Tú y yo Merián Soto

Tú y yo is a strip act where successive removal of layers of clothing becomes a vehicle and metaphor for revealing of the self. The dancer repetitively approaches and makes direct eye contact with audience members, presenting herself, allowing herself to be seen, and at the some time scanning through and sensing within her body. The performance task is to allow the dance to emerge as a response to this specific moment of engagement.

Merián Soto's 1989 performance of Tú y yo was screened at Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico, as part of the exhibition, Anarquía y Dialéctica en el Deseo, from Oct. 2020-March 2021.

Tú y yo is one of dancer and choreographer, Merián Soto’s, signature works, demonstrating her interest in creating minimal and potent conceptual frameworks around which to build dances that align concept and movement to elicit vivid performance. This bare bones work exemplifies Soto’s commitment to improvisation as high frequency artistic expression, and to dance as an independent art form, unencumbered from a dependency on music, drama, etc...

Tú y yo’s minimal improvisational score is designed to inevitably manifest, in its precise and simple execution, a charged aesthetic performance of presence. The score compels the dancer to be attentive and responsive to their own particular, rich, internal, sensorial and impulsive experience of the moment of allowing themselves to be seen and to make eye contact with the audience. This encounter is repeated, the dancer removing articles of clothing with each repetition. Tú y yo is a dancer's dance, it assumes the performer is practiced in listening to and truthfully following the body’s knowing, responses and desires.

Contact sheet, Merián Soto in Tú y yo, Performance Space 122, 1989. Photography Dona Ann McAdams

Tú y yo has been revisited at various times since its research and premiere 1988-1989. Soto performed Tú y yo in various venues in Venezuela, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and New York City, from 1989 to 1991. In 1996, Tú y yo became the linchpin of Soto’s full evening performance titled Cómo Desnudarse presented in the 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Project at Playhouse 91 in NYC. Within the evening of works exploring sensuality, Tú y yo was performed as two back to back solos by Kathy Westwater and James Adlesic. Westwater and Adlesic also performed Tú y yo at Jusdon Memorial Church, presented by Movement Research.

James Adlesic in Tú y yo, 1996. Photo: Julie Lieberman

The piece was presented in back to back solos in Philadelphia in 2011 with performances by Beau Hancock and Eun Jung Choi.

To view the 1989 video of the premiere at PS 122 in NYC contact: Meriansoto@gmail.com