Twyla Tharp has been an innovator in dance and choreography for over forty years.
Through numerous collaborations, most notably with Mikhail Baryshnikov and the American Ballet Theatre, Tharp demonstrated the potential for combining the modern vocabulary of movement with classical ballet. Her dances range from such early classics as “Fugue” (1970) and “Eight Jelly Rolls” (1971), to the more recent works, “Cutting Up” (1992), “Jump Start” (1995), “Known by Heart (1998), and “Even the King” (2003). She was the choreographer for the films, Hair (1978), Amadeus (1984), and I’ll Do Anything (1994), and for the Broadway shows, The Catherine Wheel (1981), Singin’ in the Rain (1985), and Movin’ Out (2002). In television, she choreographed “Sue’s Leg,” the inaugural episode of the Dance in America series on PBS, and co-directed Baryshnikov by Tharp. She is the author of Push Comes to Shove (1992), an autobiography, and the Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life (2003).
In 1965, Tharp started the dance company Twyla Tharp Dance, which later merged with the American Ballet Theatre in 1988. She regrouped the company in 1991.
Tharp attended Pomona College and the American Ballet Theatre School, and received a B.A. (1963) from Barnard College. She studied with Richard Thomas, Merce Cunningham, and Paul Taylor.
Last updated January 1, 2005