Twyla Tharp Biography
(Dancer and Choreographer)
Birthday: July 1, 1941 (Cancer)
Born In: Portland
One of the most talented choreographers ever to grace modern American stage and films, Twyla Tharp is a dancer cum choreographer best known for creating newer and unique styles of dances. A graceful and curious child from the very beginning, she was exposed to music and dance from the time she was just eighteen months old. Her mother, a piano teacher, had ambitious dreams for her children and started teaching Twyla as soon as the girl was old enough to learn. Her parents operated a local drive-in movie theater and being exposed to the glitz and glamour of show business from childhood ensured that she grew up to be a confident young woman. As a young girl she not only received dance lessons, but also learned to play several musical instruments like violin, piano, and drums. Her hectic childhood schedule prepared her for the exciting career she eventually made for herself as a dancer and a choreographer. Skilled at several forms of dance-- ballet, tap, jazz, and modern—she began her career with the Paul Taylor Dance Company before establishing her own company, Twyla Tharp Dance a few years later. With her quirky sense of humor and innovative style she carved a niche for herself and went on to become one of the best known faces of choreography in America.