Maria Angelica Caruso
Maria Angelica Caruso is an American born dancer, choreographer, director, producer, publisher, academic, social activist, fitness and wellness practitioner, and entrepreneur. Chair of the Performing Arts Department at La Roche University, she is also the CEO of M-Train Productions which houses Pittsburgh's Movement Factory studios and theater, publishing editor of The Arts Inclusive magazine, and founder of a network of interwoven companies that operate under the Bodiography® brand. This network of performance, wellness, production, and fitness entities are known for their commitment to health and wellness in the arts and their championing of positive change in communities regionally and globally.
Foremost, Caruso is known for her choreography rooted in both her trademarked multi-genre movement vocabulary and her unique research-based choreographic process. She has created over 125 works as a guest nationally and abroad, as well as with her own long-running Pittsburgh based Bodiography Contemporary Ballet and its offshoots: Bodiography Charlotte, BCB2 and BCB3. As a pioneer in the dance field, Caruso originally conceived Bodiography as a performance outlet for exquisite ballet dancers with healthy, athletic, but non-stereotypical ballet bodies. Maria Caruso's Bodiography places special emphasis on expressing our shared humanity through intriguing, entertaining, relevant, and inspiring dance with a strong foundation in ballet and contemporary forms. Through outreach efforts, choreographic and teaching engagements at hundreds of conservatories, universities, and companies in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas, she has brought contemporary ballet to new dance audiences in Pittsburgh and beyond.
Her choreographic work has been the foundation of significant collaborations with the likes of the Martha Graham Contemporary Dance Company, Buglisi Dance Theatre, Israel's Karmiel Dance Festival, Brazil's Cisne Negro, and numerous independent artists across the globe. In addition, Caruso routinely collaborates with musicians, actors, producers, and film artists on various projects.
Caruso received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in performing arts and dance from Florida State University at age nineteen, and shortly after earned a Master of Science Degree in Professional Leadership with an emphasis on management for non-profit organizations from Carlow University. She continues her passion for education through the growth and restructuring of the dance program that she currently leads at La Roche University starting in 2010, and through Caruso's own dance conservatory in Pittsburgh. This multi-genre conservatory Bodiography Center for Movement founded by Caruso in 2001, alongside her work at La Roche University and associated professional programs, impacts hundreds of aspiring artists. Her students flourish in the top dance programs and companies in the world.
In addition to her academic and artistic efforts, the development of her Bodiography Fitness and Strength Training System and Bodiography Dance Movement Therapy System further catapulted her beyond the arts arena and into the fitness and wellness realm.
Caruso has been recognized for her role as a leader and innovator in her Pittsburgh community, and the world at large. Through her work locally, she was featured in the Carlow University Journal (2008), recognized by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as a "Young Pittsburgher to Watch" (2009), selected as a Pittsburgh Business Times Fast Tracker (2016), invited to lecture at TEDxYouth Squirrel Hill(2016), and honored as a Squirrel Hill Treasure for her leadership, promotion of inclusivity in dance, and mentorship of aspiring young dancers (2017). Globally, Caruso was nominated by Examiner.com as one of 25 finalists in the "America Inspired" contest (2012), acknowledged at the Future Health Technology Summit at MIT as a "genius of choreography" (2016), and her work culminated in a major feature article in Dance Magazine "What Would it Take to Change Ballet's Aesthetic of Extreme Thinness?" (2020).