“This is just a rough draft,” the choreographer Twyla Tharp said on a sunny afternoon in her apartment on Central Park West. “We must be nervous if we’re a writer.”
But truthfully, she didn’t seem that anxious as she read material for an upcoming talk in Chicago called “Minimalism and Me.” No, she was in full-on performance mode.
“I began my career with a right angle,” she said with a flourish.
In 1965, Ms. Tharp unveiled her first work, “Tank Dive”: With straight legs, she bent her body forward with a flat back, in reference to the Egyptian goddess Nut. To her, Nut was simply a horizontal and a vertical figure, without spiritual connotations.
“This might not seem much of a toehold,” she continued from her notes about “Tank Dive,” “but to me it was indeed a universe.”
This fall, Ms. Tharp, 76, will provide three opportunities for viewers to explore her complex choreographic universe, which has its roots in modern dance but soon grew to include ballet, as well as movies and Broadway. Even if you’ve never watched one of her dances live, you’ve likely felt her influence.
Ms. Tharp’s season begins at the Joyce Theater (Sept. 19-Oct. 8). In November comes a premiere at the Royal Ballet in London; and the next month Ms. Tharp travels to the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago for “Minimalism and Me,” the lecture-performance, focusing on her dances created from 1965 to 1970.
It’s a lot. There is, however, a common thread: Ms. Tharp is diving into her past to fuel her present.
“This is her life,” Linda Shelton, the Joyce’s executive director, said about all the activity. “I think it’s in her DNA, and she doesn’t seem to be slowing down. She’s in the studio all the time. Maybe this is a new chapter. She certainly still has that drive and ambition.”
Read more at The New York Times.