Award-winning musician, dancer and choreographer, Olivier Tarpaga is the artistic director of Nomad Express International MultiArts Festival in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. 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. Between 2005 and 2014 he was faculty at 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 dance in more than 50 countries throughout Africa, Europe, the Americas, Asia and Australia.