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Olivier Tarpaga

Lester Horton award-winning musician and choreographer, Olivier Tarpaga is the artistic director of Nomad Express International MultiArts Festival in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. 


Tarpaga recently released “Declassified Memory Fragment” with his band Dafra Kura. 


Tarpaga was exposed to music and multiple instruments at an early age by his father and his nationally acclaimed Orchestre Super Volta during daily rehearsals at their family compound in Ouagadougou and taught himself music. 


He is the founder and artistic director of the internationally-acclaimed Dafra Drum and Dafra Kura Band and co-founder of Baker & Tarpaga Dance Project. Tarpaga has worked, performed, collaborated and recorded with rock artist POE at Capitol Records in Hollywood. 


In 2008, he was invited to re-interpret Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with West African instruments for a sold-out concert with British singer Billy Bragg and numerous guests at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, CA. 


He is a recipient of numerous major grants including the National Dance Project (NDP), the Suitcase Fund of New York Live Arts, Chime Mentorship Fellowship with David Rousseve as his mentor, the Durfee Foundation ARC, the Ohio Arts Council and the Flourish Foundation. 


He danced with David Rousseve/REALITY from 2006 to 2010 when he was also a State Department Art Envoy in South Africa, Botswana, Burkina Faso, and Sri Lanka. 


He is currently is a dance lecturer at the Lewis Center for the Arts and a music lecturer at the Department of Music, Princeton University. 


Between 2005 and 2014 he was faculty at the Department of Dance of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, the Department of Dance and the School of Music of The Ohio State University, the Department of Drama and Dance at Kenyon College, OH and the Department of Dance at Denison University, OH, the University of Iowa and the World Arts and Cultures department at UCLA. 


Tarpaga has also taught as a guest artist at Brown University, Alvin Ailey, Western Australia Performing Arts Center in Perth, Malaysia National Academy of the Arts (ASWARA), Tokyo Olympic Center, Hong Kong Institute of Education, The Goodman Arts Centre in Singapore, The Russian Cultural Center in Tanzania, The National Theatre in Kampala, Uganda, Maitising Festival in Botswana, Aboki Ngoma festival in Yaoudé, Cameroon, Action Danse Festival in Casablanca and the French Institut in Rabat, Dakar, Senegal and Madagascar. 


Tarpaga has performed and taught music and dance in more than 50 countries throughout Africa, Europe, the Americas, Asia and Australia.

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