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Declassified Memory Fragment

  • HARLEM STAGE 150 Convent Avenue New York, NY, 10031 United States (map)

Co-Presented with 651 Arts


Declassified Memory Fragment is a dance theater work, created by Olivier Tarpaga, with a live band inspired by the ideas and themes of memory, history, politics and cultural realities affecting the continent of Africa. The work was created as an open letter to African society—its lifestyles, cultures, beauty, complexity and politics. Declassified refers to living in a society where aspects of everyday life are subjected to restrictions and cultural expectations of secrecy and privacy; even within the family. The act of declassifying is a process of revealing and exposing what is hidden from view and obscured, not spoken.

The work is a response to political conditions in African countries (specifically Kenya, Ivory Coast, Zimbabwe and Burkina Faso), the unpredictable circulation of power and the resulting tension, destabilization and explosive climax that occurs, often without dismantling the illusion of democracy. Through movement and a driving band the piece both caustically and humorously stages a two tier society where craving for power simultaneously creates and unravels friendships, yet brotherhood prevails. 


*Post-performance discussion with artists moderated by Gabri Christi

This presentation of Declassified Memory Fragment 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.