Latino choreographers and musicians among Pew Arts grantees and fellows
Choreographer Merián Soto and percussionist Pablo Batista were among the Latino grantees and fellows announced Monday by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage (PCAH); while a project inspired in The Musical World of Don Quixote also received funding.
“Our 2015 grantees exemplify the diverse and dynamic cultural life of our region,” said Paula Marincola, executive director of PCAH.
Over her 40-year career in performance, Soto has focused on investigating the living body and its relationship to consciousness. Her conceptual and process-based pieces work towards, in the artist’s words, “a dance of the future, a dance of healing, transformation, and transcendence.”
In addition to receiving a $75,000 fellowship, Soto is also involved in a project by choreographer Jung Woong Kim, who was awarded a grant.
Kim will examine the universality of sudden loss and trauma in a multimedia dance theater work integrating his heritage in traditional Korean dance with Western dance, improvisation, music, and found sound.
Soto and Marion Ramírez will collaborate in this project along with Germaine Ingram and Korean musician Gamin Hyosung Kang.
Batista, of Puerto Rican roots, was awarded a grant to develop “El Viaje” (The Journey).
Batista will blend traditional Afro-Cuban rhythms and contemporary Western instrumentation, Afro-Caribbean choreography and evocative multi-media imagery in a performance that will tell a story of the spiritual and cultural resilience of those forced to emigrate from Africa to the Americas and re-establish themselves with dignity.
Another grantee worth mentioning is “Piffaro, The Renaissance Band,” which will present The Musical World of Don Quixote.
This music and movement performance will offer audiences a distinctive interpretation of Miguel de Cervantes’ four-century-old classic, Don Quixote, combining narrative elements and ballads drawn from the novel, recited in both Spanish and English, and accompanied by monophonic melodies, organ and vihuela works that are reminiscent of the sounds of Golden Age Spain.
PCAH awarded more than $9.6 million to provide funding for 12 new Pew fellowships, 34 project grants, and three advancement grants.