Baker and Tarpaga Dance Project to perform at Grinnell College Sept. 16

'Declassified Memory Fragment' is a dance theater work about politics and culture in Africa

Baker and Tarpaga Dance Project will perform "Declassified Memory Fragment" at Grinnell College on Saturday, Sept. 16. The free, public performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Flanagan Theatre in the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, 1108 Park St., Grinnell.

A 70-minute dance theater work with live music, "Declassified Memory Fragment," explores ideas and themes around memory, history and images of some of the political and cultural realities affecting the continent of Africa.

The work was created as an open letter on African society—its lifestyles, cultures, beauty, complexities and politics. "Declassified Memory Fragment" works to declassify, or reveal, the aspects of everyday life that are subjected to restrictions and cultural expectations of secrecy and privacy, even within the family.

The performance at Grinnell College is partially funded by the New England Foundation for the Arts National Dance Project Presentation Grant, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Creating a rich blend of live music and physical image making, Baker and Tarpaga Dance Project is a transnational dance theatre project based in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, and Philadelphia. Ethnochoreographers Esther Baker-Tarpaga and Oliver Tarpaga co-founded the project in 2004. Drawing from Africanist and postmodernist aesthetics, the project integrates choreography, spoken word and live music soundscapes.

Baker and Tarpaga Dance Project has performed worldwide, from the Dance Bridge International festival in Tokyo and Centre de Développement Chorégraphique la Termitière in Burkina Faso, to the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts at Cornell University in New York.

While the event is free, tickets are required. They will be distributed starting Wednesday, Sept. 13 at the box office in the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts at the corner of Sixth Ave and Park Street in Grinnell. Tickets are free to those present at the box office during open hours between noon and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Phone reservations are not accepted, although individuals may call the box office at 641-269-4444 during open hours to determine if tickets are still available.

Grinnell College welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. Flanagan Theatre is equipped with an induction hearing loop system, which enables individuals with hearing aids set to T-Coil to hear the program. Information about parking and accessibility is available on the college's website: Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations at 641-269-3235 or calendar[at]grinnell[dot]edu.

The college also welcomes the presence of minors at all age-appropriate public events and for informal visits, with the understanding that a parent, legal guardian, or other responsible adult assumes full responsibility for their child’s safety and behavior during such visits or events. In these cases, the college expects that an adult responsible for the visiting child takes measures to ensure the child’s safety and sees that the child complies with directions of college personnel. Grinnell College is not responsible for supervision of minors on campus.

About Grinnell College

Since its founding in 1846, Grinnell has become one of the nation's premier liberal arts colleges, enrolling 1,600 students from all 50 states and from as many countries. Grinnell's rigorous academic program emphasizes excellence in education for students in the liberal arts; the college offers the B.A. degree in a range of departments across the humanities, arts and sciences. Grinnell has a strong tradition of social responsibility and action, and self-governance and personal responsibility are key components of campus life. More information about Grinnell College is available at