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Olivier Tarpaga: "When Birds Refused to Fly" at FIAF

© Crossing The Line Festival - Géry Barbot- "When Birds Refused to Fly"

Award-winning musician, dancer, and choreographer Olivier Tarpaga makes his highly-anticipated Crossing the Line Festival debut on October 10, 2019 at 7:30pm with the New York premiere of his joyful and deeply personal work, When Birds Refused to Fly.

Set to a powerful soundtrack by Tarpaga's fathers's band, Super Volta - combining traditional sounds from Burkina Faso and driving contemporary rhythms – the piece contrasts the hope of independence movements across Sub-Saharan Africa in the 60s with the Civil Rights movement in the United States.

Congolese rumba meets French chanson and R&B in this musically diverse piece, fueling an energetic dance carried by four Burkinabe performers who transform the emotional impulse of life and broken illusions into promises for the future. Playing on the emotional and the abstract, the choreography unfolds into visceral and moving scenography.

Tarpaga has invited four visiting Burkinabe dancers from Ouagadougou to perform When Birds Refused to Fly.


About Olivier Tarpaga:

Tarpaga is the artistic director of the Nomad Express International Festival in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, and has performed and taught dance and music in 50 countries throughout Africa, Europe, the Americas, Asia and Oceania. Tarpaga is the founder and artistic director of the internationally-acclaimed Dafra Drum and Dafra Kura Band and co-founder of Baker & Tarpaga Dance Project. He danced with David Rousseve/Reality from 2006 – 2009. In 2008, Tarpaga was commissioned by Zig Zag Ballet to choreograph Visage at the Rich Forum Stanford Center for the Arts in Connecticut.

He is a recipient of numerous grants including the National Dance Project touring support,  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 is currently a senior lecturer at the Department of Dance of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and a lecturer at the Department of Dance of Princeton University.

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