Before they learn new choreography, Soto has them rehearse his prior work, Schachmatt. He wants to get familiar with how their bodies move. Though based in Barcelona, Soto’s work is no stranger to BalletX. His pieces, Schachmatt and Malasangre, have become audience favorites and are toured frequently (next stop Michigan).
Right now, bright salsa music echoes throughout the studio accompanied by the sound of sliding socks. No ballet shoes today. As the dancers glide down the marley, Soto is right there with them. “Ba, ba, ba, pow!” he exclaims, while throwing up a dancer’s leg, “your foot is going to New York!” Indeed, Soto frequently uses onomatopoeias to help the dancers understand his vision. His expressive and charismatic personality fits perfectly with the fast paced energetic choreography. Fanning fingers compliment popping pelvises along with sharp extensions and the deepest of plies. Behind his fun and quirky style, Soto is still serious about what he wants. If the dancers are late, the music will stop. It is hard work to learn so much in such a little time, but the dancers are keeping up. The footwork is so dynamic and spunky they can’t help but smile. He reminds them, “your body controls you. No matter what you do, make it look unpredictable.”
– Violet Giddings, Intern