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Legend Spotlight: Twyla Tharp

(2006) – ©Ruben Afanador

Twyla Tharp’s name brings to mind a singularly unique style that merges ballet and  modern dance, creating innovative choreography and often lighthearted pieces.  Tharp was born July 1, 1941.

Ms. Tharp has created more than 161 works including 129 dances, 12 television specials, four full-length ballets, six movies, four Broadway shows, and two figure skating routines.  Her works have been honored with a Tony Award, two Emmy Awards, 19 honorary doctorates, and many more.

Twyla Tharp Dance, her company, was founded in 1965.  Her choreography style is best described as, rooted in technical precision and creativity, combined with a wide range of movement from jazz, ballet, boxing, and inventions of her own design.

Interested in learning more about Twyla Tharp or seeing her choreography?  Read more on or check out her books: Push Comes to Shove, The Creative Habit: Learn it and Use it for Life, The Collaborative Habit: Life Lessons for Working Together.