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Twyla Tharp Choreographs Two New Works for 50th Anniversary Tour

Instead of creating the expected for her 50th Anniversary Tour -- a retrospective of her greatest hits -- Twyla Tharp's restless spirit demanded she choreograph two brand new works for her troupe of 13 dancers. The ten-week cross-country celebration, which showcases the two new dances, "Preludes and Fugues" and "Yowzie", opens at the AT&T Performing Arts Center, presented by TITAS, in Dallas on September 18-19 and concludes at Lincoln Center's Koch Theater, November 17-22. Click here for the full schedule.

"Preludes and Fugues" is set to excerpts from Bach's "The Well-Tempered Clavier" Volumes 1 & 2, and "Yowzie" to a selection of music from "Viper's Drag," a compilation of jazz arranged by Henry Butler and Steven Bernstein. Each dance is introduced by a fanfare, both composed by John Zorn. Santo Loquasto designed the costumes for all the dances, and James Ingalls, the lighting.

In a program note describing the evening, Tharp says: "Simply put, 'Preludes and Fugues' is the world as it ought to be, 'Yowzie' as it is. The 'Fanfares' celebrate both."

The company is comprised of dancers who have long histories with Tharp, appearing in her Broadway shows, "Movin' Out," "The Times They Are A Changin'" and "Come Fly Away," as well as in her various dance troupes and in the ballet and contemporary dance companies for whom she has created new works. They are John Selya, Rika Okamoto, Matthew Dibble, and Ron Todorowski. Newer to Tharp are Daniel Baker, Amy Ruggiero, Ramona Kelley, Nicholas Coppula, Eva Trapp, Savannah Lowery, Reed Tankersley, Kaitlyn Gilliland, and Eric Otto.

Since graduating from Barnard College in 1963, Twyla Tharp has choreographed more than one hundred sixty works: one hundred twenty-nine dances, twelve television specials, six Hollywood movies, four full-length ballets, four Broadway shows and two figure skating routines. She received one Tony Award, two Emmy Awards, nineteen honorary doctorates, the Vietnam Veterans of America President's Award, the 2004 National Medal of the Arts, the 2008 Jerome Robbins Prize, and a 2008 Kennedy Center Honor. Her many grants include the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and an Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

In 1992, Ms. Tharp published her autobiography PUSH COMES TO SHOVE. She went on to write THE CREATIVE HABIT: Learn it and Use it for Life, followed by THE COLLABORATIVE HABIT: Life Lessons for Working Together. She is currently working on a fourth book.

Today, Ms. Tharp continues to create.

The new works are commissioned by The Joyce Theater (New York), The Kennedy Center (Washington), Auditorium Theatre & Ravinia Festival (Chicago), TITAS/AT&T Performing Arts Center (Dallas), and the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (Beverly Hills).

Photo Credit: Ruven Afanador

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