Marina Magalhães is a border-crosser, bridge-builder, and dance-maker from Brazil whose community-driven work has been rooted in Tongva land (aka Los Ángeles) since 2006. Known for her uniquely moving performances and radically inclusive workshops, Magalhães invites movers of all kinds to find the connection between movement-making in the body and movement-building in our communities. Her choreography has been called, “stirring... hypnotic,” by the Los Angeles Times and, “riveting... a physical and emotional feat,” by South Africa’s Creative Feel Magazine. Magalhães has shared her work in renowned theaters like The Ford (LA), Bowery Ballroom (NYC), CounterPulse (San Francisco), Centre Chorégraphique National (Montpellier), The Wits Theatre (Johannesburg), and nightclubs and living rooms around the world. As a performing artist, she has worked long-term with CONTRA-TIEMPO and Viver Brasil dance companies, and has been a featured guest in works by Bessie Award-winning choreographers Marjani Forté-Saunders, Joya Powell, and Bill T. Jones. As a movement teacher and cultural organizer, she has led many pedagogic initiatives dedicated to sharing dance as a tool for racial and healing justice—most notably, the LA-based Dancing Diaspora platform she ran from 2017-2021 in partnership with Pieter Space and a collective of local artists. As a self-described academic-interventionist she has taught at UCLA, UC Riverside, Cal Poly Pomona, and Scripps College, committed to centering Afro-Latin dances and other non-Western forms within core curriculum and dismantling the histories of exclusion embedded inside academia.
Magalhães’s latest endeavor is titled “Body as a Crossroads”, a dance performance project funded by Creative Capital and intended to live beyond the stage as an ongoing methodology for radical embodiment. She is currently in production for “Body as a Crossroads” with collaborator Tatiana Zamir—their first activation, an evening-length work titled “Womb”, is inspired by Magalhães’s experiences with pregnancy loss and slated to premiere & tour in 2025-2026.
Samba, Salsa, dances of the Orixás / Orichas (Afro-Brazilian & Afro-Cuban lineages), street and social dances, modern/post-modern dance, improvisation & freestyle, choreography, decolonial praxis, embodied ritual, community-rooted art & social practice.
- Williams, Tamara LaDonna. Dance & Social Justice. “Body as a Crossroads: a Methodology for Embodying and Enacting Change”. Lexington Books, in development.
- Magalhães, Marina. "An Offering About the Spine". The Los Angeles Press, Volume 1. January 2019 issue
- Magalhães, Marina. "You Dance Good For A White Girl: Musings on Race, (De)Colonization & Belonging from a Light-Skinned Latina". Contact Quarterly. Winter/Spring 2017 print issue.
- Shimshon-Santo, Ph.D. Arts=Education: Connecting Learning Communities in Los Angeles. “My Breakthrough”. Center for Learning Through Arts and Technology: University of California, Irvine. 2009.
- 2022, Creative Capital Grant
- 2022, National Performance Network Artist Engagement Fund
- 2021, Doris Duke Foundation Performing Artist Recovery Fund
- 2021, Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant
- 2021, Vibrant Cities Arts Grant
- 2020, MAP Fund Artist Grant
- 2020, ’19, ’18, ‘17, California Arts Council Artists Activating Communities Grant
- 2018, National Endowment for the Arts National Dance Project (Finalist)
- 2018, University of the Arts Dance Fellowship
- 2018, Actor’s Fund Sono Osato Artist Grant
- 2017, Center for Cultural Innovation CA Arts Leader Investment (CALI) Award
- 2014, ’13, ’12, ‘11, Flourish Foundation Arts Residency Grant
- 2013, LA Weekly Theater Award Best Choreography
- 2006 – 2010, UCLA School of Arts and Architecture International Moss Scholarship