Works
 

Tank Dive

Description

Tank Dive begins as Tharp enters a darkened room wearing a pair of heeled shoes. She stands in parallel fourth position and spins a yo-yo representing the earth. The pop hit "Downtown" plays in the background as a tongue-in-cheek statement about the location of the New York underground arts scene and its rebellion against popular culture. Tharp counterbalances in a flat-back position against the weight of a second pair of shoes, a direct reference to the Egyptian goddess Nut. The title Tank Dive reflects Tharp’s belief that becoming a successful choreographer is equivalent to the chances of successfully diving into a thimbleful of water from a great height. These specially designed, oversized wooden shoes also serve as springboard to her exaggerated diver's poses. 

    
The Egyptian Goddess Nut (left) and Tharp in flat-back position

The second section of the dance is a quartet in which performers quickly weave in and out of the space, moving diagonally from corner to corner.  

The final section is a short solo for Tharp that recalls the yo-yo’s unraveling action with spiraling movements towards the floor. A final, fast recovery ends the piece with another iconic image as Tharp snaps into a pose duplicating that of Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man.

  
Leonardo Da Vinci's The Vitruvian Man (left) and Tharp duplicating the position.

Photos

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  • Tharp rehearses at Hunter College. ©Robert Barry
  • Tharp rehearses at Hunter College. ©Robert Barry
  • Tharp rehearses at Hunter College. ©Robert Barry
  • Tank Dive
    Announcement for premiere performance.  ©Twyla Tharp

Video

Tharp in two brief excerpts, filmed by Robert Barry. ©Twyla Tharp
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Music

Music Program:

Downtown
Written by Tony Hatch
Performed by Petula Clark
Released by Warner Bros Records - 1965

Performance History

Twyla Tharp
April 29, 1965
Notes:

Premiere performance
Additional performance on April 30, 1965

Twyla Tharp and Dancers
Judson Memorial Church, New York, NY
October 29, 1966
Notes:

Additional performances on October 30 & 31, 1966
Works on this program: Re-Moves (premiere), Twelve Foot Change (premiere), Tank Dive

Twyla Tharp and Dancers
Künstverein, Stuttgart, Germany
February 18, 1967
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