Contempo Physical Dance

(Left to right) Dancers Shannon Mulcahy, Gabrielle Abram, Leanna Browne, Alanna Morris-Van Tassel and Gemma Isaacson. 


The O’Shaughnessy, 2004 Randolph Ave., St. Paul brings to its stage Contempo Physical Dance with guest choreographer Nildinha Fonseca Feb. 22 – Jan. 23 at 7:30 p.m.

Together, they join forces for a powerful evening of contemporary Afro-Brazilian dance. Her world premiere, “Agbara Obirin” (Strong Women), created for Contempo’s fiercely athletic dancers, will excite audiences with its innate theatricality.

Contempo Physical Dance is recognized for dynamic Afro-Brazilian dance fused with a contemporary aesthetic. Guest choreographer Fonseca is a Black movement activist, Afro-Brazilian feminist and artist from Balé Folclórico da Bahia in Brazil. Known as Daughter of Oba, Orixá, who is the Queen of the Warriors, Fonseca's choreography is clearly immersed in her Afro-Brazilian lineage, and she develops work of cultural and physical intensity.

“Agbara Obirin,”which features original music composed byJosé Ricardo Santos in Brazil, is based on the research in dances of the African matrix, with poetic dialogues based on “Itãs,” which refers to African gods. The piece looks at the intersection of dancing and poetic dialogues, reflecting the power of women’s fertility, and women’s power to continue or not continue our humanity. The choreography presents as an object of creation, the strength of the feminine heart, associating the symbology and archetypes of the goddesses of the African pantheon (the Yabas). “Agbara Obirin” seeks to construct a scenic language that portrays all the beauty, strength, courage, joy, sensuality, valor and understanding of the feminine as a circularity in the power of transformation, communication and, above all, a parallel with the Ancestral force. 

Dancers featured in the concert include Gabrielle Abram, Leanna Browne, Melissa Clark, Gemma Isaacson, Shannon Mulcahy, Jenny Pennaz, Marciano Silva dos Santos and Alanna Morris Van Tassel.

Tickets are $27 with discounts for students, seniors and military. Tickets can be purchased online at www.theoshaughnessy.comor (651) 690-6700.

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