The Kennedy Center

Twyla Tharp

Video and Audio

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    Tina Sinatra on Come Fly Away

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    Come Fly Away Montage

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    Preludes and Fugues Double Duet


Since graduating from Barnard College in 1963, Ms. Tharp has choreographed more than one hundred thirty-five dances, five Hollywood movies, directed and choreographed four Broadway shows. 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, 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 and an Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

In 1965 Ms. Tharp founded her dance company, Twyla Tharp Dance. In addition to choreographing for her own company, she has created dances for The Joffrey Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, The Paris Opera Ballet, The Royal Ballet, New York City Ballet, The Boston Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance, The Martha Graham Dance Company, Miami City Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet.

Ms. Tharp's work first appeared on 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. Her 1985 production of SINGIN' IN THE RAIN played at the Gershwin and was followed by an extensive national tour. In 2002, Ms. Tharp's award-winning dance musical MOVIN' OUT, set to the music and lyrics of Billy Joel, premiered at the Richard Rodgers, where it ran for three years. A national tour opened in 2004 and also ran for three years. For MOVIN' OUT Ms. Tharp received the 2003 Tony Award, 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. For the London production Ms. Tharp won Best Choreography (Musical Theatre) Award of the UK's Critics' Circle National Dance Awards 2006. In 2006 Ms. Tharp worked with Bob Dylan's music and lyrics to create THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN' which played at the Brooks Atkinson.

In film Ms. Tharp has collaborated with director Milos Forman on HAIR in 1978, RAGTIME in 1980, and AMADEUS in 1984, with Taylor Hackford on WHITE NIGHTS in 1985 and with James Brooks on I'LL DO ANYTHING in 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. Ms. Tharp co-directed the television special BARYSHNIKOV BY THARP, which won two Emmy Awards as well as the Director's Guild of America Award for Outstanding Director Achievement.

In 1992 Ms. Tharp wrote her autobiography PUSH COMES TO SHOVE. In 2003 she wrote, THE CREATIVE HABIT: Learn it and Use it for Life. In 2009 she wrote, THE COLLABORATIVE HABIT: Life Lessons for Working Together both of which were published by Simon and Schuster.

Today Ms. Tharp continues to create.
Twyla Tharp