University News

New England Foundation for the Arts Grant for Performing Arts

Dance Michael D. Eisner Center for the Performing Arts Provost's Office
July 31, 2019

The New England Foundation for the Arts has awarded Denison University a $5,000 grant to support the Baker & Tarpaga Dance Project’s performance of “When Birds Refused to Fly.” The dance group will also be in residence from October 28 through November 2, as the company works with students across the curriculum. A performance of “When Birds Refused to Fly” will take place in the college’s Eisner Center for the Performing Arts on November 1.

The Baker & Tarpaga Dance Project is a transnational performance project founded in 2004 by Esther Baker-Tarpaga and Olivier Tarpaga.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for our students to learn from world-class artists,” says Michael Morris, director of The Eisner Center and The Vail Series. “Olivier works across dance, theatre and music — the company engages multiple senses in their performances. This is a wonderful chance for not only our performing arts students, but students in many disciplines to understand the historic, social, political and artistic aspects of this project.”

“When Birds Refused to Fly” will expand on a foundation that Tarapaga, a dancer/choreographer from Burkina Faso, built during a 10-day residency at Denison in the fall of 2015. During that visit, Tarpaga and his company shared their art as well as personal histories and traditions of Burkina Faso and other Francophone African nations.

“I’m thrilled we’re able to continue our relationship with Olivier,” says Morris. “His undeniable talent and global perspective are wonderful expansions of the curriculum taught by our exceptional faculty. And we are excited to share this work in our gorgeous new Eisner Center for the Performing Arts. This is a truly wonderful confluence for Denison students, and our local community.”

The Michael D. Eisner Center for Performing Arts is home to the departments of dance, music and theatre at Denison University. Within 108,000 boldly designed square feet, the Eisner Center holds state-of-the-art stages and rehearsal spaces, numerous classrooms and offices, as well as open spaces especially configured to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration.

Denison University is a leading college for students who are passionate about the arts and who choose the breadth of a liberal arts education over that of a conservatory.

The presentation of “When Birds Refused to Fly” was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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