Works
 

Deuce Coupe

Description

Commissioned by Robert Joffrey for The Joffrey Ballet, Deuce Coupe stands both as Tharp's first major commission and the first cross-over ballet, a dance that forms a bridge between modern and classical styles. Set to songs by the iconic American band The Beach Boys, Tharp merged her company with the Joffrey Ballet and created a work that showcased each company’s strengths.

Grounding the piece in classical technique, a solo ballerina dressed in white unflinchingly executes the entire ballet vocabulary from "Ailes de Pigeon" to " Voyagé" throughout the dance. She is the eye of the hurricane as the rest of the dancers swirl and boogie around her.

Tharp hired graffiti artists – artists considered vandals and criminals at the time - to spray paint the backdrop live onstage, challenging the exclusivity of “high art.” Scrolls of white canvas were slowly rolled upwards, eventually covering the entire backdrop with the artists’ tags. 

Photos

108
  • Tharp in the opening of "Cuddle Up."  ©Twyla Tharp
  • Goodman, Garcia-Lorca and Berg perform at New York City Center. ©Tom Rawe  
  • Deuce Coupe
    A dancer performs downstage while graffiti artits create the backdrop. ©Herbert Migdoll
  • The cast in "Wouldn't It Be Nice" in front of the graffiti backdrop. ©Herbert Migdoll

Video

Excerpts of Tharp company dancers and The Joffrey Ballet in performance.
1 of 1

Music

Music Program:

1. Cuddle Up Intro

2. Little Deuce Coupe:
Written by Brian Wilson and Roger Christian
From the Album "Little Deuce Coupe" – 1963

3. Little Honda:
Written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love
From the Album “All Summer Long” – 1964

4. Devoted To You:
Written by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant
From the Album “Beach Boys Party!” – 1965

5. How She Boogalooed It:
Written by Mike Love, Bruce Johnson, Al Jardine, Carl Wilson
From the Album "Wild Honey" – 1967

6. Cuddle Up Interlude

7. Alley Oop:
Written by Dallas Frazier
From the Album “Beach Boys Party!” – 1965

8. Take A Load Off Your Feet:
Written by Al Jardine, Brian Wilson and Gary Winfrey
From the Album “Surf’s Up” – 1971

9. Long Tall Texan:
Written by Henry Strezlecki
From the Album “Beach Boys in Concert” – 1964

10. Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow:
Written by Carl White, Al Frazier, Sonny Harris and Turner Wilson Jr.
From the Album “Beach Boys in Concert” – 1964

11. Catch a Wave:
Written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love
From the Album “Surfer Girl” – 1963

12. Get To Know The Woman:
Written by Dennis Wilson
From the Album “Sunflower” – 1970

13. Cuddle Up Interlude

14. Don’t Go Near The Water:
Written by Mike Love and Al Jardine
From the Album “Surf’s Up” – 1971

15. Cuddle Up Interlude

16. Mama Says:
Written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love
From the Album “Wild Honey” – 1967

17. Wouldn’t It Be Nice:
Written by Brian Wilson, Tony Asher and Mike Love
From the Album “Live in London” -1970

18. Cuddle Up:
Written by Brian Wilson and Daryl Dragon
From the Album “Carl and the Passions – “So Tough” – 1972

Audio Sample: 

Little Deuce Coupe
Performed by the Beach Boys

Performance History

The Joffrey Ballet and Twyla Tharp Dance
Auditorium Theater, Chicago, IL
February 8, 1973
Notes:

Premiere performance.
Additional performances on February 9 & 10, 1973.

The Joffrey Ballet and Twyla Tharp Dance
New York City Center, New York, NY
March 27, 1973
Notes:

Performed during a six-week residency at New York City Center. 

The Joffrey Ballet and Twyla Tharp Dance
San Francisco Opera House, San Francisco, CA
May 29, 1973
Notes:

Additional performances on June 1 & 2, 1973

The Joffrey Ballet and Twyla Tharp Dance
Seattle Opera House, Seattle, WA
June 5, 1973
Notes:

Additional performances June 6-8, 1973.

The Joffrey Ballet and Twyla Tharp Dance
Wolf Trap, Vienna, VA
August 10, 1973
Notes:

Additional performances on August 11 & 12, 1973.

The Joffrey Ballet and Twyla Tharp Dance
New York City Center, New York, NY
October 11, 1973
Notes:

Additional performances on October 13-14, 16 & 21, 1973