Olga Barrios is a choreographer, dancer and teacher that has collaborated with theatre, music and dance companies in Canada, USA and Colombia.

Born in Bogota, Colombia she studied Performing Arts – Dance Program at the Arts Academy and Advertising at the Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano. Olga also holds a MFA in Dance from Toronto’s York University. She is co-founder of Vanguardia Dance Projects in Canada and Artistic Director of Olga Barrios Contemporary Dance.

As a dance teacher she has worked in Montreal, Hamilton, Kitchener, San Francisco, New Jersey and numerous cities in Colombia. Some of her recent activities include: Choreographer for the Wind in the Leaves Collective Project Toronto; Nohayquiensepa for Aluna Theatre Toronto , Dance-Theatre work IXOK at the Women on Stage, Panamerican Routes Festival Toronto and her independent choreographic series Sangre 2009-10 presented in Canada and Colombia.

Olga Barrios Contemporary Dance has participated in different festivals in Canada such as Dance Ontario´s  Dance Weekend; the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival; Impact Theatre Festival Kitchener; Hamilton Site Specific Festival; Vibrant Colombia Diaspora Festival at Harbourfront Centre, Allende Festival, Ritmo y Color Festival at Harbourtfront, and Ffida among others events. Her recent participations in Colombia include: Festival Impulsos Bogota, Women on Stage for Peace Festival in Bogota; Festival Danza in Bogota.

Her professional career began  in 1995 with the co-creation of the “BlancOscuro Contemporary Dance Company ” in Colombia, with which she receiving several awards. From 1996 to 1996 she directed the experimental group of the “E.A.N” University. Olga then moved to San Francisco and then New York where she researched different dance movements. In San Francisco she worked for the Mission Cultural Center for the Latino Arts as Dance Theatre instructor for the children´s program. In New Jersey she coordinated the Dance program for kids at the “Progressive Language Institute”.

As a dancer and actress she has performed with numerous companies, among those, Marc De Garmo and Dancers (NY-USA), L’Explose (Colombia), Federico Restrepo Loco 7 (Colombia), The MT Space (Kitchener, Canada). She has participated in many national and internationally festivals and events, and has been invited as guest artist to several projects such as the artistic collaboration in an Asberg -Unesco Scholarship in Montreal- Canada in the year 2005.

While in Colombia she produced several independent works, receiving grant and awards from: IBERESCENA Spain/Colombia; Dramaturgy and Choreographic Grant Creation; National Dance Awards Honorary Mention – Colombian Ministry of Culture; Creation Grant at the Insólito Festival – Instituto Distrital de Cultura y Turismo of Bogota; Best Solo Award Performance at V Contemporary Dance Festival of Bogota; Creation Grant – Instituto Distrital de Cultura y Turismo de Bogotá; Best Duo Performance Award – University Contemporary Dance Festival of Bogota.

Most recently, Olga received the 2011 Hamilton Arts Award in Performance and is proud of being part of the multi-cultural artistic development movement in the Canadian community.