Contempo Physical Dance

A nonprofit organization

$188 raised by 4 donors

4% complete

$5,000 Goal

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, Nildinha Fonseca and. Mário Nascimento from Brazil.

Currently in residence is Jaruam Xavier, former dancer from Balé da Cidade de São Paulo, whose work will premiere at The O'Shaughnessy on March 9, 2025.

Your donation will support:

  • Support for our 4th international choreography residency program and the creation and premiere of a new work by Jaruam Xavier at The O'Shaughnessy in 2024.

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

  • Trainee and mentorship opportunities for emerging BIPOC dancers.

  • Creation of a new work, Chico, by Artistic Director Marciano Silva dos Santos. The work will premiere in 2025.

Help us reach our goal!

Our goal is to raise $5,000 or more.

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 eleven full-length works: Motiro (2012), Batuque (2013), SenZalma (2014), Seca (2014), Vulcão (2015), Cool Play (2016), Merge (2016), Balacobaco (2017), Strong Women (2019), Desert (2022) and Lavadieras (2023).

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



Social Media