Image by Wayne Lake

Isaura Oliveira & Power of Skirts Collective

Performing Artist in #HellaBlack Vol. 6: Sacred

Isaura Oliveira, founder of Power of Skirts Collective, is a multidisciplinary talent artist, a descendant of African and Amerindian Natives people, born and raised in Salvador-Bahia, one of the cradles of African Brazilian culture. She is a visionary, an art maker, performer, and community artist-healer-activist. Isaura’s choreographies reflect her deep connection with her roots of African Brazilian and Amerindian spirituality, where Ancestors, Natural Elements and Nature as a whole are sacred. She approaches vocal chants, silence, dance movements, rhythm percussion, costume design, and the oral tradition of storytelling of her ancestry into her teachings. Her expertise in African Brazilian Culture is the foundation of her creativity, which flows between ritualistic, dance theater, traditional and contemporary expressions. Isaura commits her work on art activism for BIPOC community members who strive to take risks through artistic expression.

In 2020, with her dance mentees, she founded a sisterhood matriarchal leadership group, which, in 2022, became the Power of Skirts Collective. Their work has centered around community healing arts and public performance in alternative spaces: grass areas, beaches, streets, and indoor stages. Together, their work focuses on the importance of their ancestral art as resistance and valorizes the wisdom within Afro-Indigenous cultures. The Collective consists of a diverse group of BIPOC women who represent the richness of the diaspora from Brasil, Republic Dominicana, Venezuela, Colombia, Nigeria, Philippines and the Southern United States. They are health/social workers, cousin workers, students, dancers/musicians. Isaura’s intention is to connect with artists and any People who understand the importance of art in a liberation movement. Her words are stuck in the souls of the collective, “This is not just a performance; this is a ritual and my culture I am sharing to inspire each of you to deepen your own ancestral memory.”