I am a Brazilian-American choreographer who has been making dances, teaching, writing, and performing for more than 30 years between Brazil and the USA. In 2011, I joined the UVM Dance Program, where I have been developing my career from part-time lecturer to now an Assistant Professor and Resident choreographer. I hold an MFA in Dance from UWM, a BS in Chemical Engineering in Brazil, a certification in PBT - Progressing Ballet Technique, and lots of experience within the arts field. In 2016, I founded my dance company, PHD - Paula Higa Dance and Encounters-- an improvisational work of music and dance-- in collaboration with trumpeter Arthur Brooks and double bass player Anthony Santor. As a performer, I dance in the works of Mark Morris, Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR), Larry Keigwin, Jennifer Monson, Tiffany Rhynard, Clare Byrne, among others. I am the recipient of the 2020 NEFA - New England Dance Fund Grant, UVM - Coor Collaborative Fellows Award, and Vermont Community Foundation's Artist Grant. Recently, I discover my passion for the film industry. My last creation in collaboration with visual artist Jenn Karson, the dance film, The One I Wanted To Be, was twice awarded Best Screendance in Los Angeles, USA. The film was also officially selected to the Genres and Performances Film Festival in Aveiro, Portugal, and the ARFF - Around International Film Festival in Berlin, Germany.
As a dancemaker, I believe choreography is research. I am interested in unraveling discoveries rooted in the intersection of dance and visual arts. My works awake my inquisitiveness by examining feminism and discriminatory issues in our society. I give voice to women by inviting my audience to reflect on power inequality, gender hierarchy, and patriarchalism. My creation process investigates the relationship between body, movement, and narrative. I create provoking dances based on the information that surrounds me. I truly believe in the power of the arts.