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Read about the evolution of this ballet
Find out more about the Producer of the ballet
Read how Paquita allows the girls to shine after the male-dominated Edward II
Nine Sinatra Songs
How Sinatra inspired the dance
What built the choreographer's reputation?
Read what the critics have said about previous BRB performances of the ballet
Daphnis and Chloë
Find out about the original creative team behind the ballet
Find out about the characters in the ballet
Charmed Life: John Craxton RA
Find out about the artist responsible for the ballet's designs
Since her graduation from Barnard College in 1963, Twyla Tharp has choreographed more than 125 dances, five Hollywood movies, directed and choreographed two Broadway shows, written two books and received one Tony Award, two Emmy Awards, 17 honorary doctorates and numerous grants including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
In 1965, she began the dance company Twyla Tharp Dance. In 1988, Twyla Tharp Dance merged with American Ballet Theatre where she created more than a dozen works. Since that time she has choreographed dances for many companies including: Paris Opéra Ballet, The Royal Ballet, New York City Ballet, Boston Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance and the Martha Graham Dance Company.
In 1991, she regrouped her company Twyla Tharp Dance and created a programme with Mikhail Baryshnikov called Cutting Up, which went on to become one of contemporary dance's most successful tours, appearing in 28 cities over a two-month period. Since 1999 Twyla Tharp Dance and has been touring internationally to critical acclaim.
Tharp's work first went to Broadway in 1980 with When We Were Very Young, followed in 1981 by her collaboration with David Byrne on The Catherine Wheel at the Winter Garden; and her 1985 staging of Singin' in the Rain, which played at the Gershwin for 367 performances, followed by an extensive national tour. In 2002, Tharp and Billy Joel's award-winning dance musical Movin' Out premiered on Broadway, and a national tour began in January, 2004. The recipient of a 2003 Tony Award for Movin' Out, Tharp was also honoured with the 2003 Astaire Award; the Drama League Award for Sustained Achievement in Musical Theater; and both the Drama Desk Award and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Choreography.
In film Tharp has collaborated with directors Milos Forman on Hair (1978), Ragtime (1980) and Amadeus (1984); with Taylor Hackford on White Nights (1985); and with James Brooks on I'll do Anything (1994).
Her television credits include choreographing Sue's Leg for the inaugural episode of PBS' Dance in America, co-producing and directing Making Television Dance, which won the Chicago International Film Festival Award; and directing The Catherine Wheel for BBC Television. Tharp co-directed the television special Baryishnikov by Tharp, which won two Emmy Awards as well as the Director's Guild of America Award for Outstanding Director Achievement.
Tharp wrote her first book in 1992, her autobiography Push Comes to Shove. Her second book, The Creative Habit: Learn it and Use it for Life was published in October 2003.
She continues to create works and lecture around the world.
3 August 2004
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