Twyla Tharp Teaches Salem How to Dance

The renowned dancer, choreographer, writer and director Twyla Tharp, honored Salem College with her presence this October. Tharp and accompanying dancers produced a multifaceted program in Salem College’s Hanes Auditorium. The performance included excerpts from two of Tharp’s original pieces as well as a Q and A with the artist, reception and book signing. June Porter Johnson sponsored the event.

Six of Salem College’s dance students, two professional dancers Rika Okamoto and Alexander Brady, and one hundred members of the Winston-Salem community took the stage in turn to bring Tharp’s choreography to life. The dancers worked either in total silence, to music or with live commentary from Tharp.

Tharp spent her time in Winston-Salem working closely with six select Salem College dance students.The dancers complimented Tharp’s talk by demonstrating different types of movement and fragments of choreographed dance

“Each day that we spent in classes and rehearsals, gave a glimpse of what it is like to be a professional dancer” said one of the Salem six, “I am honored to have participated in this residency and it is an experience and opportunity that I will never forget.”.

Tharp also offered open training sessions to teach one hundred Winston-Salemites, eleven seconds of her movement tour de force “The One Hundreds.”

“This experience was so much fun! I’m no dancer but it was fun to dress up silly and get up on stage” said one participant.

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