Body as a Crossroads

Marina Magalhães is a border-crosser, bridge-builder, and dance-maker from Brazil living in unceded Tongva land, currently known as Los Angeles.

Artist Bio

At a time of unprecedented global pandemic, apocalyptic climate crisis, and heightened social inequality along racial and geographic lines, Body as a Crossroads seeks to mobilize live performance to honor the body’s inherent ancestral wisdom of how to be with the world. It strives to navigate away from white supremacist ideals of greed and isolationism, and towards a holistic praxis that values human, plant, and animal life. This dance performance project, and budding methodology for embodied practice and alternate world-building, is rooted in Marina Magalhães’s border-crossing movement approach “que no cree en fronteras.” The project frames map-making as a central metaphor for future-making, rejecting colonial maps so as to articulate alternate maps capable of holding sensorial, spiritual, and sentimental connections. These maps are drawn through dance, song, storytelling, and playful improvisation that spatialize home and belonging—a survival strategy at the core of immigrant and diasporic experience.

Award Year

In Progress

Creative Capital Carnival 2022

A light brown woman is looking at the camera with her chin up and her hands in her hair, wearing turquoise earrings and an orange top. Behind her is an overgrown hedge with purple flowers and a white fence.

Marina Magalhães

Los Angeles, CA

Marina Magalhães is a border-crosser, bridge-builder, and dance-maker from Brazil living in unceded Tongva land, currently known as Los Angeles. 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 LA Times and, “riveting… a physical and emotional feat,” by South Africa’s Creative Feel Magazine. Magalhães is a recipient of the LA Weekly Theater Award for Best Choreography, California Arts Council’s Artists in Communities Grant for four consecutive years, and the MAP Fund Grant for live performance. She has shared her work at The Ford Amphitheater in Los Angeles, CounterPulse in San Francisco, Bowery Ballroom in New York, Hamburger Bahnhof Museum in Berlin, Centre Chorégraphique National in Montpellier, The Wits Theatre in Johannesburg, and nightclubs and living rooms around the world. Her Resident Choreographer positions include CONTRA-TIEMPO Activist Dance Company, Viver Brasil Dance Company, UCLA, USC Kaufman School of Dance, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, and Witwatersrand University in South Africa. Her pedagogic projects include the Decolonizing the Body Through Dance lab series she led in 2015-2017 in partnership with renowned visual artist Carolina Caycedo, the Dancing Diaspora platform she ran in 2017-2021 in partnership with Pieter Space and many local LA artists, and the International Exchange programs she has been co-leading since 2015 in partnership with Center for Theater of the Oppressed in Rio de Janeiro. She identifies as an academic-interventionist, having taught at UC Riverside and Cal Poly Pomona, and is currently a Visiting Lecturer at UCLA and Scripps College. Magalhães holds a B.A. degree in World Arts & Cultures/Dance from UCLA and an M.F.A. degree in Dance from University of the Arts.