Ana Paula Höfling is an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for the Americas at Wesleyan University. Her research bridges the disciplines of dance studies, Latin American studies, Brazilian studies, African diaspora studies, and critical tourism studies.
Her PhD dissertation, “Dancing, fighting, and staging capoeira: choreographies of Afro-Brazilian modernity and tradition,” analyzes the tradition/modernity debates that have shaped contemporary capoeira, tracing the changes in capoeira’s movement vocabulary throughout the twentieth century. Her book manuscript, Staging Capoeira/Dancing Brazil, examines the processes of “staging” that transformed capoeira into both a respectable form of physical culture and a central element of Brazilian folklore. The book foregrounds the collaborations between stage directors, tourism bureaucrats, intellectuals, and “folk” performers in the process of fashioning a canon of national folklore in Brazil, from the 1920s through the 1970s.
At Wesleyan University, she has designed and taught seminars cross-listed in Latin American Studies; African American Studies; Dance; American Studies; Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies; and Anthropology. In 2014, she will teach “Staging Difference/Embodying Tourism,” a course that analyzes the embodied experiences through which difference is both produced and consumed in tourist settings. She is also the convener of the 2014 Americas Forum (April 4th, 2014), which will feature a keynote address by dance studies scholar Jane Desmond, as well as presentations by renowned scholars from Latin America and the United States.
Höfling is a member of the Society of Dance History Scholars, the Congress on Research in Dance, the Latin American Studies Association, and the Brazilian Studies Association. She is a Royal Academy of Dance-trained ballet dancer and a capoeirista. She has studied with Mestre Acordeon, Mestre João Grande, Mestre Cabello, and most recently with Mestre Jogo de Dentro and with contra-mestres of the Grupo Semente do Jogo de Angola in Brazil.
PhD in Culture and Performance, University of California, Los Angeles
MA in Dance, University of California, Los Angeles
MFA in Dance, University of Hawai`i at Manoa
BA in Linguistics, University of California, Berkeley
“Staging Capoeira, Samba, Maculelê and Candomblé: Viva Bahia’s Choreographies of Afro-Brazilian Folklore for the Global Stage.” In Performing Brazil, Kathryn Sanchez and Severino Albuquerque, eds. University of Wisconsin Press (forthcoming, 2015). http://uwpress.wisc.edu/books/5311.html
“Capoeira.” Routledge Online Encyclopedia of Modernism. Stephen Ross, ed. Routledge (forthcoming, 2015).
“Resistance from the inside: an analysis of the jogo de dentro in Brazilian Capoeira Angola.” Journal for the Anthropological Study of Human Movement 14(2): 83-90.
“Celebrating November 20th: agency and defiance in the construction of memory in capoeira angola.” Proceedings from Choreographies of Migration: Patterns of Global Mobility, Congress on Research in Dance 40th Anniversary Conference, Barnard College, New York, Nov. 8-11, 2007: 90-94.
“Performing capoeira angola’s tactics of deception in the chamada.” Proceedings from Rethinking Theory and Practice, 30th Annual Society of Dance History Scholars and Congress on Research in Dance Conference, Centre Nacional de la Danse, Paris, June 21-24, 2007: 358-362.
Review of Caribbean and Atlantic Diaspora Dance: Igniting Citizenship, by Yvonne Daniel. Dance Research Journal 45 (2): 152-156.
Review of The hidden history of capoeira: a collision of cultures in the Brazilian battle dance, by Maya Talmon-Chvaicer. Luso-Brazilian Review 48 (1): 174-175.
Review of Capoeira and Candomblé: conformity and resistance through Afro-Brazilian experience, by Floyd Merrell. Luso-Brazilian Review 45 (1): 222-223.
Courses at Wesleyan
LAST 250 “Performing ‘Africa’ in Brazil” (Fall 2012; Fall 2013)
LAST 213 “Exotic Latin Corporealities” (Spring 2013)
LAST 256 “Staging Difference/Embodying Tourism” (Spring 2014)
WAC 44 “World Dance Histories” (Summer 2011, UCLA)
WAC 13 “Beginning ballet” (Winter 2009, Summer 2010, Winter 2011, UCLA)
GE 23C “Inside the Performing Arts: Ethnography of Performance” (Spring 2008, UCLA)
Selected fellowships and awards
UCLA Graduate Division Dissertation Year Fellowship (2011).
UCLA International Institute Fieldwork Fellowship (2010).
UCLA Latin American Institute Field Research Grant (2007, 2010).
University of Wyoming President’s Advisory Council on Minorities and Women’s Affairs Grant (2004).
Dance Critics Association Gary Parks Award (2003).
New York Times Professional Fellowship for the American Dance Festival’s Institute of Dance Criticism (2003).
University of Hawai’i at Manoa Arts and Sciences Advisory Council Award (2003).
University of Hawai’i at Manoa Frances Davis Award for Teaching Excellence (2001).
CIES Fulbright for U.S. Scholars, host: Academia Superior de Artes de Bogotá, Colombia (1999).