Marciano Silva Dos Santos

Photo of Marciano Silva Dos Santos

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Theatre Arts and Dance
111 Barker Center

500 - 4th Ave South


Dance for me is about expressing the spirit of who you are through your physicality. I look for ways that I can make movement transcendent by connecting deeply into individual bodies. Marciano Silva dos Santos discovered dance during his final year of study in the acting program at FAFI, a technical school of theater, dance and music in Vitoria, Brazil. He played the moon character in Federico Garcia Lorca’s tragic play Blood Wedding. In creating this character, He examined the physicality and expression to fit this character. His solo performance caught the eye of one of the choreographers present — he told Marciano that he should be a dancer. From that moment on he worked to develop his own personal voice through movement. He is constantly exploring intense emotional, physical and spiritual expression, all of which are essential to his artistry. Dancing with three companies for eight years, he toured throughout Brazil and garnered national critical acclaim and prestige for his work. In 2006 he was recognized by the American Folkloric Society as a Brazilian folk artist of unique and exceptional abilities and merits. In the same year, 2006, he moved to the Twin Cities where he has been sharing his diverse cultural perspectives and professional dance experience for the past eleven years. All of his experiences in Minnesota have given him furthers chance to broaden his artistic voice and development career. Marciano Silva dos Santos has danced with TU Dance led by Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands, former Alvin Ailey dancers, for five years; in Penumbra Theatre’s Black Nativity for four years; in Stuart Pimsler Dance Theater; and as a guest artist for several performance and dance education engagements. In 2011 Marciano Silva dos Santos founded his own company called Contempo Physical Dance. Having his own company allows him to weave together all of his unique strengths, combining contemporary dance with an Afrocentric perspective. He has created and performed in several full-length works of his own and hosted an international choreography residency in order to bring the works of acclaimed contemporary choreographers working in the African Diaspora to Minnesota, Including the Senegalese Patrick Acogny and the Brazilian Choreographer from Bale Folkloric of Bahia, Nildinha Fonseca.

Educational Background & Specialties


  • Dance
  • Physicality
  • Choreography
Courses Taught
  • DNCE 3020 - Modern / Contemporary Dance Technique 6
  • DNCE 1010 - Modern / Contemporary Dance Technique 3
  • TH 1393 - BFA Actor Training Program Movement I
  • TH 1397 - BFA Actor Training Program Movement II
Research & Professional Activities

Professional Activities

  • Arts Midwest, Arts Lab, Peer Learning Cohort, Minneapolis, MN, 2016-2017:
  • Dance USA Institute for Leadership Training, Mentor Brian Williams of Step Afrika, Washington D.C., 2015:
  • DanceUSA Annual Conferences, Minneapolis, Miami, Kansas City, 2014 - 2015 & 2017:
  • Arts Midwest Conference, Minneapolis, Kansas City & Milwaukee, 2014 - 2016:
  • New England Foundation for the Arts, Regional Dance Development Initiative, College of St. Benedict, Collegeville, MN, 2011:
  • International Dance Festival, Joinville, Brazil, 2010:
  • 2018: Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Award to incorporate spoken text in sound design, documenting Afro-Brazilian elders telling stories of their histories.
  • 2017: Metropolitan Regional Arts Council Next Step Award for a residency at the University of Campinas-Sao Paulo, Brazil; Collaborating with composer Divan Gattamorta to explore creative processes for new music for dance in collaboration with 10 selected dance majors.
  • 2016: Lavender Magazine (John Mark): “Many Twin Cities audience members, myself included, first noticed Marciano Silva dos Santos as a radiant new performer in TU Dance, shortly after his relocation from Brazil to Minnesota in 2006. It was difficult to take your eyes off of him. Ten years later, Silva dos Santos has established a much-celebrated dance company and garnered numerous recognitions as a choreographer and a performer.”
  • 2012: Minnesota State Arts Board Cultural Community Partnership award to create a full-length contemporary Afro-Brazilian solo work called Dialogue of Roots, with Minnesota composer Timothy Berry.
  • 2012: Minnesota Monthly Magazine: “The hottest choreographer in town.”
  • 2011: New England Foundation for the Arts Regional Dance Development Initiative Award
  • 2009: Jerome Foundation Travel Study award to research the intersections of capoeira and contemporary dance in three Brazilian cities (Salvador, Belo Horizonte and Joinville)
  • 2009: City Pages Award: Best Dancer of the Twin Cities, “Marciano Silva dos Santos, a native of Brazil, imbued the contemporary movement with the sort of supple back and mindful footwork he developed as a tradition dancer, but ultimately there is no need to label the transcendent moment that Marciano Silva dos Santos created onstage. The audience let out a collective sigh of pleasure when he was done.”
  • 2006: Recognized by the American Folklore Society as a Brazilian folk artist of unique and exceptional abilities and Merit, Columbus, Ohio.
  • 2002: Recognized by the Brazilian Work Ministry as a professional dancer, Vitoria, Brazil.
  • 2000: Named “Dance Revelation,” Arts Dance Festival, Sao Paulo, Brazil.