SoMar Dance Works features the choreography of Solveig and Mark Santillano. Serving as co-artistic directors, Solveig and Mark are seasoned performers who have danced all over the world. Solveig is a graduate of the Juilliard School of Dance and performed extensively with MOMIX. Mark’s credits include Pilobolus Dance Theatre, Dance Kaleidoscope, and the National Tour of A Chorus Line. The influence of these associations can be seen in their choreography, which is known for its artistry, physicality, wit, and creativity.
SoMar Dance Works premiered in 1999 at the Missouri Fine Arts Academy. Since that time the company has performed at the Erie Festival of Dance, Celebrate Erie, The Sweden Maine Arts Festival, the American College Dance Festival, Unitarian Universalists in Community concert, Luther Memorial Concert Series, and numerous Mercyhurst University programs, where the company is in- residence.
SoMar Dance Works has appeared in concert with Lake Erie Ballet, and Dafmark Dance Theatre. SoMar also has received numerous grants from the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts and has self-produced dozens of events, including: SoMar Dance Works in Concert; A Desperate Cry for ATTENTION!; Nature Calls, Once Upon a Story; Sweet & Savory; Slice of Life; Circles and Cycles; Movers & Shakers.
Solveig’s and Mark’s choreography has been performed by the San Diego Civic Dance Company, Playhouse Dance, Dance Ensemble, Company, the School Of Performing Arts of New Milford, Erie Dance Conservatory, Lake Erie Ballet, the Mercyhurst Dancers, MOMIX, and Pilobolus Dance Theatre.
Now heading into it’s 25th year, SoMar Dance Works has grown into a company with thirteen dancers.
Solveig Santillano holds an MFA from Hollins, MA from Wesleyan University, and BFA from the Juilliard School of Dance. Performance credits include Anna Sokolow, Ruby Shang, Prometheus, Spencer/Colton, Momix. Now an associate professor at Mercyhurst University, Santillano is co-founder and co-director of SoMar Dance Works (somardanceworks.com). She is passionate about collaborations and enjoys using her art for advocacy concerning issues of social injustices. Santillano currently studies with William “Bill” Evans, NDEO, is a proud recipient of the inaugural Erie Arts and Culture Artist Fellowship. She serves on the National Advisory Committee for National Water Dance and enjoys spending time with her family and friends, being in nature, mentoring students, deepening her yoga and meditation practices.
Mark Santillano has had a multifaceted career in the arts. As a dancer, choreographer, educator, photographer, videographer, video editor, musician, composer, writer, and actor, Mark may not have done it all, but he has done quite a lot. Bringing these many skills together, Mark enjoys creating interdisciplinary, multi-media dance works that range from the poignant to the preposterous. He has performed around the world with Pilobolus Dance Theatre and as a proud member of Actors Equity Association, his credits include international tours of Broadway musicals. Mark is currently an Assistant Professor at Mercyhurst University. Along with his wife, Solveig, he co-founded and co-directs SoMar Dance Works. Together, they received the inaugural Erie Arts & Culture Artist Fellowship.
bios coming soon
“I don’t think anything could have prepared me for the freshness, bursting imagination and sheer joy that was the April 12 recital by SoMar Dance Works...The Santillanos presented a dizzying array of movement that touched all the big topics: Sex, love and science. The range was extraordinary, and the execution often dazzling.”
“Everything from the announcement and the photograph in the newspaper to the interludes between the acts, was done with such consummate professionalism, creative ingenuity, and wonderful humor. I am so impressed and proud that such a company exists in our community. You deserve to be seen far and wide... The show was so enjoyable on so many levels. The quality of the dancing was impressive, but the choreography and the overall sense of artistic conception were truly over the top...those who attended were among the luckiest audiences in Erie this year.”
With standing room only, people sitting in the aisles and every seat occupied in Walker Recital Hall . . .
-with the thunderous applause after each selection and at the end of the performance . . .
-with the audience engaged in meaningful discussion for well over an hour after the performance . . .
-with people continuing to talk and discuss beyond the Q&A . . .
-with comments like “you have to get a grant to take this on the road” or “please film this for public broadcast” . . .
I’d say that Dis-ease – A Coming Out was wildly successful!
What an extraordinary experience the SoMar performance was this afternoon! I could rewind it and watch it again and again, and will certainly be doing so with the afterimages that remain in my mind.
A SoMar event is always something special, and this was truly remarkable. The athleticism, the virtuosic technique, the sheer joy of the dancers reveling in brilliant choreography to inspired music was wonderful to behold. Each piece had such a distinctive personality, and the ingenuity of the movement vocabulary and integration of props never ceases to astound me.
I so look forward to our coming collaboration. Thank you for another world-class dance experience in Erie.
What a delightful performance. Your choreography was captivating and the strength and grace of the dancers was impressive. I confess to being a barbarian about dance, but the performance was so nicely integrated with the music and art, that I didn’t want it to end. I really enjoyed the performance and applaud your collaboration. Congratulations to you and Solveig and the other dancers.
Thank you for an uplifting and enjoyable performance.
Hi Solveig & Mark,
Just want to let you know how very much I enjoyed the Palooza this evening! The strength of the dancers, the creative movement, costumes, themes & music were outstanding. I have attended most of your events; but this 20-year celebration was really special!