Your Music, My Dance, Our Baby : Do we really want to do this? with Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp | Recording available

Kenneth Tharp


Your Music, My dance, Our Baby : Do we really want to do this? with Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp CBE, FRSA | 26 March 2021 | 11:00 - 12:30 | Free to attend

Music and dance appear to be such natural companions, yet the creative and collaborative process between artists working together across these two disciplines is not always straightforward or comfortable, and sometimes even downright disastrous. The second of our three part Catalytic Lecture series will look at ownership and identity.

Drawing on his own extensive experience, as a choreographer, of multi-disciplinary collaboration, and in particular working with composers and musicians, Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp will share his reflections on ownership and identity in the creative process, highlighting some of the challenges faced, that may give food for thought to those wishing to collaborate with another artist, on how they may want to approach the start of that important relationship. 

The Catalytic Lecture series will welcome world renowned speakers to explore the three aspects of ownership that dance artists have to navigate when creating work: copyright and intellectual property, shared ownership in collaboration, and open-source content. Each of the three sessions will be delivered on Zoom and will provide space for information and discussion - we look forward to welcoming you along!

Lecturer Bio:

Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp CBE, FRSA is a key figure in the UK arts and culture scene with close to 40 years professional experience in the sector. He is currently working as a freelance Arts & Culture Consultant.  

He began his career as a dancer; as one of the leading dance artists of his generation, he performed for 13 years with the internationally-acclaimed London Contemporary Dance Theatre, and then with other leading companies during a 25-year career as a performer, choreographer, teacher and director. With composer Simon Redfern, he was co-director of ArtyfartyArts, a multi-disciplinary arts group from 1998-2004, and has been involved in many music and dance collaborations across a huge variety of musical genres and settings.  

From 2007 to 2016, he was Chief Executive of The Place, the UKs leading centre for contemporary dance development. From May 2018 to Sept 2020, he was Director of The Africa Centre, in its new home in Southwark. He was proud to have led such an iconic organisation, at a time when its role as a home for contemporary African and diaspora culture and heritage, is needed now, more than ever.  

He is a devoted champion of the arts, cultural learning, creativity and diversity, and frequently presents as a keynote speaker in a variety of contexts, from schools to leadership courses, industry related events and the corporate sector. He has been a regular contributor to Speakers for Schools. 

He has served on various arts Boards, including The Royal Opera House and The Royal Opera House Benevolent Fund. He is currently a Patron of Akademi and The Place, and a Trustee of choreographer Sir Matthew Bournes New Adventures company, and the Chineke! Foundation and Orchestra. He is also a School Governor, and sits on the British Councils Arts & Creative Enterprise Advisory Group.  

He has appeared in eight successive editions of the annual Powerlist of Britains most influential people of African and African Caribbean heritage, as well as in Whos Who. 

In 2003 Kenneth was made an OBE in recognition of his services to dance, and in June 2017 was made a CBE in the Queens Birthday Honours list, also in recognition of his services to dance. 



Supported by Creative Scotland with funding from Scottish Government.


Creative Scotland
Supported by Edinburgh
Supported by the City of Edinburgh Council
Living Wage