Works
 

Medley

Description

Medley marks a shift from presenting dance in abstract space into performances in real-world locations. The Medley event begins an hour before sunset in an open field when a crowd of sixty student performers emerges from the audience and into complex, choreographed formations. In Twyla Tharp's Scrapbook (1983), Tharp remarks that "to exist in a natural surround, we needed the appearance of spontaneity. So, I carefully plotted chaos." There is no designated seating for the audience and performers wear everyday clothing while executing pedestrian actions, blurring the lines between audience and performers.

Six dancers are featured in solos and group dances, and lead two groups of students through "The Movement Machine," wherein the students are arranged into battalions and perform intricate canonic motions in one-second intervals.  


A map of the performance space in Medley. Page 34 of 152.

The final section of Medley is an adagio performed in relay. The company members have half an hour to complete one phrase; one dancer starts just as the other finishes. The shift from movement to movement within the adagio is so subtle as to be almost imperceptible. The last dancer disappears quietly into nightfall as the sun finally sets. 

  


Notes for the "Movement Machine" showing the student battalions. Page 10, 15 and 16 of 152.

Photos

73
  • Medley
    Wright rehearses with American Dance Festival students at Connecticut College. ©Len Knyper
  • Medley
    Wright, Rudner, Figueroa and Dickinson rehearse at Connecticut College.  ©Len Knyper  
  • Medley
    Rudner rehearses at Connecticut College.  ©Len Knyper
  • Medley
    Rudner and Raj rehearse at Connecticut College. ©Len Knyper
  • Medley
    American Dance Festival students in "The Movement Machine" at Connecticut College. ©Len Knyper
  • Medley
    American Dance Festival students in "The Movement Machine" at Connecticut College.  ©Len Knyper
  • Medley
    Students perform in New York's Central Park. ©Katrina Thomas

Video

Rehearsal and performance footage recorded in New York City's Central Park.
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Performance History

Twyla Tharp and Dancers
Lyman Allyn Museum Lawn, New London, CT
July 19, 1969
Notes:

Premiere performance

Twyla Tharp and Dancers
Central Park, New York, NY
September 13, 1969
Twyla Tharp and Dancers
The Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT
November 11, 1969
Notes:

Works on this program: Dancing in the Streets... (premiere) included excerpts from Tank Dive, Disperse, Group Activities, Generation, After 'Suite', Medley

Twyla Tharp and Dancers
January 22, 1970
Notes:

Works on this program: Dancing in the Streets... included excerpts from: Tank Dive, Disperse, Group Activities, Generation, After 'Suite', Medley

Twyla Tharp Dance
The Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, Scotland
September 6, 1976
Notes:

Additional performances on September 7 & 8, 1976
Works on this program: Country Dances, From Hither and Yon (premiere), The Fugue

Twyla Tharp Dance
May 12, 1977
Notes:

Additional performance on May 19, 1977
Works on this program:  The Hodge Podge (premiere), Mud (premiere), The Bix Pieces