Contempo Physical Dance

A nonprofit organization

89 donors

CONTEMPO PHYSICAL DANCE invigorates audiences through a dynamic Brazilian contemporary dance fusion.

Recognized for our dynamic Brazilian contemporary dance fusion, Contempo's mission is to create vibrant dance that ignites intersections of contemporary dance and traditional movement forms of the African diaspora, and to perform work that challenges human physicality while it invigorates audiences. We translate this mission into groundbreaking new movement approaches, innovative choreographic design, and stunning performances.

About Contempo Physical Dance

Contempo Physical Dance is a non-profit professional dance company based in the Twin Cities. Artistic director and choreographer, Marciano Silva dos Santos, is a native of Brazil and came to the United States in 2006 after being recognized by the American Folkloric Society as a culturally diverse artist of exceptional merit.

Founded in 2011, Contempo Physical Dance premiered our first original work, Motirô, at the Ritz Theater in 2012. We have created works such as Batuque, exploring the African origins and rise of samba in Brazil and SenZalma, based on Navio Negriero (The Slave Ship) by Brazilian poet and abolitionist Antônio Frederico de Castro Alves. We host international choreography residencies with world renowned choreographers, including Patrick Acogny from Senegal and Nildinha Fonseca from Brazil.

Currently in residence is Mário Nascimento, Artistic Director of Corpo do Dança de Amazonas, whose work Desert will premiere at The O'Shaughnessy on November 18 & 19, 2022.

Your donation will support:

  • Performances of Desert by Mário Nascimento at The O'Shaughnessy, a work about the deforestation of the Amazon and our resilience to overcome challenges.

  • Opportunities for K-12 students to learn professional repertoire, attend student matinee performances and have conversations with professional artists.

  • Creation of a new work, Lavadeiras, by Artistic Director Marciano Silva dos Santos. The work will premiere in spring 2023.

Double your donation!

Our goal is to raise $2,000 or more. We have a matching grant of $1,000, which means your donation will make double the impact.

Our programs have:

Inspired thousands of K-12 students at student matinee performances and in-depth two and three week residencies at their schools.

Challenged dance students at local and regional colleges and fostered their professional growth through their performance of Contempo repertoire. 

Invigorated audiences in the Twin Cities through world premieres performances of eight full-length works: Motiro (2012), Batuque (2013), SenZalma (2014), Vulcão (2015), Cool Play (2016), Merge (2016), Balacobaco (2017) and Strong Women (2019).

Connected audiences to the international dance community and situated St. Paul as a pioneering site for the creation of contemporary dance of the African Diaspora via Contempo's international residency and commissioning program.

Delivered contemporary Brazilian dance to other areas in our region (Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota). 

Everywhere the company goes they engage genuinely with the community in deep and meaningful ways. For more information visit: 

What Audiences, Critics, Presenters, Teachers & Students Are Saying About Contempo Physical Dance:

"The biggest reason I want to go see the show is the pure authentic Afro-centricness of it. The live music and Brazilian drumming that you hear is going to make it so that you can’t just sit politely and wait to clap at the end of the show. You’re gonna join in, you’re gonna shout, you might even sing. This is going to pull that out of you in a real authentic way.” ANTHONY GALLOWAY, Minnesota Public Radio Art Hounds

“Contempo Physical Dance is an ensemble of graceful, innovative and athletic dancers. They brought fantastic dance to Orange City, they brought another culture's art to a small town, they touched many people here." JANINE CALSBEEK, Orange City Arts Council

   Excerpts from Vulcão

Organization Data


Organization name

Contempo Physical Dance

Tax id (EIN)



Arts & Culture Education


PO Box 8065
Saint Paul, MN 55108



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