Marciano Silva dos Santos, a native of Brazil, is recognized by the American Folkloric Society as a Brazilian folk artist of exceptional ability and merit. Through extensive research, he has developed a dynamic fusion of Afro-Brazilian and contemporary dance. He has gained recognition for his professional dancing and choreographic works: named “Best Dancer” by City Pages, “one of the most graceful movers on any Twin Cities stage” by the Star Tribune, and “one of the hottest choreographers in town” by Minnesota Monthly Magazine. He is the recipient of a 2020 McKnight Fellowship for Dancers. He is the Founder and Artistic Director of Contempo Physical Dance, bringing global African and contemporary dance to Minnesota with international choreography residencies, including Nildinha Fonseca from Balé Folclórico da Bahia (Brazil), Patrick Acogny from l’Ecole des Sables (Senegal), and (in partnership with the Mcknight International Choreographer Residency Program) Mário Nascimento from the Corpo de Dança do Amazonas (Brazil), which premieres in November 2022. He has served as a panelist for the Minnesota Sage Awards for Dance, USArtists International, and Minnesota State Arts Board. After many years dedicated as a dancer, teacher and choreographer, Silva dos Santos received his Master of Fine Arts in Dance from Hollins University.