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Dance legend Twyla Tharp awarded Indiana University President's Medal

Twyla Tharp Dance to perform tonight at IU Auditorium

  • Oct. 28, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie has presented the President's Medal for Excellence to modern dance legend Twyla Tharp. The award was presented to the Indiana native Tuesday evening at a dinner in her honor at the Indiana Memorial Union.

The medal, which reproduces the jewel of office worn by IU's president at ceremonies, is the highest honor an IU president can bestow.

Tharp was recognized for her extraordinary merit and achievement in the arts during her stop in Bloomington on the 50th anniversary tour of her dance company. Twyla Tharp Dance will perform tonight at the IU Auditorium.

"Ms. Tharp is known for creativity, innovation and developing unexpected combinations of movement styles built upon the technical precision of ballet," McRobbie said.

During the ceremony, McRobbie expressed his appreciation that Tharp and members of her company spent time with students in the Department of Theatre, Drama and Contemporary Dance during two master classes earlier in the day. The company also is scheduled to speak with IU's contemporary dance students today.

"Your distinguished career is a model for so many aspiring performing artists at Indiana University," McRobbie said.

The Twyla Tharp Dance company has previously performed at IU Bloomington in 1978, 1982 and 2003.

"How wonderful that the IU Auditorium is a stop on this momentous tour," Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel said.

In prepared remarks, Robel noted that the demands of touring and managing a dance company must make each hour of the day a precious commodity for Tharp. "On behalf of the Bloomington campus, I would like to offer our deepest gratitude for the time you and your dancers are giving to our students. It means the world to them, and to us."

Tharp founded her Twyla Tharp Dance company in 1965, at only 23 years of age. Since then she has choreographed more than 160 works, including 129 dances and four full-length ballets in addition to Broadway shows, films and television specials.

Tonight's Twyla Tharp Dance performance at IU Auditorium will feature two pieces that have premiered on the 50th anniversary tour, which began last month. The new works are "Preludes and Fugues," set to J.S. Bach's "Well-Tempered Clavier," and "Yowzie," which will be performed to "raucous" jazz.

Tickets are available for the 7:30 p.m. performance and may be purchased online at IUAuditorium.com, in person at the IU Auditorium Box Office, through Ticketmaster.com, Ticketmaster outlets or charge by phone at 800-745-3000. Seats are $22 to $40 for the general public and $12 to $35 for IU Bloomington students with a valid ID.

Related Links

Michael A. McRobbie presents the President's Medal for Excellence to Twyla Tharp.

Michael A. McRobbie presents the President's Medal for Excellence to Twyla Tharp. | Photo by Chaz Mottinger, Indiana University

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Michael A. McRobbie and Twyla Tharp.

Michael A. McRobbie and Twyla Tharp. | Photo by Chaz Mottinger, Indiana University

Print-Quality Photo

Media Contacts

Ryan Piurek

Karen Land