Originally from Brazil, Mariana Oliveira (CBA ’17) studied at the Royal Academy of Dance in London and was a trainee dancer at the National Dance Company of Wales. In 2009 she founded The Union Project Dance Company. She has been commissioned to create new works for the Richmond Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, Arkansas Ballet, and Joffrey Ballet Academy. Mariana is a recipient of the Kansas City University Choreographic Fellowship. Her works have also been presented at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and and for two consecutive years has been a finalist of the McCallum Theatre Choreography Festival. Oliveira taught at the Bolshoi Ballet School in Brazil, the only Bolshoi School outside Russia, for the dancers of the youth company and at the Joffrey Ballet Academy Summer Intensive.
At The Center for Ballet and the Arts, Oliveira will work on a new narrative ballet entitled Uirapuru. The piece is inspired by the Brazilian folk tale of the same name. The uirapuru, also known as the “musician wren,” is a rare bird found in the Amazon rainforest and is the subject of several legends and fables due to its unique and beautiful song. Set to the famous composition Uirapuru, by Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos, Oliveira’s adaptation tells the story of a forbidden love in the 1940s.