Twyla Tharp and Dancers

May 12 – 22, 1977

Country of Origin United States
Description Tharp’s 1977 appearance at BAM was notable for its benefit performances and special appearances. The company’s engagement featured eight dances spread out over three programs. But two nights were benefit performances for the Twyla Tharp Dance Foundation that featured live music by Paul Simon. Tharp integrated Simon into the evening by piecing together a compendium dance, The Hodge Podge, with excerpts from her previous dances. The final two sections, however, were premieres set to Simon’s music (Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover and Simon Medley), which he performed onstage. Actresses Hermione Gingold and Shelley Duvall also made benefit appearances, as narrators in The Bix Pieces. And the benefit unveiled another premiere, Mud, which was billed as “A World Premiere (for Adidas and Pointe Shoes).” Though Mud didn’t remain active in Tharp’s repertoire, it’s credited as being a prototype for her later, signature dance, In the Upper Room, which also combined sneakers and pointe shoes, and explored the movement characteristic to each. In the Upper Room went on to have numerous international performances by both TTD and prominent dance companies; it remains in active repertoire at ABT and others.
Identifier 1977s.00248