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Twyla Tharp
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    (July 1, 1941- )
    Born in Portland, Indiana
    Choreographed dances for the American Ballet Theatre, the New York City Ballet, the Joffrey Ballet, the Royal Ballet, the Paris Opera Ballet and the Martha Graham Dance Company
    Choreographed the Broadway shows 'The Catherine Wheel' (1981), 'Singin' in the Rain' (1985) and 'Movin' Out' (2002)
    Choreographed the films 'Hair' (1978), 'Amadeus' (1984), 'White Nights' (1985) and 'I'll Do Anything' (1994)
    Choreographed the TV special 'Baryshnikov by Tharp' (1985)
    She was named after the 'Pig Princess' at the Muncie Fair.
    She was turned down by the Rockettes because she was too short and did not smile enough.
    She appeared in a Gap ad.
    Her attempt to build a Broadway show around the songs of Bob Dylan, 'The Times They Are a-Changin,' was a critical and commercial flop (2006).
    She said of her decision to found her own dance troupe, 'You have to be either hopelessly passionate or very stupid.'
    She successfully choregraphed ballets to the music of the Beach Boys, David Byrne and Billy Joel.
    Mikhail Baryshnikov said of her innovative dances, 'She is free of clichés.'
    Among her many honors are two Emmy Awards, a Tony, two Laurence Olivier Theatre Awards, the National Medal of Arts and a MacArthur Foundation 'Genius Grant.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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