I can still remember the 1973 New York premiere of Twyla Tharp’s Deuce Coupe by the Joffrey Ballet and how people sailed out of theater, light of foot and buoyant of heart. The piece, presciently commissioned by Robert Joffrey, was a breakthrough in many ways. One of the most adventurous and scrappy young postmodernists had breached the longstanding division between ballet and modern dance and made a work that celebrated and united both styles, as if to say, “It’s all dancing. What’s your problem?” And such dancing! Some members of Joffrey’s company had been puzzled and recalcitrant about appearing in this work to tunes by the Beach Boys and being joined onstage by Tharp’s dancers. But those who persisted must have been amply rewarded. The audience cheered—thrilled by such unusual sights as the Joffrey’s Gary Chryst partnering Tharp herself, or Beatriz Rodriguez rippling her spine along with... More >>>