Beautiful Struggle

Daily Palette Double Feature

Beautiful Struggle, performance art, 2012

Esther Baker-Tarpaga is a choreographer and performance artist. She received her MFA and MA in Dance at UCLA's Department of World Arts and Cultures and her BA at Bowdoin College. She is the 2013-2014 Interdisciplinary Performance Grant Wood Art Colony Fellow at the University of Iowa. Esther is also co-artistic director of Baker & Tarpaga Dance Project, a transnational dance theatre company founded with Olivier Tarpaga in 2004, and she curates video blog site "Shifting Traces: Contemporary Dance and Technology In and Outside of Africa," featuring performance and interviews.

Esther has forthcoming publications in Live Arts Almanac and in Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism. She has taught at The Ohio State University Department of Dance, Rio Hondo Community College, and Cypress Community College, as well as in many countries in Africa. She also co-directs a dance, music, and intercultural collaboration summer workshop in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. This past summer Esther was a Marin Headlands Artist in Residence and in April 2013 she performed with Guillermo Gomez-Pena La Pocha Nostra's premiere of "Corpo Insurrecto 3.0: The Robo Proletariat" at the San Francisco Performance Art Institute. Esther is the recipient of the New York Live Arts Suitcase Fund, Battelle Endowment for Technology and Human Affairs, Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, Johnstone Fund for New Music, Durfee, Javits Fellowship, Coca-Cola Critical Difference for Women, and UCIRA grant.

About Beautiful Struggle: In a provocative dance theater work directed by Esther Baker-Tarpaga, Baker & Tarpaga Dance Project asks audiences to think about the visibility and invisibility of race and privilege and how violence and love live on in the body's memories. Drawing from the text of white anti-racist Tim Wise and the embodied theories of the African diasporic movement circulations, Beautiful Struggle is a highly physical dance theater work that integrates live music, spoken word, and performance art.

(photo by Nick Fancher)

About the Grant Wood Art Colony: Grant Wood (1891-1942) helped develop the Stone City Art Colony in Stone City, Iowa, which operated during the summers of 1932 and 1933. The Grant Wood Art Colony, under the direction of the School of Art and Art History at UIowa, honors Wood's belief in the importance of art colonies by offering the Grant Wood Fellowship program and organizing a biennial symposium.

Shifting Traces

Baker & Tarpaga Dance Project

This page was first displayed
on October 29, 2013

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