Founder and Director of Bodiography Contemporary Ballet and Chair of the Performing Arts Department at La Roche College, Maria Caruso is well known for her leadership as well as her choreographic strength in focusing on humanity in dance. Nominated in 2012 by Examiner.com as one of 25 finalists in the “America Inspired” contest, she continues to utilize dance as a means of expression capable of raising awareness about significant subject matter and is a force in the cultural landscape of Pittsburgh. She was featured in the Carlow University Journal ("Gotta Dance: Maria Caruso", 2008) and recognized by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as a "Young Pittsburgher to Watch in 2009." Caruso, native of Pittsburgh, received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in performing arts and dance from the 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. Throughout the years she has had the great opportunity to study and perform with numerous choreographers and renowned companies and has had an active performance career with Bodiography since inception.
Her teaching career began in Florida where she took part in the development of dance curriculum in the Florida public schools while directing a ballet/modern program at a leading academy in South Georgia. Upon moving back to New York City she became a teacher at Ballet Academy East and began laying the foundation of her company. The concept of a ballet company that encouraged numerous body types began when Ms. Caruso grew weary of the body conflicts of the ballet world. Her experiences inspired her to find success in a professional career that would allow dancers to eliminate this problem. She believed that the technique and artistry of the art form was the most important aspect rather than how well the body molds itself to the ensemble. With this in mind Bodiography was born and contemporary ballet was adopted as a style that would diverge from the classical ballet.
Her choreography has been well received throughout the United States and continues to receive immense acclaim with every passing performance. Ms. Caruso has choreographed numerous ballets for the company's repertoire and has been commissioned to produce works for brooks and company dance, Off Broad Street Center for Dance Arts, North Allegheny High School, ButlerCommunity College, The Garrett Lakes Arts Festival, and the Elsie Awards honoring Director Rob Marshall. In addition to her choreography she is proud to have commissioned original works for Bodiography's extensive repertoire from such distinguished choreographers as Johann Renvall, Ze'eva Cohen, Anjali Austin, James Martin, Ilana Suprun Clyde and Lynne Taylor-Corbett. Ms. Caruso has had the great opportunity to showcase Bodiography Contemporary Ballet by touring through New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and Florida where she has presented her work and engagement in many outreach programs and lectures demonstrations. She has conducted master classes at Point Park College, Slippery Rock University, McDaniel College, Mercyhurst College, University of Pittsburgh, West Virginia University and Desayles University, as well as design movement programs for The Yeshiva Girls School of Pittsburgh, Shaler Area School District, and the Carnegie Mellon University's Cyert Center. Additionally, Caruso is excited to watch the growth of her multi-genre conservatory Bodiography Center For Movement where Caruso prepares young aspiring artists for collegiate and professional careers in dance. Her graduates continue to flourish in the top university dance programs in the country.