Mariana Oliveira (Fall ’17) is the choreographer and artistic director of The Union Project Dance Company. Originally from Brazil, she studied at the Royal Academy of Dance in London, and was a trainee dancer at the National Dance Company of Wales. She has recently created new works for the Joffrey Ballet Studio Company, Milwaukee Ballet, and Arkansas Ballet. Oliveira has also presented works at the Jacob’s Pillow Festival, 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.
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.