Isabel Valverde is a performer, interdisciplinary choreographer and researcher originally from Portugal. Isabel has recently completed her Ph.D. in Dance History and Theory from U.C. Riverside. Her dissertation is titled "Interfacing Dance and Technology: a theoretical framework for performance in the digital domain." She is currently a post-doctoral fellow of the E.U./Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (Portugal) pursuing her research at U.C. Irvine, Nottingham Trent U., and U. de Paris 8. She holds a MA in Interdisciplinary Arts from the Inter-Arts Center, San Francisco State University, to which she was the recipient of a Fulbright/I.I.E. fellowship and the PRAXIS XXI Program. Her dance studies include a BA in Dance from the Lisbon Technical University, the School for New Dance Development in Amsterdam, emphasizing the study of improvisational dance forms with Simone Forti, Mary Fulkerson, Yochico Chuma, and Eva Karczag, among others.
Developing her experimental choreography in solo and collaborative work since1986, Isabel performed in Portugal, Amsterdam, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Since 2002 she has been developing My Fado Dance: What Portugueseness, a work-in-progress solo using Portuguese Fado music, and video, around Los Angeles. Towards the familiarization with new embodiments and human interactions as well as the continuum of actualization and virtualization, Isabel has been collaborating in several participatory responsive and interactive environment projects, such as Blind Date with Yiannis Melanitis, Monaco Dance Forum (2002), Dancing in the Active Space, with J. Crawford, L. Naugle, and F. Bevilacqua, U.C.Riverside/Museum of Photography (2002). Most recently, IN TOUCH, a mixed reality environment based on costumed made touch sensor wearables, with V. Zordan, K. Chi, V. Sundar, P. Chagas, (first prototype performed at Siggraph 2005 - Cyberfashion Show, Los Angeles).
Some recent publications are "Blind Date: a participatory installation," in Body, Space, and Technology Journal, V4, and "Catching the Ghosts in Ghostcatching: Choreographing Gender and Race in Riverbed/Bill T. Jones' Virtual Dance," in Extensions: the online journal of embodied technologies, V2.
As curator and producer she initiated the Evenings of Video Dance, a periodical show of 'live' and dance for the camera work at Artists' Television Access, San Francisco (1999-2001). She is a member of the Society of Dance History Scholars.