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Twyla Tharp
Twyla Tharp.jpg
Born July 1, 1941 (1941-07-01) (age 80)
Occupation Choreographer, dancer
Years active 1960s–present
Awards Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Choreography, 2003 Movin' Out
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography 1985 Baryshnikov by Tharp With American Ballet Theatre
Tony Award for Best Choreography 2003 Movin' Out

Twyla Tharp (born July 1 1941) is an American dancer and choreographer. She lives and works in New York City.

Her work often uses classical music, jazz, and contemporary pop music. In 1973, Tharp choreographed the ballet Deuce Coupe to the music of The Beach Boys. It is considered to be the first crossover ballet. Later she choreographed Push Comes to Shove. That ballet featured Mikhail Baryshnikov and is now thought to be the best example of the crossover ballet.

Tharp has choreographed dances for many important ballet companies around the world. She also has had success on Broadway. In 1985, her staging of Singin' in the Rain, played at the Gershwin for 367 performances. Her dance musical Movin' Out ran for 1,331 performances on Broadway. The musical is set to the music and lyrics of Billy Joel. It received 10 Tony Award nominations and Tharp was named Best Choreographer.

Honors and awards

Twyla Tharp received two Emmy Awards, 19 honorary doctorates, the Vietnam Veterans of America President’s Award, the 2004 National Medal of the Arts.

Tharp was inducted into the Academy of Achievement in 1993.

She was named a Kennedy Center Honoree for 2008.


  • Hair
  • Ragtime
  • Amadeus
  • White Nights
  • I'll Do Anything

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