Marina Magalhães is a border-crosser, bridge-builder, and dance-maker from Brazil based in Los Angeles. Her work holds a decolonial ethos, wherein ancestral, ritual, and social practices are located as fertile sites for choreographic inquiry, pedagogic encounters, and political possibilities. Her choreography has been called, “stirring… a hypnotic performance,” by the Los Angeles Times and, “riveting… a physical and emotional feat,” by South Africa’s Creative Feel Magazine. Venue highlights for her choreography include the Ford Amphitheater (Los Angeles), CounterPulse Theater (San Francisco), Bowery Ballroom (New York), Hamburger Bahnhof Museum (Berlin), The Wits Theatre (Johannesburg), and Centre Chorégraphique National (Montpellier). She is a recipient of the LA Weekly Theater Award for Best Choreography, the MAP Fund Artist Grant, the Doris Duke Foundation Performing Artist Recovery Fund Award, and California Arts Council’s Artists Activating Communities Grant (four consecutive years). From 2007-2014 she toured nationally and internationally with CONTRA-TIEMPO Dance Activist Company as a Lead Performer, Teaching Artist, Rehearsal Director, and eventually Artistic Director Interim. Since 2015, she has studied and collaborated with her mentor Vera Passos (Associate Artistic Director of Viver Brasil Dance Company) Vera Passos, and continues to work with the company as an ongoing Resident Choreographer.
As a community-rooted artist, Magalhães’s pedagogical projects are political in nature and essential branches of her artistic work. From 2015-2017 she held the Decolonize the Body Through Dance choreography labs in partnership with Occidental College, Women’s Center for Creative Work, and The Main Museum in Los Angeles, as well as the FUNCEB School of Dance in Bahia, Brazil. From 2017-2021 she ran the Dancing Diaspora (DD) platform, dedicated to sharing and reimagining dance practices of the Latin and African diasporas in dialogue with local and global histories of cultural resistance. In partnership with Pieter Space, Magalhães taught the beloved DD weekly community class for four years, directed the DD Festival in 2019, and launched the DD Collective in 2020, which curated virtual programming during the global pandemic for a worldwide audience of over 1000 people. Within academia, Magalhães has held Adjunct Lecturer positions at Scripps College (2018 & 2020), UCLA (2015-2019), UC Riverside (2017-2019), and Cal Poly Pomona (2016), teaching Latin American Social Dances as part of the university-level dance curriculum.
Be it through her uniquely moving performances or radically inclusive workshops, Magalhães's consistent message in her work is an invitation for movers of all kinds to find the connection between movement-making in the body and movement-building in our communities. She is a graduate of UCLA (B.A. World Arts & Cultures/Dance, 2010) and University of the Arts (M.F.A. Dance, 2019).
photo credit: Bobby Gordon