The History of Up And Down, I & II


A work for the company and a large group of students, The History of Up and Down I consists of two sets of exercises: The Beginner's Exercise Book and the Oberlin Exercise Book. These exercises are performed to music by Willie "The Lion" Smith and Jelly Roll Morton in a gymnasium.  

The History of Up and Down II is performed on stage to "Walking the Dog" by Rufus Thomas. The choreography for the stage version was organized by computer.  The dancers learn the computer program's reorganized sections and perform the phrases in conjunction with a student's independently designed light plot. 

This material was later revised to become Eight Jelly Rolls (1971).


Rehearsal and performance footage of Tharp, dancers and Oberlin College students.
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Performance History

Twyla Tharp and Dancers
January 22, 1971

Premiere performance
Additional performance on January 23, 1971.