Maria Ferreira Silva is a dance artist, born in Lisbon, and based in Brussels. She started her artistic journey at the age of six, performing at the local auditorium in the suburbs of Lisbon, in big productions with a small budget, organized by her dance teacher Fernanda Mafra. She holds a dance degree from the National Conservatory of Lisbon (2006) where she studied classical, modern, tap, and Portuguese traditional dance, and from P.A.R.T.S. (2010) where she was first introduced to contemporary dance and consequently re-established her relation with ballet technique. During her studies in Belgium, she received the support of a scholarship from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation for three years consecutively.
As a maker, she co-created the duet Light as a Feather, Green as an Apple (2010/2012) with the dancer/choreographer Veli Lehtoaara with the support of P.A.R.T.S. and coproduction by Zodiak - Center for new dance (FIN) and Theater Malpertuis - Tiel (BE) with further presentations at Spring dance festival in Utrecht. After this production, Maria engaged in dance creations mostly in the role of dancer yet constantly involved in research projects, some initiated by her, some by others.
As a performer, she works with Willi Dorner in Bodies in Urban Spaces (2011/2012), Daniel Linehan in Gaze is a Gap is a Ghost (2012), Georgia Vardarou in Phenomena (2013), Radouan Mriziga in 3600 (2016), Marco Torrice in Melting Pot (2017/18), Anneleen Keppens in The moon is the moon is the moon (2017), Renan Martins de Oliveira in Viaduto (2020/21), Benjamin Vandewalle in Studio cité (2021), amongst others. Maria has developed long-term work relation with Maud le Pladec starting in 2013 and with Trajal Harrell starting in 2019 with whom she has worked not only as a as performer but also as a choreographer’s assistant and rehearsal director respectively. In her teaching practice, she is as a guest teacher at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp since 2016 and at Stockholm University of the Arts since the spring 2023.
In 2021 she opened an artistic research project that investigates the concept of Plasticity in relation to the performative and the choreographic. Currently, she is developing her choreographic work while working as a performer in Studio Cité by Benjamin Wandewalle, Twenty-Seven Perspectives by Maud le Pladec, The Köln Concert, Monkey off my back or the Cat’s Meow, The House of Bernarda Alba, and The Romeo by Trajal Harrel/Schauspielhaus Zurich. In parallel to her stage experience, Maria has worked with analog photography, followed the Feldenkrais Method training and has made costumes for dance productions. This makes her define her artistic practice as a porous container that offers space to a vibrant ecosystem to emerge, in which different practices, roles, and contexts, nurture and feed- forward her engagement with the dance field.