Maria Angelica Caruso

"It was amazingly heartfelt...her beautiful spirit radiated from every pore of her illuminated body and permeated the air and stage around her like a phoenix's spirit rising and reluctantly (but joyfully) releasing into the air and then through us the audience to touch our souls and allow us to consider and reminisce about all that we too have lost and won in our own lives' journeys."
Christopher Cussat

Maria Angelica Caruso is an American born dancer, choreographer, actor, 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, and leader 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. 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. Her dance career, spanning over two decades, is highlighted by her work with the world’s most prominent classical and contemporary companies, and she is known for her impeccable classical ballet technique nuanced by her strong roots in the modern dance vernacular. 

Caruso is renowned for focusing on humanity in her choreography. Nominated in 2012 by 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. 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 has truly made an impact in her community and beyond. Acknowledged at the 2016 Future Health Technology Summit at MIT as a “genius of choreography,” selected as a 2016 Pittsburgh Business Times Fast Tracker, and invited to lecture at TEDxYouth Squirrel Hill in 2016, she has been a force in the cultural landscape. In 2017, she was honored as a Squirrel Hill Treasure for her leadership, promotion of inclusivity in dance, and mentorship of aspiring young dancers, and in August of 2020 her work culminated in a major feature article in Dance Magazine (“What Would it Take to Change Ballet’s Aesthetic of Extreme Thinness?”).   

Her 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 2011, Bodiography was trademarked as a movement vocabulary and it formed the basis of Caruso's unique research-based choreographic process.  During this time her movement vocabulary was codified as a language, and this systematization propelled her educational outreach efforts by appealing to a broad spectrum of audiences.  These efforts provided her with an expansive portfolio of choreographic and teaching engagements at hundreds of conservatories, universities, and companies in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas.  In addition to her 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.

With the success of her artistic, fitness, and dance movement therapy endeavors growing the Bodiography organization, Caruso has also fulfilled her passion for education through the growth and restructuring of the dance program that she leads at La Roche University and her private dance conservatory in Pittsburgh.  Every day, Caruso is excited to watch the fusion of her multi-genre conservatory, Bodiography Center for Movement, with her La Roche University and professional programs, as their synergy impacts hundreds of young aspiring artists. Her students flourish in the top dance programs and companies in the world, and she is proud to watch her college graduates thrive in prominent dance companies. Caruso’s passion for people and her belief in the power of movement to feed the soul creates the force that makes tomorrow better than today. 

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