Reflection Response: kNots & Nests

Photo by Matthew Altea


By Mijkalena Smith

My time performing and creating in the Reflection:Response Commission, kNots & Nests, by Marion Ramirez was undoubtedly one of the most meaningful experiences I have ever had. kNots & Nests is a multi-disciplinary creative project celebrating the duet as the smallest unit of community ( This project’s artistic collaborations include Marion Ramirez (project’s director/ dance department, Boyer) Adam Vidiskis (music department, Boyer School of Music and Dance), Kris Rumman (visual art, Tyler School of Art and Architecture), and Jungwoong Kim (dance, Boyer School of Music and Dance). Student Participants included artists from Temple dance, music, journalism, film, and visual art departments.  Never before have I been surrounded by such a diverse, creative, and genuine group of people.

I think sometimes at Temple we become stuck inside our own departments, constantly working and improvising with the same people day after day. Having the opportunity to work with artists from different Music department and Tyler school of Art brought a fresh, new atmosphere of creativity that allowed for the success of this project across various art mediums. Apprehensive about working with improvisation for the first time, Marion Ramirez facilitated a connection among us artists that helped me learn that this work was more about our relationship to each other and the concepts surrounding the piece, rather than exact movements or choreography.


Photo by Matthew Altea


An emotionally raw and vulnerable experience; I learned that pushing past one’s comfort zone with other artists creates the purest art. I learned how to reach out and express myself to people in a way I never would have imagined. It was a rich experience I am eternally grateful for and will certainly never forget.


Mijka Smith BFA Dance Student

Merián Soto Awarded Pew Grant



Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 4.19.44 PM



This year, Associate Dance Professor Merián Soto was awarded a Pew Fellowship from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage in Philadelphia. The Center has provided local artists, scholars and cultural organizations with 9.6 millions dollars worth of grants in 2015. Professor Soto was recognized by the Center for her 40-year career studying dance and performance through somatic investigations and process-oriented practices. Soto claims that she is continually working towards, “a dance of the future, a dance of healing, transformation, and transcendence.”

The Center has funded many of Soto’s creative and conceptual works, such as Branch Dance Series, SoMoS, and Wissahicken Park research project.

From studying Latino dance in New York to modern day creative explorations in Philadelphia,Merián Soto has built a name for herself and continues to inspire her students, young artists, and audiences of multiple dance and art backgrounds.




-Meghan McFerran

B.F.A. Dance

B.A. Journalism