Minimalism and Me by Twyla Tharp

Minimalism and Me: A fascinating lesson through dance history this afternoon with Twyla Tharp at the Joyce Theater.

Who wants go to back and see the show again with me???

Today’s program is by far my favorite among the different works I’ve seen by Twyla.

Twyla explored minimalism at the start of her career. In her first ever work “Tank Dive”, premiered in 1965, she held second position in elevĂ© for 3.5 continuous minutes while Petula Clark’s recording of “Downtown” played in the background. And that’s it. That is the entirety of choreography. Yet “Tank Dive” was oddly satisfying to watch.

From there, Twyla explored how she could continue to reduce dance into even simpler movements. What could possibly be less than holding the second position, you ask? The answer is… a lot!!!

She and her close-knit group of female dancers “did not take curtain bows” back then because “often there was no audience left by the end of the performance” according to Twyla, as she retold the stories jokingly and proudly. “We danced wherever we could dance.” Indeed, they experimented with and redefined the boundaries of dance.

Act I on minimalism ended with the amazing “The Fugue”, premiered in 1970. I’ve seen the piece before, but Twyla’s stories today gave the piece a whole new interpretation.

Bravos to all the talented and passionate dancers, Kara Chan, Kellie Drobnick, Mary Beth Hansohn, Matthew Dibble, Ronnie Todorowski, Reed Tankersley, for recreating the dances for us today. Thank you for a marvelous show!!!

Twyla Tharp Dance

Am absolutely excited about the start of 2017-2018 Season at the Joyce Theater!!!

The new season at began this week with Twyla Tharp Dance presenting four choreographies, separated in time by 47 years as Twyla explores the language of dance throughout her career. We were treated to choreographies as varied as “The Fugue” (created in 1970 without music) and excerpts of “Entr’acte” (produced this year, using a spoken dialogue between Twyla and the audience to start off the piece).

My favorite part of the night, however, belonged to the curtain chat. Twyla, needing no introduction, took the mic and spoke candidly as the audience called out questions.

How did the 70s differ from today? (People were willing — and could afford — to work for free.)

Why do you create dance without music? (Twyla choreographed without music for 5 years, as part of her exploration.)

What do you look for in a dancer? (I need to fall in love with the dancer.)

What is your favorite choreography? (How many children do you have?)

Advice to dancers? (Work, work, work.)