Olivier Tarpaga’s deeply humanist piece “Once the Dust Settles Flowers Bloom” gives voice and body to the refugees of Burkina Faso and the Sahel region, who, having fled the shadow of jihadists, settle in camps far from their homes. Looking beyond the horror, the work channels the strength and beauty of this displaced population. With six dancers and five musicians who count themselves among the best in Africa, Tarpaga confronts the tragedy of his homeland with a “feminist Africanist” piece that carries the hope that once the dust has settled, flowers will bloom again, and the songs and dances will return. Tarpaga, a dancer, choreographer, musician, and composer, is the founder and artistic director of the Dafra Drum ensemble and Dafra Kura Band, and a co-founder of Burkina Faso’s internationally acclaimed Compagnie Ta. He is a Lester Horton Award-winning choreographer/director of the African Music Ensembles of Princeton University. He is a Lester Horton Award-winning choreographer/director of the African Music Ensembles of Princeton University.
This performance is part of Timbuktu Grooves: The Princeton African Music Festival, presented by Princeton University’s Department of Music.