Twyla Tharp — American Modern Dance

Having choreographed more than 150 unique pieces, Twyla Tharp is one of the most prolific Modern Dance choreographers in America.

In 1965, after graduating from Barnard College in 1963, Ms. Tharp formed her company: Twyla Tharp Dance. Since then, this company has made a name for itself due to its precision, creativity, and the merging of styles. Now, she not only choreographs for her company but also the top companies around the world (including my hometown Ballet company, Pacific Northwest Ballet), television shows, movies, and Broadway (where she has won numerous awards).

In 2015 she celebrated her 50th anniversary since her first performed choreographed piece: “Tank Dive.” In addition to celebrating this anniversary she unveiled two new pieces that were performed alongside her previous works during her anniversary tour.

Her works reject any limitations that spectators and experts may place on dance. She is most well known for her ability to combine and merge different styles of dance in order to create a piece. Not only does she pull from different styles of dance (such as Ballroom, Ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop, and more), but she also pulls from other forms of athleticism (such as martial arts, boxing, and more).

Her colleague, Nicholas Coppula, describes her as a woman that truly wants to allow people to be themselves, that she has not stopped learning since she started dance in the 1950’s.

“One of the very unique but also incredible things about Twyla is that she really does want everybody to be themselves.”
“when you look at her body of work, you can see that she’s never stopped learning, and she’s never been afraid to try something new.”

Twyla Tharp is an inspiration for dancers and choreographers around the world. She is most known for her Modern Dance contributions and her unique and uninhibited choreography. Over the past 50 years, she has truly become a monument in American dance.

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