. Since 2005, she has developed Branch Dancing, a meditative movement practice with branches, and the Branch Dance Series which includes dozens of performances on stage, in galleries, in nature, as well as video installations, and year-long seasonal projects. Soto is the recipient of numerous grants and awards including a New York Dance and Performance Award BESSIE in 2000, and a Pew Artist Fellowship in 2015.