Short Stories differs from Tharp’s previous works to popular music in two distinct ways: the first being that the subject matter is much darker, at times even violent. The second is in the way Tharp folds the lyric text into the narrative of the dance. The dramatic scenes unfold in sequences of complex partnering and dance phrases layered with mimetic gestures.
The opening section presents three couples and the attractions and jealousies between them. The song ends as three “love ‘em and leave ‘em” men walk away from the woman who was once the object of their interest.
A second scenario of love and envy is presented in the next section. Tensions mount between two couples – one easy and lyrical, the other charged and edgy – until it comes to blows in a final slow-motion struggle.
1. Lover Boy
Performed by Supertramp
Written by Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson
From the Album “Even In The Quietest Moments” – 1977
Released by A&M Records
Written and Performed by Bruce Springsteen
From The Album “Born To Run” – 1975
Released by Columbia Records