Olivier Tarpaga
Once the dust settles,
flowers bloom

NYC Premiere

Tuesday, October 3, 2023 at 7:30pm
Wednesday, October 4, 2023 at 7:30pm
Thursday, October 5, 2023 at 8pm
Friday, October 6, 2023 at 8pm
Saturday, October 7, 2023 at 2pm & 8pm
Sunday, October 8, 2023 at 2pm
The Joyce Theater

An extraordinary, distilled piece of music and dance.
The New York Times

Choreographer/dancer/musician Olivier Tarpaga’s powerful work acknowledges the strength of refugees from Africa’s occupied Burkina Faso and its Sahel region—Tarpaga’s ancestral homeland—who have escaped from violent jihadists and fled to distant camps. The piece also conveys the ongoing suffering and lack of autonomy faced by women amid religious extremism. Featuring seven dancers and five musicians with music composed by Tarpaga, it is ultimately a work of not only survival but of hope and love.

Dancers: Ousséni Dabare, Christie Dossou, Aicha Kabore, Jean-Robert Koudogbo-Kiki, Michael Nana, Sofia Nmili, Sylvie Sanou
Musicians: Seydou Koita, Issouf Dembele, Wassa Kouyate, Yann Moni, Boubacar Djiga
Rehearsal Director: Aziz Zoundi

Approx. 70min


Olivier Tarpaga

Olivier Tarpaga (USA/Burkina Faso), is a senior lecturer in music/director of the African Music Ensemble of Princeton University and a Lester Horton Award–winning choreographer.

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    • His music and dance work has been described as “unforgettable” by the LA Times and “extraordinary” by the New York Times, and “Exceptionally smart work” by Broad Street Review – Philadelphia. Tarpaga’s choreography is hybrid contemporary dance theatre with an emphasis on original live music. Since 2001 Tarpaga has conceived dynamic dance theater works, touring internationally and the US with an impressive roster of collaborators & commissioning partners: including, Kelly Strayhorn Theater (Pittsburgh), Harlem Stage, Joyce Theater, REDCAT, Crossing the Line Festival, Jacob’s Pillow, Action Danse Festival (Morocco), Charleroi Dance Biennale (Belgium), Natanda Dance Festival (Sri Lanka), and Session House (Tokyo). Tarpaga’s major works includes When Birds Refused to Fly (2019), Declassified Memory Fragment (2015), Not Because You’re African (2010), Disorder Inside Order (2008), Sira Kan (2007) and Tin Suka (2001) with Companie Ta. Tarpaga is the founder and artistic director of Dafra Drum and Dafra Kura Band, and co-founder of the Baker & Tarpaga Dance Project. 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 has been commissioned by The Limon Dance Company, Connecticut Ballet, The Temple of Fine Arts (Perth, Australia) and MAYA Dance Theater (Singapore). Tarpaga is a recipient of numerous major grants including two NEFA’s National Dance Project (NDP) awards, the Suitcase Fund from New York Live Arts, Mellon artist in residence grant, a Chime Mentorship Fellowship with David Rousseve as his mentor, the Durfee Foundation, and grants from the Ohio Arts Council and the Flourish Foundation. Tarpaga has performed and taught dance and music in sixty countries throughout Africa, Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Oceania.