Fait Accompli


Made for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, Fait Accompli is a showcase of strength and athletic endurance. The inspiration for this piece – both the movement quality and the insistent difficulty - came from Tharp’s work with legendary boxing trainer Teddy Atlas.

The movement is relentless, requiring tenacity and a strong technical foundation. There are no easy parts – the same level of commitment is asked of every dancer in the cast. Fait Accompli points the way to In The Upper Room, which shares this driving spirit. Jennifer Tipton's moving light grid functions as a deus ex machine, disguising the dancers’ entrances and exits through the upstage curtain.


  • Tharp (foreground) with Way, Washington, Glasner and Kellogg during a performance at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1984.   ©Beatriz Schiller
  • Fait Accompli
    Tharp in "Part II." ©Jon Love
  • The men in "Part II" at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1984.  ©Tom Caravaglio


Tharp and company dancers in performance.
1 of 1


Music Program:

These Things Happen (Album)
Composed by David Van Tieghem for Fait Accompli
Recorded by Warner Bros. Records Inc. - 1984

1. Number One/Hunted Animals
2. Men's Line/The Women
3. Remote Viewing
4. Beyond Knowledge and Power
5. Untitled/These Things Happen
6. Boxing
7. The Skyway/Scavengers/Two Worlds
8. Dark Passage/Phantom Power/Fait Accompli


Audio Sample: 

Hunted Animals / Men's Line
By David Van Tieghem

Performance History

Twyla Tharp Dance
November 10, 1983

Additional performance on November 12, 1983.
Works on this program: Fait Accompli (premiere), Baker's Dozen

The Pavilion, Highland Park, IL
August 25, 1995

Additional performance on August 26, 1995
Works on this program: Baker's Dozen, Fait Accompli, Nine Sinatra Songs

Shubert Theatre, Chicago, IL
April 26, 1996

Additional performances from April 27 - May 12, 1996
Works on this program: I Remember Clifford, Fait Accompli