Originally from Brazil, Paula Higa has been teaching, choreographing and performing since the late eighties. In 2012, she joined UVM’s dance program, where she has taught courses in ballet, contemporary, improvisation, and Brazilian dance.
As a choreographer, she is interested in creating works that challenge her kinetic approach to dance. She is the founder and artistic director of “PH Dance & ErS” as well as the founder of “Encounters”- an improvisational ensemble where two professional musicians, Arthur Brooks and Anthony Santor, meet Higa as a dancer to improvise without a pre-determined score. Her work has been presented in venues around the United States and in Brazil. She has also performed extensively for local and international choreographers. Higa earned her MFA in Dance from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and a B.S in Chemical Engineering while living in Brazil.
Paula Higa in the news:
- 04/27/21, UVM Department of Theatre and Dance Faculty member Paula Higa was awarded a Bronze Medal for her dance film, The One I Wanted to Be by the Independent Shorts Awards (ISA), an international film festival.
- 02/05/20, "Vermont Choreographers Accept Challenge to Create New Work in a Month"
UVM dance lecturer Paula Higa's duet found inspiration in two poems by early 20th-century Portuguese poet Florbela Espanca. Titled "The Woman That I Would Like to Be," the piece deals with themes of violence against women and will be danced by members of Higa's company, Paula Higa Dance & Ers.
"It's very aggressive in terms of movement. I want to show the kind of violence that we suffer in daily life," in physical, emotional and other realms, Higa said. The piece works with a duality, she continued: "Are you the woman who is experiencing the violence, or are you the angry woman? The characters, the dancers, switch places."
- 12/12/19, "Paula Higa to appear with Daniel Bernard Roumain in Flynn Theatre Student Matinee Series"
- 2019, Paula Higa is awarded a New England Foundation for the Arts Grant.
- 4/12/19, "Paula Higa certified in Progressing Ballet Technique"
- 12/13/16, "Paula Higa premiers master's thesis project on dystonia and dance"
Awards and Grants
- Paula Higa was awarded a Bronze Medal for her dance film, The One I Wanted to Be by the Independent Shorts Awards (ISA), an international film festival.
- Paula Higa was awarded the Coor Collaborative Fellowship Award by rhe UVM Humanities Center in support of her project, Intermedia + Technology.
- Paula Higa receives a New England Foundation for the Arts Grant in of support the creation of Urbano a new work which will focus on urban environment and the impact that big cities can cause in an individual's life.
- Paula Higa receives a Vermont Community Foundation Grant.