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Stephanie Emmanuela Da Silva: Redefining the boundaries of dance, one movement at a time

       Stephanie Emmanuela Da Silva is a dance artist who pursued

an MFA in dance and choreography after becoming captivated

with Afro-Brazilian dance. She immersed herself in the dance

culture of Salvador Brazil from 2007-2012, living there as a

student, a dancer, a teacher, an artist and a designer. All of her

work as a choreographer is influenced by her time spent there

absorbing the vibrant rhythms, movements, language, music and

art culture.

       As a choreographer her mission is to share her lived body’s

experiences founded in the deep appreciation and discovery of

traditional, contemporary, modern, and popular dances of Brazil.

Her work portrays a unique style of Silvestre Technique and cont-

emporary dance blended with elements of traditional Afro-

Brazilian movements and rhythms. She strives to present high

quality authentic work respecting the culture to stimulate, trans-

form, and inspire her dancers and audience. Her goal is to create a thought-provoking dialogue of inter-cultural communication with the community through the appreciation and love she holds for dances from Brazil. She aspires to inspire a deeper connection to the self through the discovery and essence of a cultural embodied movement history. She believes that it is important to share stories and discover how each story or legend can be universally interpreted. Perspectives and cultures all possess differences and similarities, approaching them with an open heart and mind helps us learn, grow, and evolve to become a more culturally tolerant and thriving community.

       While living in Salvador she had extensive training as a dance student at FUNCEB with Rosangela Silvestre, Mestre King, Vera Passos, Paco Gomes, Nildinha Fonseca, Joaquim, Agosto Omolu, Lino and many others. She danced professionally under the direction of Anderson Rodrigo, Nem Brito and Norma Santana and performed in dances by many of the aforementioned mentors she had the privilege to work with. Stephanie was invited to train closely with the Bale Folklorico da Bahia under the mentorship of Zebrinha and Nildinha Fonseca and performed at the annual Encontro dos Artistas. She produced a fashion show of her original designs and costumes at the Miguel Santana Theatre where the Bale Folklorico presents. 

       Stephanie Emmanuela, the artistic director and choreographer of Água Doce Dance was introduced to Samba and Afro-Brazilian dance in 2002 and was enchanted by the infectious rhythms and fell in love. These rhythms and dances moved her spirit so deeply that it led her to experience Brazil at the roots themselves. For almost 5 years, she fully immersion herself in the local Bahian dance styles. She completed the professional dance training program at FUNCEB, and trained closely with the Balé Folclorico da Bahia (which just won an award for Best Brazilian Dance company presented by Fiat), Vera Passos and Rosangela Silvestre.


       In Salvador, Stephanie performed with various Contemporary Afro-Brazilian Dance companies, such as Norma Santana CIA de Dança, under the artistic direction of Norma Santana. She danced with Norma for over 2 years and appeared on local television representing Norma's work. Norma Santana was selected with one other dance artist for a Correio's artist grant to tour Brazil showing her work "Sorria Voce Esta na Bahia", but the project went under due to beaurocratic issues. Thereafter Stephanie danced with Attomos CIA de Dança under the direction of Anderson Rodrigo as well as Diaspora Dance Company under the direction of Nem Brito, performing in all of Salvador’s finest Hotels, and Convention Centers.


       Throughout her time in Salvador, she performed many works by notable choreographers from Salvador such as Rosangela Silvestre, Vera Passos, Paco Gomes, Nildinha Fonseca, and Augusto Omolu. Stephanie was invited as a soloist to perform Oya Iansã and Yemanja for O Kontra, an Afro-Brazilian Jazz Band undeer the direction of Nei Sacramento 2012-2016.


       Stephanie became exposed to the Silvestre Technique in 2007, and thereafter started training closely with Rosangela Silvestre and Vera Passos. Stephanie became a certified Silvestre Technique instructor in 2010, and began teaching the Silvestre Technique in Salvador at FUNCEB, after professor Vera Passos asked her to teach for her while she travelled to the US to go on tour with Viver Brasil Dance Company. In 2011, 2012, 2014 & 2015 Stephanie translated and was the primary teacher's assistant to Vera Passos and Rosangela Silvestre at the acclaimed annual Silvestre Technique Intensive. Administering over 250+ students, the intensive is an international encounter which happens for the whole month of January in Salvador, and in August (2011&2015).


       Upon arriving in Santa Cruz, she danced with Yabas Dance Company, under the direction of Dandha da Hora. After that she joined Diaspora Dance Company, under the direction of Micha Scott and Shawn Merriman. In February of 2014, she was invited to be apart of a filming of a music video for the band Fialta, dancing for their song ‘Dawn’. She has choreographed and performed for Ozomatli, Sambada, and numerous original works at Cabrillo College, at local community dance events in the Bay Area, and internationally in Brazil, Gabon, and Mexico. Stephanie has performed in works by Rosangela Silvestre, Vera Passos, Paco Gomes, Norma Santana, Nildinha Fonseca, Augusto Omulu, Anderson Rodrigo, Nem Brito, Tanya Santiago, Micha Scott, Shawn Merriman, Dandha Da Hora, Marsea Marquis, Casandra Owen, Robert Kelley, David King, and Cid Pearlman.


Stephanie holds an MFA in choreographic practice from Saint Mary’s College of California, a BA in Fine Art from UCSC and an AA in Dance from Cabrillo College.


Stephanie founded Agua Doce Dance in October of 2015, and has performed with her dance company all throughout the Bay Area, and is currently a sponsored artist by the Santa Cruz Arts Council.

Não Me Deixa Só
Brazil Day in the Bay

Chama O Caçador
Dance Mission Theatre
Yemanja Arts Festival

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