Works
 

In The Upper Room

Description

Following a grueling year of touring, Tharp's company took a year long haitus, reassembling in May 1986. The first new piece they performed was In The Upper Room.

Tharp commissioned composer Philip Glass to create a new score.  "The music hints at things, but I tried to leave a lot of space for the dance to happen,” states Glass, “In that way the dancers complete it, fill it in." The choreography fuses a broad spectrum of movement into one vigorous vocabulary; boxing, tap dance, yoga, ballet and full-out sprinting are intertwined. The dancers must push through the difficult steps, intricate timing and aerobic demands of the choreography.

The dancers appear and disappear through fog and lights designed by Jennifer Tipton. The costumes by Norma Kamali begin as black and white striped jumpsuits. As the piece progresses, the dancers shed layers of clothing, revealing bright red under-layers and sweaty skin.  

In The Upper Room synthesizes choreography, costumes, music and lighting into a transcendent experience for both audience and performers. It has become a central piece in the repertories of dance companies worldwide.

Photos

65
  • In The Upper Room
    Company dancers in a promotional photo. © Richard Avedon Courtesy of The Richard Avedon Foundation
  • Uchida, Foldi and Washington - "The Stompers"  - in performance. ©Herbert Migdoll
  • Company dancers in performance at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1987.  © Tom Brazil
  • Company dancers perform at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1987. © Tom Brazil

Video

Company dancers in the first studio run-through.
1 of 1

Music

Music Program:

In the Upper Room
Composed by Philip Glass - 1986
Conducted by Michael Riesman
Released on Orange Mountain Music

1. Dance I
2. Dance II
3. Dance III
4. Dance IV
5. Dance V
6. Dance VI
7. Dance VII
8. Dance VIII
9. Dance IX

Audio Sample: 

Dance III
By Philip Glass

Performance History

Twyla Tharp Dance
The Little Theatre, Saratoga Springs, NY
July 7, 1986
Notes:

Additional performances on July 8 & 11, 1986
Works on this program: In The Upper Room (preview), Baker's Dozen

Twyla Tharp Dance
The Murray Theatre at Ravinia, Highland Park, IL
August 28, 1986
Notes:

Additional performance on August 29, 1986
Works on this program: Baker's Dozen, In The Upper Room (premiere)

Twyla Tharp Dance
Volksbühne, Berlin, Germany
September 18, 1986
Notes:

Additional performance on September 20, 1986
Works on this program: Baker's Dozen, In The Upper Room

Twyla Tharp Dance
Teatro Español , Madrid, Spain
October 8, 1986
Notes:

Additional performances on October 10 & 12, 1986
Works on this program: Baker's Dozen, In The Upper Room

Twyla Tharp Dance
Opernhaus Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland
November 7, 1986
Notes:

Works on this program: Baker's Dozen, In The Upper Room

Twyla Tharp Dance
Théâtre de Beaulieu, Lausanne, Switzerland
November 9, 1986
Notes:

Works on this program: Baker's Dozen, In The Upper Room

Twyla Tharp Dance
February 3, 1987
Notes:

Additional performances on February 7-8, 10, 13-14, 18-19 & 25, 1987
Works on this program: Baker's Dozen, In The Upper Room

Twyla Tharp Dance
Playhouse Square Center, Cleveland, OH
April 30, 1987
Notes:

Additional performance on May 2, 1987
Works on this program: Baker's Dozen, In The Upper Room

Twyla Tharp Dance
Victorian Arts Centre, Melbourne, Australia
February 2, 1988
Notes:

Additional performances on February 3 & 10-11, 1988
Works on this program: Baker's Dozen, In The Upper Room

Twyla Tharp Dance
Her Majesty's Theatre, Sydney, Australia
February 16, 1988
Notes:

Additional performances on February 17 & 22-23, 1988
Works on this program: Baker's Dozen, In The Upper Room

Twyla Tharp Dance
His Majesty's Theatre, Perth, Australia
March 2, 1988
Notes:

Additional performance on March 5, 1988
Works on this program: Baker's Dozen, In The Upper Room

Twyla Tharp Dance
The Opera Theatre, Adelaide, Australia
March 8, 1988
Notes:

Additional performance on March 9, 1988
Works on this program: Baker's Dozen, In The Upper Room

Civic Opera House, Chicago, IL
February 8, 1989
Notes:

Works on this program: Bum's Rush, In The Upper Room

Auditorium Theater, Chicago, IL
February 18, 1989
Notes:

Works on this program: Bum's Rush, Quartet, The Fugue, In The Upper Room

War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco, CA
March 2, 1989
Notes:

Works on this program: In The Upper Room, Quartet, Everlast (premiere)

Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA
March 9, 1989
Notes:

Works on this program: In The Upper Room, Bum's Rush, Quartet, Everlast

March 17, 1990
Notes:

Works on this program: Brief Fling, In The Upper Room

Palais Garnier, Paris, France
July 5, 1991
Notes:

Additional performances on July 8, 11 & 14, 1991

Twyla Tharp Dance
New York City Center, New York, NY
September 14, 1993
Notes:

Additional performances on September 16, 18, 21, 23 & 25, 1993
Works on this program: Fever (premiere), Octet, Demeter & Persephone (preview), In The Upper Room

Twyla Tharp Dance
Palais Garnier, Paris, France
October 15, 1993
Notes:
Wang Center, Boston, MA
April 30, 1994
Notes:

Works on this program: Waterbaby Bagatelles (premiere), In The Upper Room

The Royal Opera House, Stockholm, Sweden
October 12, 2000
Notes:

Additional performances on October 20 & 28, 2000
Works on this program: Push Comes To Shove, In The Upper Room

New York City Center, New York, NY
October 26, 2005
Notes:

Additional performances on October 28-29 & November 1, 3, 5-6, 2005

New York City Center, New York, NY
October 18, 2006
Notes:

Works on this program: Sinatra Suite, In The Upper Room

October 25, 2006
Notes:

Additional performances on October 26-29, 2006

La Granja, Segovia, Spain
July 11, 2008
Grimaldi Forum, Monaco
December 26, 2008
March 7, 2009
Notes:

Additional performances on March 8-21, 2009

Four Seasons Centre, Toronto, Canada
April 25, 2009
Notes:

Additional performances on April 26 - May 6, 2009

Zürich Opera House, Zürich, Switzerland
August 28, 2009
Wortham Theater Center, Houston, TX
September 24, 2009
Notes:

Additional performances on September 26 & 27 and October 2-4, 2009

Benedum Center, Pittsburgh, PA
February 12, 2010
Notes:

Additional performances on February 13-14, 2010

Arnoff Center for the Arts, Cincinnati, OH
May 7, 2010
Notes:

Additional performance on May 8, 2010

Birmingham Hippodrome, Birmingham, United Kingdom
September 22, 2010
Sarasota Opera House, Sarasota, FL
December 3, 2010
Notes:

Additional performance on December 4, 2010

Centennial Concert Hall, Winnipeg, Canada
May 4, 2011
Notes:

Additional performances on May 5-8, 2011

Four Seasons Centre, Toronto, Canada
June 15, 2011
Notes:

Additional performances on June 16-19, 2011

New York City Center, New York, NY
November 8, 2011
Notes:

Works on this program: Sinatra Suite, Junk Duet, In The Upper Room

Jubilee Auditorium, Calgary, Canada
September 13, 2012
Notes:

Additional performances on September 14 & 15, 2012

Edmonton, Canada
September 21, 2012
Notes:

Additional performance on September 22, 2012

January 24, 2013
Notes:

Additional performances on January 25-27, 2012

McCaw Hall, Seattle, WA
March 15, 2013
Notes:

Additional performances on March 16 - 17 & March 22 - 24, 2013 
 

CCN Ballet de Lorraine, Nancy, France
April 4, 2013
Benedum Center, Pittsburgh, PA
October 25, 2013
Notes:

Additional performances on October 26 & 27, 2013
Works on this program: Nine Sinatra Songs, In The Upper Room

May 9, 2014
Notes:

Additional Performances on May 10 & 11, 2014