I Cried to Twyla Tharp

29 Apr

There are a handful of people that they teach you about when you grow up dancing. You’re in your first year of ballet and they tell you about Baryshnikov, you get your first pointe shoe and they teach you about Pavlova, you take a modern dance class and they spend like 20 minutes talking about the techniques of Graham. These greats, among others like Ailey, Tharp, Balanchine, Taylor and Fosse are the creators of many styles we learn today. Being a girl from Georgia, I never thought that I would ever have the chance to meet any of these people. They felt like mythical creatures. But then the day came.

I was sitting at my desk and I hear from across the room “Guys, I was in the elevator with Twyla.” Immediately my ears perk up and I immediately blurt out “Twyla? Like Twyla Twyla? Like THE Twyla? Twyla Tharp Twyla?” and he goes “Morgan, there’s only one Twyla.”

Twyla Tharp was in the building. The legend that created a blended style of ballet and modern dance was in the building. The same building that I was in.

Then, I hear a voice from the other side of the wall. “Everybody, this is Twyla.” Immediately I start crying. Now, I’m not a crier, and I have no idea what possessed me to start crying. But I did.

They come over to me and as I cry (holding back as much as I could) I introduce myself to the small lady in the red glasses and I tell her how much I love her work. She was probably very confused as to why I was crying. Twyla Tharp was one of the people that made me fall in love with ballet. Learning about her choreography impacted my own choreography. She was someone that I had idolized for years and even though I knew she was doing a ballet for ABT, I never thought that an intern would be special enough for an introduction. What made it even better was that after that moment and throughout my time at ABT, I saw Twyla in rehearsals and just walking down the halls. It made everything about this place so surreal. Twyla, among so many other people under this roof, are so important in the world of dance, and I got to meet them. I got to watch them rehearse. I got to see the way that they create such amazing pieces of art. ABT is a magical place where so many people come together to produce art and getting to be a part of that process is why I came to New York. Meeting (and crying to) Twyla was just icing on the cake.

Morgan Weigle

Executive Office Intern

Spring 2019

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