Repository ListSubject List[Book][Forms][Expand][Collapse][Help][Home]
Dance Heritage Coalition

Administrative Information Table of Contents Scope and Contents

Tharp (Twyla) Papers

- Biographical Sketch of Twyla Tharp

Biographical Sketch of Twyla Tharp

Twyla Tharp was born 1 July 1941 in Portland, Indiana and grew up in Rialto, California. She attended Pomona College and received the Bachelor of Arts degree from Barnard College in 1963. As a child she studied ballet, tap, flamenco, baron twirling, acrobatics, and several musical instruments. While in California, she studied dance with Beatrice Collenette, Wilson Morelli, John Butler, Carmen de Lavallade, and at the Lester Horton studio. In New York, Tharp studied with Igor Schwezoff, Richard Thomas, Barbara Fallis, Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham, Eugene Lewis (Luigi), Margaret Craske, Paul Taylor and others.

Tharp began her professional career as a member of the Paul Taylor Dance Company, with which she performed from 1963 to 1965. In 1965, she formed her own company which she maintained until 1988, at which time she became an artistic associate at American Ballet Theatre until 1990. 1991-1994, Tharp created new works and reset repertoire on dancers drawn from several different companies and backgrounds. One work she created during this period was Cutting Up, in which Tharp and Mikhail Baryshnikov performed. In 1996, she founded a new company, Tharp!.

Tharp has choreographed works for other companies including the Joffrey Ballet (for which she created her first non-Tharp company work, Deuce Coupe), American Ballet Theatre (her first work at ABT was Push Comes to Shove for Mikhail Baryshnikov), New York City Ballet, the Paris Opera Ballet, the Royal Ballet, the Boston Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and the Australian Ballet. Other works include choroegraphy for ice skater John Curry, choreography and direction for the Broadway production of Singin' in the Rain, choreography for films Hair, Ragtime, Amadeus, White Nights, and I'll Do Anything, and television and video work for her own company as well as Dance Is a Man's Sport Too, made for Peter Martins and Lynn Swann.

Chronology of Works by Twyla Tharp

1965, Tank Dive, Hunter College Art Department, New York;
1965, Stage Show, New York World's Fair, New York;
1965, Stride
Note: [film], New York;
1965, Cede Blue Lake, Hunter College Art Department, New York;
1965, Unprocessed, Hunter College Art Department, New York;
1966, Re-Moves, Judson Memorial Church, New York;
1966, Yancey Dance, Judson Memorial Church, New York;
1967, One Two Three, Kunstverein Museum, Stuttgart, Germany;
1967, Jam, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Holland;
1967, Disperse, Richmond Professional Institute, Richmond, Virginia;
1967. Three Page Sonata for Four, State University of New York, Potsdam, New York;
1967, Forevermore, Midsummer Inc., Southampton, New York;
1968, Generation, Wagner College Gymnasium, Staten Island, New York;
1968, One Way, Wagner College Gymnasium, Staten Island, New York;
1968;, Excess, Idle, Surplus, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana;
1969, After "Suite", Billy Rose Theatre, New York;
1969, Group Activities, Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York;
1969, Medley, The American Dance Festival, Connecticut College, New London;
1969, Dancing in the Streets of London and Paris, Continued in Stockholm and Sometimes Madrid, Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut;
1970, Pymffyppmfynm Ypg, Sullins College, Bristol, Virginia;
1970, The Fugue, University of Massachusetts, Amherst;
1970, Rose's Cross Country, University of Massachusetts, Amherst;
1970, The One Hundreds, University of Massachusetts, Amherst;
1971, The History of Up and Down, I and II, Oberlin College, Ohio;
1971, Eight Jelly Rolls, Oberlin College, Ohio
Note: revised, New York Shakespeare Dance Festival,
Note: produced for television, 1974, London Weekend Television, London, England;
1971, The Willie Smith Series,
Note: [videotape], New Berlin, New York;
1971, Mozart Sonata, K. 545, The Mall, Washington, D.C.;
1971, Torelli, Ft. Tryon, New York;
1971, The Bix Pieces, The IX International Festival of Dance, Paris, France,
Note: produced for television, CBS Camera Three, 1973;
1972, The Raggedy Dances, New York,
Note: a portion set separately as The Rags Suite, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1975;
1973, Deuce Coupe, The Joffrey Ballet and Twyla Tharp Dancers, Chicago,
Note: revised as Deuce Coupe II for Tharp Dancers, St. Louis, Missouri, 1975;
1973, As Time Goes By, The Joffrey Ballet, New York;
1974, In the Beginnings , Minneapolis, Minnesota;
1974, All About Eggs,
Note: television, commissioned by WGBH, Boston, Massachusetts;
1974, The Bach Duet, New York Shakespeare Dance Festival, New York;
1975, Sue's Leg, St. Paul, Minnesota,
Note: as Sue's Leg, Remembering the Thirties,produced for Public Broadcasting System, Dance in America series, 1976;
1975, The Double Cross, St. Paul, Minnesota;
1975, Ocean's Motion, Teatro Nuovo, Spoleto Festival, Italy;
1976, Push Comes to Shove, American Ballet Theatre, New York;
1976, Give and Take, Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York;
1976, Once More, Frank,
Note: Tharp and Mikhail Baryshnikov for American Ballet Theatre, New York;
1976, Country Dances, Edinburgh Festival, Scotland;
1976, Happily Ever After, The Joffrey Ballet, New York;
1976, After All,
Note: for John Curry, commissioned by the New York State Olympic Committee, New York;
1977, Mud, Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York;
1977, Simon Medley, Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York;
1977, Making Television Dance
Note: [television], Public Broadcasting System;
1977, Cacklin' Hen, Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York;
1979, Hair,
Note: film choreography by Tharp;
1979, 1903, Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York;
1979, Chapters & Verses, Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York;
1979, Baker's Dozen, Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York;
1980, Three Fanfares,
Note: John Curry; commissioned by the Lake Placid Olympic Committee, New York;
1980, Brahms' Paganini, New York;
1980, When We Were Very Young, New York;
1980, Dance is a Man's Sport Too,
Note: [television], Peter Martins and Lynn Swann, ABC Omnibus;
1980, Assorted Quartets, Saratoga, New York;
1980, Short Stories, Ghent, Belgium;
1980, Third Suite, Paris, France;
1980, Ragtime,
Note: film choreography by Tharp;
1981, Uncle Edgar Dyed His Hair Red, Elmira, New York;
1981, The Catherine Wheel, New York,
Note: produced for television, British Broadcasting Company and Public Broadcasting System for Dance in America series; The Golden Section, reset as a separate work, University of Texas, Austin, 1983;
1981, Confessions of a Cornermaker,
Note: [television] featuring Baker's Dozen, Short Stories, and Duet from The Third Suite, CBS Cable;
1982, Nine Sinatra Songs, Vancouver, British Columbia;
1982, Bad Smells, Vancouver, British Columbia;
1982, Scrapbook Tape,
Note: [television], video anthology of Tharp's works since 1965, Public Broadcasting System;
1983, Fait Accompli, University of Texas, Austin;
1983, Telemann, University of Texas, Austin;
1983, Bach Partita, American Ballet Theatre, Washington, D.C.;
1983, Sinatra Suite, American Ballet Theatre, Washington, D.C.;
1984, The Little Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Minneapolis, Minnesota;
1984, Brahms/Handel,
Note: collaboration with Jerome Robbins, New York City Ballet, New York;
1984, Sorrow Floats, The American Dance Festival, Durham, North Carolina;
1984, Amadeus,
Note: [film], choreography by Tharp;
1984, Baryshnikov by Tharp,
Note: [television], Public Broadcasting System;
1985, Singin' in the Rain,
Note: [Broadway musical];
1985, White Nights
Note: [film], choreography by Tharp;
1986, In the Upper Room, Ravinia Festival, Highland Park, Illinois;
Note: produced for television in Twyla Tharp: Oppositions, Dance in America series, Public Broadcasting System, 1996;
1986, Ballare, Ravinia Festival, Highland Park, Illinois;
1988, Four Down Under, Melbourne, Australia;
1989, Quartet, American Ballet Theatre, Miami Beach, Florida;
1989, Bum's Rush, American Ballet Theatre, Chicago, Illinois;
1989, Rules of the Game, Paris Opera Ballet, Paris, France;
1989, Everlast, American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco, California;
1990, Brief Fling, American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco, California;
1991, Grand Pas: Rhythm of the Saints, Paris Opera Ballet, Paris, France;
1991, The Men's Piece Wexner Centery for the Arts, Ohio State University, Columbus;
1991, Octet, Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio State University, Columbus;
1992, Sextet, New York;
1992, Cutting Up, University of Texas, Austin;
1993, Demeter and Persephone, Martha Graham Company, New York;
1993, Pergolesi,
Note: revision of duet from Cutting Up for Mikhail Baryshnikov, White Oak Project, New York;
1993, Brahms Paganini --Book II, Milan, Italy;
1994, Waterbaby Bagatelles, Boston Ballet, Boston;
1994, Red, White and Blues, Washington, D.C.,
Note: Bartok section renamed Noir;
1994, I'll Do Anything,
Note: film choreography by Tharp;
1995, How Near Heaven, American Ballet Theatre, Washington, D.C.;
1995, Americans We, American Ballet Theatre, New York;
1995, Jump Start, American Ballet Theatre, New York;
1995, Mr. Worldly Wise, The Royal Ballet, London;
1996, I Remember Clifford, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Chicago;
1996, The Elements, American Ballet Theatre, New York;
1996, Sweet Fields, University of California, Berkeley;
1996, 66, University of California, Berkeley;
1996, Heroes, University of California, Berkeley;
1997, The Storyteller, The Australian Ballet, Melbourne Festival, Australia;
1997, Roy's Joys, New York;
1998, Yemaya, Miami, Florida.


Administrative Information Table of Contents Scope and Contents