Agatha Oliveira is a Ph.D. candidate in the Performance as a Public Practice program with research interest in Black performance, transnationalism, socio-political consciousness and artistic identity formation in the African Diaspora. She currently holds a M.A. from the African and African Diaspora Studies Department at The University of Texas at Austin. Her thesis explores cultural exchanges and socio-political networks between the U.S. dancer-choreographer Katherine Dunham and the Brazilian dancer-choreographer Mercedes Batista during the 1950s and 1960s. Oliveira holds a second M.A. in Science of Arts from the Federal Fluminense University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and her B.A. in Professional Dance and Dance Instruction from the Federal University of Bahia, Brazil. She completed a specialization in pilates technique at the Institute of Higher Education Unyhana in Bahia, Brazil (2004) and in Laban/Bartenieff movement studies at the Angel Vianna College, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2011).
Oliveira has had a career as a professional dancer with experience performing in Dance Brazil (1997-2006), Arquitetura do Movimento (2007-2011) and BBB (Brazilian Ballet of Bahia – 1990-1996). Her tours include shows in different states of Brazil, the United States, Europe, Australia and South America. She also participated at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival Workshop in 1998 and in the Summer Intensive Program at the Alvin Ailey School in New York in 2001. Recently, as a dance teacher, Oliveira offered workshops of Afro-Brazilian Contemporary at the Carver Museum and at the Brazilian Cultural Center in Houston.