MARINA MAGALHÃES is an award-winning choreographer and seasoned dancer from Brazil, based in Los Angeles. Magalhães's choreography draws from her unique background in Afro-Latin and Contemporary dance practices to create a dance theater grounded in subversive politics and deeply personal story-telling. Her work has been shown throughout LA -- REDCAT Theater, Ford Amphitheatre, Zipper Concert Hall, Highways Performance Space, UCLA Fowler Museum, Blaktina Festival -- the US -- CounterPulse (SF), Bowery Ballroom (NYC), Yerba Buena Night (SF) -- and internationally -- Maitisong Festival (Botswana), My Body My Space Festival (South Africa) and The Wits Theatre (South Africa). She was awarded the LA Weekly Theater Award for Best Choreography in 2013 for her original work in the pop musical phenomenon “Patty! The Revival”.
In 2014 she received the Pennington Dance Group Space Grant @ ARC and the UCLA Hothouse Residency to create her critically acclaimed work, (UN)BRIDALED. Hailed as "the type of show that keeps concert dance relevant in our lives" by LA Dance Review and "an unrivaled dance theater experience" by Theatre Ghost, (UN)BRIDALED was most recently adapted with a new cast of South African women and performed at The Wits Theatre's Human Rights & Social Justice Season 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa. There, it was hailed as "riveting... a physical and emotional feat" by Creative Feel magazine. Also in 2016, she was invited as a Resident Choreographer to set new work at California State University of Los Angeles (Cal State LA) for the Department of Theater & Dance’s annual winter concert. This year, she is conducting a year-long choreography residency for the LA-based Viver Brasil Dance Company’s 20th Anniversary. Other choreography credits include Watsky's YouTube sensation “Moral of the Story” (over 6 million views), Buzfeed's "What Does Music Look Like?" (over 1 million views), and live tours nation-wide with the rising East LA-based band Las Cafeteras for their hit songs "Luna Lovers" and "Ya Me Voy".
Magalhães holds a B.A. in World Arts and Cultures with a Dance Concentration from UCLA, where she was the recipient of the international Moss Scholarship ($76,000) and had the opportunity to study with renowned artists such as David Rousseve, Victoria Marks, Barak Marshall, Susan Foster, Rennie Harris, Ronit Ziv, Maria Gillespie, and Cheng-Chieh Yu. Additionally, she has trained extensively with Mathew Rushing (Alvin Ailey), Jawole Zollar, Chanon Judson & Samantha Spies (Urban Bush Women), Maria Bauman (MBDance), Ishmael Houston Jones (Movement Research), Jackie "Miss Funk" Lopez (Versa-Style), Cutumba Folclórico (Cuba), Mestre Valmir (Capoeira Angola FICA, Salvador Bahia), Angel Vianna College (Rio de Janeiro), Paco Gomes (FUNCEB Escola de Dança, Salvador Bahia), Rosangela Silvestre & Vera Passos (Silvestre Technique Intensive, Salvador Bahia), and Gregory Maqoma (Vuyani Dance Theatre, South Africa). She is also an alum of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) Emerging Leaders Institute (2014) & Director's Lab West (2014).
For seven years, Magalhães worked with CONTRA-TIEMPO Urban Latin Dance Theater, touring nationally and internationally to places such as North Carolina, New York, Minnesota, Virginia, Washington D.C., Florida, Arizona, Montana, and Cuba. During her time at CONTRA-TIEMPO, she wore the titles of Performer, Teaching Artist, Resident Choreographer, Assistant Artistic Director and ultimately Artistic Director Interim, playing a crucial role in the company’s development of a unique and powerful dance activist methodology. Magalhães has had the honor of performing and touring with various other choreographers and companies, including the all-female dance collective she helped co-found, Soul Lab Dance Project, Victoria Marks’s “Smallest Gesture, Grandest Frame”, voted runner-up in REDCAT Theater’s A.W.A.R.D. show, Viver Brasil dance company (as part of their Disneyland production of “Viva Navidad!” and alongside Grammy Award-winning artist Sergio Mendes at the world-famous 18,000 seat theater Hollywood Bowl), , and more recently as a guest soloist with Maria Bauman's MBDance Company and guest artist with Bessie Award-winning choreographer Joya Powell and her company Movement Of The People.
Magalhães is also a veteran dance educator & certified yoga instructor. She has shared her unique approach to movement with communities throughout the world, including the US, Cuba, Brazil, Botswana and South Africa. Her on-going movement research is called Dancing Diaspora: Decolonizing The Body Through Dance, based on the fundamental belief that decolonization is inherently a transformative and futuristic process of reinventing and reclaiming tradition, and like the word diaspora communicates, a desire to embody past and future, tradition and creativity, ancestry and individuality. In 2017 & 2018, Magalhães received the California Arts Council Artists In Communities award to provide the Dancing Diaspora class at Pieter Space free of charge. Additionally, Magalhães has taught in over twenty-five K-12 schools and designed dozens of original curricula that introduce young people to yoga, creative movement, and dance as resistance. Magalhães has served as Adjunct Faculty at various universities, including California State Polytechnic University of Pomona (Modern Dance with Latin Influence), Occidental College (Intro to Salsa), University of Richmond (Beginning Improvisation & Advanced Urban Latin Dance), University of Witswatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa (Artist in Residence), California State University of Los Angeles (Guesrt Artist), Duke University (Guest Artist) and her current position at UCR's Dance Department teaching Latin American Social Dances and at UCLA Department of World Arts & Cultures's Travel Study program to Rio de Janeiro, a program she co-founded and co-instructs with husband, Bobby Gordon. She is currently on faculty at People's Yoga and Pieter Space teaching weekly yoga and dance classes throughout the East Side of Los Angeles.
While Magalhães is based in Los Angeles, she has special ties to Latin America and especially Brazil, her native country, as she routinely travels to conduct her artistic research and share her work.