nys writers logo


TwylaBookmark and Share

Twyla Tharp

Acclaimed choreographer Twyla Tharp to appear at UAlbany to discuss her career

NYS Writers Institute, Tuesday, March 1, 2016
6:15 p.m. Book signing |Page Hall, 135 Western Ave., Downtown Campus

7:00 p.m. Interview | Page Hall, 135 Western Ave., Downtown Campus

Eminent choreographer Twyla Tharp will discuss her career at a special event on Tuesday, March 1, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. in Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, on the University at Albany Downtown Campus. Tharp will be interviewed on stage by WAMC’s Vice President for News and Programming Joe Donahue. A book signing will precede the event from 6:15 to 6:45pm.  Tharp’s appearance is the kick-off event for a new Capital Region initiative, Pathways to Dance, designed to support dance creation and presentation. The event is free and open to the public and is coordinated by the UAlbany Performing Arts Center and the New York State Writers Institute.

Since graduating from Barnard College in 1963, Twyla Tharp has choreographed more than one hundred sixty works including individual dances, television specials, Hollywood movies, full-length ballets, and Broadway shows.  Over the course of her career, which spans six decades, she has received numerous awards for work that expands the boundaries of ballet and modern dance. She received a Tony Award for Best Choreography and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Choreography for the 2002 musical Movin' Out, and a Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Choreography for the musical Singin' in the Rain. She also is the recipient of the 2004 National Medal of the Arts, the 2008 Jerome Robbins Prize, and a 2008 Kennedy Center Honor.  She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and an Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

In 1965, Tharp founded her dance company, Twyla Tharp Dance.  Her dances, which combine different forms and styles of movement, are known for their creativity, wit, and technical precision coupled with the informality of the street.  

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, The Australian Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, The Martha Graham Dance Company, Miami City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Atlanta Ballet and Royal Winnipeg Ballet.  Her work continues to be performed around the world.

In 1992, Tharp published her autobiography Push Comes to Shove. She went on to write The Creative Habit: Learn it and Use it for Life (2003), followed by The Collaborative Habit: Life Lessons for Working Together (2009). She is currently working on a fourth book.

Pathways to Dance is a new annual eight-county, ten-venue Capital Region initiative administered by Electric City Arts and Entertainment District in concert with Manhattan’s Joyce Theater. It is designed to support dance creation and presentation. For its inaugural year with a focus on the work and life of the legendary Twyla Tharp, Pathways to Dance was awarded a NYS Regional Economic Development Council grant. The grant will support multiple programs and activities including a six-week residency for Tharp’s company at the Catskill Mountain Foundation during which she will choreograph new work that will premiere as part of SPAC’s 50th Anniversary season on June 30th. Other elements of the initial project include an exhibition on the artist and her work in Saratoga Springs; community participation in dance-making through Tharp’s The One Hundreds at various locations; lectures, master classes, films and workshops; and the appearance by Tharp at UAlbany on March 1. Additional funding for the project has been provided by the collaborating venues and the NYS DanceForce.

In addition to Manhattan’s  Joyce Theatre, Catskill Mountain Foundation, and SPAC, members of the Pathways to Dance consortium include the National Museum of Dance (Saratoga County); Proctors (Schenectady); The Egg and UAlbany Performing Arts Center (Albany); Troy Savings Bank Music Hall (Rensselaer); Basilica Hudson (Columbia); and Hubbard Hall (Washington).

For additional information contact  Kim Engel, UAlbany Performing Arts Cener, 518/442-5738, [email protected], or Suzanne Lance, NYS Writers Institute, 518/442-5624, [email protected].