Ingrid Silva was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. At the age of 8, she began her ballet training at Dançando Para Não Dançar, a social project in the Mangueira slum. A few years later, Silva joined the Escola de Dança Maria Olenewa and Centro de Movimento Debora Colker on A full scholarship. At 17, she was also an apprentice with Grupo Corpo, one of the most prestigious Brazilian dance companies.
Following High School, Silva began her studies at Centro Universitário da Cidade (Univercidade) but soon moved to New York to attend the Dance Theatre of Harlem Summer, IN 2007, ON a full school scholarship. Soon after, she was invited to join the Dance Theatre Of Harlem Professional Training Program. Ingrid was part of the Dance Theatre Of Harlem’s Dancing Through Barriers Ensemble IN 2008, which led her the opportunity to join the Dance Theatre of Harlem as a professional in 2013. She is currently in her 5th season with the company.
As A guest artist, Silva has performed with Dançando Para Não Dançar Company (Brazil), Armitage Gone! Dance (USA), and The Francesca Harper Project (USA). She has worked with renowned choreographers including Arthur Mitchell, Donald Byrd, John Alleyne, Darrel Grand Moltrie, Francesca Harper, Robert Garland, David Fernandez, Carol Armitage, Deborah Colker, and Rodrigo Pederneiras, among others.
As a member of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Silva has danced principal roles in George Balanchine’s Glinka pas de trios and Agon, Robert Garland Return, Ulysses Dove Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven, and John Alleyne Far but Close. Her soloist roles include Alvin Ailey’s Lark Ascending, Donald Byrd’s Contested Space, Francesca Harper’s System, Darrel Grand’s Moultrie Vessels, and Dianne McIntyre’s Change.
Silva has also served as a cultural ambassador for the U.S. while performing and has participated in community outreach initiatives in Jamaica, Honduras, and Israel. IN 2014, she performed at the BrazilFoundation Gala, at Lincoln Center. She was also featured in the movie “Maré, Nossa História de Amor” (Brazil).
We caught up with Ingrid to find out how she maintains her PMA and how her journey has taken her to become the first African Brazilian to cover Pointe Magazine.
You began your ballet training at Dançando Para Não Dançar, a social project in the Mangueira slum, however at what point did you know you wanted to really take your career as a ballet dancer seriously?
I started dance at the age of 8, at community program near my home. I really saw the ballet could be my career at the age of 13 when I also joined the school of dance Maria Olenewa. I had a teacher there that always encouraged me to become a professional. When a friends teacher came to observe my class, she recommended my teacher to send an audition video to the Dance Theatre of Harlem and that’s when I finally realised I could become a professional dancer. At that point, they’d emailed me back and asked for me to audition in person.
How has the support been?
Incredible! My family is everything to me, they have been with me since the beginning. My mom is my number one fan. She always knew I have the potential and she herself is not even a dancer. She always believed in me!
How many hours training do you put in your typical day?
I would say 6 – 7 hours every day between class and rehearsal.
What outlets/agencies do you use to secure roles and work?
Everything comes to me organically, but I have a manager who helps me a lot and guides me.
You were also featured in the movie “Maré, Nossa História de Amor”, what else has been a real winning moment for you?
I’ve worked with major brands and commercials, such as Actvia in 2016. I was global Brand Ambassador, and also Brazilian brand ambassador. I was the first African Brazilian to cover for Pointe Magazine, which is a major dance magazine worldwide. I did a Sonos campaign for Sonos One and I worked recently with Alicia Keys.
You have been a guest artist and performed in Dançando Para Não Dançar Company (Brazil), Armitage Gone! Dance (USA), and The Francesca Harper Project (USA) to name a few, but what would be a dream role or collaboration for you?
My dream role is Kirti. I would love to collaborate with Grupo Corpo and few others companies.
Any challenging times you have had to overcome? If so when and how did you learn to overcome them?
Yes, and they are not over, trust me. There are new challenges every day! It’s easy for me to say now, I’m grateful for the way. I was raised being a confident woman, my mom always thought me to be strong and never give up.
How do you maintain your positive mental attitude?
My world outside of dance is always composed of non-dancer people, you have to find a common ground and what also makes you happy and its different for you. My family and close friends are everything to me, my husband and my French Bulldog Frida are my world.
Lastly, what is on the horizon for 2018 for you?
Ah, a lot of surprises, but I promise so many amazing things! Stay tuned.
Twitter: @Ingrid_silvarj | Instagram: @ingridsilva