The weather outside isn’t the only thing heating up.
Temple’s Conwell Dance Theater will celebrate its upcoming season with a new twist. On March 18, “La Maquina del Tiempo” will showcase popular forms of dance set to the sounds of salsa.
“La Maquina del Tiempo” translates to a time machine, a relevant title, as the purpose of the show is to investigate popular dance and music form. The dance will encompass decades and varying cultural backgrounds using a three-part show.
The first segment is a throwback to the days of improvisation. “The Art of Improvisation” is set to a simplistic décor with the dancer making the most of the minimal.
The dance will then segue into “Paradise Revue,” a revival of 15th century Mexican films. Finally, it will end with a presentation titled, “What’s Heart Got To Do With It?”
The three parts will work together to explain how the past is still incorporated in all current genres. However, while the performances sample works from the past, they are largely contemporary pieces.
“They have a lot of history in them,” explained choreographer Merian Soto.
The dance uses past traditions to tell a story in the present. However, rather than using words, the emotions of the performers speak far more effectively through dance.
Soto, a Temple dance professor and Bessie Award winning alum, takes pride in her latest production. A year and half in the making, the end result is to her satisfaction.
Her personal opinion aside, Soto mentions positive feedback from the audience.
“When I show it to an audience and do post discussions, I get a sense if they get it,” she said.
As a winner of six choreographer scholarships, Soto credits the passion of the craft as her drive to do more. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, she grew up dancing. Now directing, Soto takes personal pride in every performance.
“The work I do is motivated by other expressive intentions. I would consider it art,” Soto said.
Stephanie Guerilus can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org