Photos: 'Batuque' blends Afro-Brazilian dance and capoeira martial arts

Contempo Physical Dance
Founder Marciano Silva dos Santos says his goal for Contempo Physical Dance "is to be internationally recognized for our blend of Afro-Brazilian dance, capoeira and contemporary work." (MPR Photo/Nikki Tundel)

Contempo Physical Dance hits the Cowles Center stage in Minneapolis (Feb. 1-3) with the world premiere of "Batuque."

Contempo was founded by Marciano Silva dos Santos, a native of Brazil. The company blends contemporary movements with Afro-Brazilian dance and capoeira martial arts. Photographer Nikki Tundel captured Contempo's final rehearsals before opening night.

12 Photos

  • Contempo Physical Dance
    Davente Gilreath, 20, practices for Batuque, Contempo's upcoming show at the Cowles Center in Minneapolis. The full-length work explores the African origins and rise of samba in Brazil. (MPR Photo/Nikki Tundel)
  • Contempo Physical Dance
    Dancer Justin Reiter, 21, gets ready for the final dress rehearsal before opening night. "It's hard to describe our style of dance," said Reiter. "Basically, it's rhythmic and sensuous and fun." (MPR Photo/Nikki Tundel)
  • Contempo Physical Dance
    Contempo dancers start their four-hour rehearsal on Jan. 31, 2013, at the Cowles Center in Minneapolis. (MPR Photo/Nikki Tundel)
  • Contempo Physical Dance
    For Orlando Hunter, 22, "dance is an emotional and spiritual release." (MPR Photo/Nikki Tundel)
  • Contempo Physical Dance
    Jenny Pennaz and Timothy Herian get in one last practice before opening night. (MPR Photo/Nikki Tundel)
  • Contempo Physical Dance
    Dancer Gemma Isaacson waits backstage for her cue. (MPR Photo/Nikki Tundel)
  • Contempo Physical Dance
    Mette Towley, 21, became obsessed with dance after watching "old dance movies like 'Grease.'" (MPR Photo/Nikki Tundel)
  • Contempo Physical Dance
    Contempo Physical Dance fuses Afro-Brazilian dance, capoeira and contemporary dance. (MPR Photo/Nikki Tundel)
  • Contempo Physical Dance
    Contempo artistic director and choreographer Marciano Silva dos Santos watches from the edge of the stage as the company's dancers rehearse in Minneapolis on Jan.31, 2013. (MPR Photo/Nikki Tundel)
  • Contempo Physical Dance
    Contempo's latest production, Batuque, features contemporary dance and samba and is set to live, original music. (MPR Photo/Nikki Tundel)
  • Contempo Physical Dance
    For Timothy Herian, dancing for Contempo "allows me to show different sides of myself that I don't usually show in everyday life." (MPR Photo/Nikki Tundel)
  • Contempo Physical Dance
    Marciano Silva dos Santos leads dance rehearsal on Jan. 31, 2013, in Minneapolis. The native of Brazil is the founder, artistic director and choreographer of Contempo Physical Dance. (MPR Photo/Nikki Tundel)