Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp CBE (born 1960) is a British dance artist and former Chief Executive of The Place. He is currently director of the Africa Centre, London.
Tharp was born in Croydon, south London, to Pamela Tharp and Professor Gabriel O. Esuruoso. His mother is English and his father is Nigerian. He attended The Perse School, Cambridge College of Arts and Technology, and trained at London Contemporary Dance School receiving a BA Hons (1st class) in Contemporary Dance in 1987. His 25-year performing career included working with London Contemporary Dance Theatre (1981–94) and Arc Dance Company (1994–2005). He has worked extensively as a choreographer, teacher and director and as Lead Artist & Artistic Advisor for The Royal Ballet School’s Dance Partnership & Access Programme and Assistant to the Head of Contemporary Dance at Millennium Dance 2000. With composer Simon Redfern he co-founded Artyfartyarts, a multi-disciplinary arts group, and he is on the Board of Trustees at the Royal Opera House.
In 2005 Tharp undertook a NESTA-funded Fellowship on the Clore Leadership Programme.
He was Chief Executive of The Place from September 2007 to November 2016.
In May 2018 he was appointed director of the Africa Centre, London