Works
 

Surfer At The River Styx

Description

Tharp re-formed a company after completing work on two large ballets, The Beethoven Seventh and The Brahms-Haydn Variations. One of the first works created for this group was Surfer At The River Styx.

The dance references elements of Euripides’ play The Bacchae, wherein the god Dionysus challenges the hubris of King Pentheus, a mortal. The two lead men, backed by a chorus of four dancers, compete in escalating displays of virtuosity. Bright footlights cast the men’s enormous shadows on the back wall as they outdo one another. 

When the king is bested by the god, order is restored and the two men are reunified with the chorus. In a long, sustained lift, a woman is elevated in a stream of light high above the stage, a final image of transcendence. 

Photos

144
  • Surfer at the River Styx
    Parkinson, Selya and Bowman in performance. ©Bruce R. Feeley
  • Surfer at the River Styx
    Bowman, Asnes and Selya perform. ©Bruce R. Feeley  
  • Surfer at the River Styx
    Parkinson, Roberts and Huber in performance. ©Bruce R. Feeley

Video

Company dancers during dress rehearsal.
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Music

Music Program:

Original Music by Donald Knaack
Coda Composer:  David Kahne
Sound Design and Production:  David Kahne

Performance History

Twyla Tharp Dance
June 6, 2000
Notes:

Additional performances on June 7 & 8, 2000
Works on this program: Mozart Clarinet Quintet K.581 (premiere), Surfer At The River Styx (premiere)

Twyla Tharp Dance
September 29, 2000
Notes:

Additional performances on September 30 - October 1, 2000
Works on this program: Mozart Clarinet Quintet K.581, Surfer At The River Styx

Twyla Tharp Dance
February 16, 2001
Notes:

Additional performances on February 17-18, 2001
Works on this program: Mozart Clarinet Quintet K.581, Surfer At The River Styx

Twyla Tharp Dance
Joyce Theater, New York, NY
February 20, 2001
Notes:

Additional performances on February 21-25, 2001
Works on this program: Mozart Clarinet Quintet K.581, Surfer At The River Styx

Twyla Tharp Dance
Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
June 21, 2001
Notes:

Additional performance on June 22, 2001
Works on this program: Mozart Clarinet Quintet K.581, Surfer At The River Styx

Twyla Tharp Dance
February 1, 2002
Twyla Tharp Dance
January 11, 2003
Notes:

Additional performance on January 12, 2003
Works on this program: Even The King (premiere), Westerly Round, Surfer At The River Styx

Twyla Tharp Dance
Jones Hall, Houston, TX
January 24, 2003
Notes:
Twyla Tharp Dance
The Egg, Albany, NY
February 15, 2003
Notes:
Twyla Tharp Dance
March 26, 2003
Notes:
Twyla Tharp Dance
June 18, 2003
Notes:

Additional performances on June 19-22, 2003
Works on this program: Junk Duet, The Fugue, Westerly Round, Surfer At The River Styx

Twyla Tharp Dance
June 26, 2003
Notes:

Additional performances on June 27 & 28, 2003
Works on this program: Westerly Round, Even The King, Surfer At The River Styx

Twyla Tharp Dance
Sadler's Wells, London, United Kingdom
July 3, 2003
Notes:

Additional performances on July 4 & 5, 2003
Works on this program: Surfer At The River Styx, The Fugue, Junk Duet, Westerly Round

Twyla Tharp Dance
Joyce Theater, New York, NY
July 28, 2003
Notes:
Twyla Tharp Dance
McCarter Theatre Center, Princeton, NJ
September 25, 2003
Notes:
Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, San Francisco, CA
May 8, 2010
Notes:

Additional performance on May 9, 2010

Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek, CA
May 14, 2010
Notes:

Additional performance on May 15, 2010

Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, San Francisco, CA
April 30, 2011
Notes:

Additional performance on May 1, 2011

Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek, CA
May 13, 2011
Notes:

Additional performance on May 14, 2011

February 23, 2012
Notes:

Additional performances on February 23-26, 2012
Works on this program: Push Comes To Shove, Surfer At The River Styx, Nine Sinatra Songs