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Courage Barda

composer | vocalist | dancer

Courage Barda’s work combines visual media, choreographed and improvised movement, stream of consciousness prose, and experimental vocalism to create worlds of whimsy, distress, and introspection. Courage’s compositions center around their own lived experiences, covering sensitive subjects such as disability, identity, spirituality, and sexuality. A recent example is their piece A Place to Bloom for dancing countertenor, mixed dectet, and fixed media electronics.


After a severe neurological injury in September 2020, Courage became physically-disabled. Courage uses their art and music as a way to document their relationship with their disability, as reflected in Aphasiosphere and (I)dentity. Courage performs movement in their work as a way to change perspective on physical disability, as well as what it means to be a dancer.


Courage’s music has been performed by Indiana University’s contemporary vocal ensemble NOTUS, the Choral Arts Initiative, the International Brazilian Opera Company, and Hub New Music. A recent collaboration with baritone Kyle Forehand resulted in winning third prize in the inaugural songSLAM

Indiana for their performance of Courage’s “Golden Eyed-Girl.”


Courage is a countertenor focusing on the performance of both early and new music. He specializes in the haute-contre repertoire of Campra and Rameau, as well as the music of Henry Purcell. He has a special interest in Italian traditional early music. Courage is a harpist, performing on modern and historical harps. They are especially interested in the differences in material and construction of harps throughout history. 


Courage is pursuing degrees in Composition and Historical Performance (Voice) at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. They study composition with Han Lash and voice with Judith Malafronte. Courage is part of the Wells Scholars Program, the most prestigious scholarship at Indiana University. 

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