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  Dancer Caitlin Cooney in Deuce Coupe in fall 2006. Photographer Steve Wilson.
   

Deuce Coupe
Choreography: Twyla Tharp
Music: The Beach Boys

The Oxford Dictionary of Ballet describes Deuce Coupe as “a set of dances, with classical steps originally performed in alphabetical order, while around them the ensemble explodes with eccentric pop movement, until a kind of fusion of pop and ballet emerges.” Twyla Tharp’s 1973 creation, Deuce Coupe, now stands as the so-called “cross-over ballet” that put such works on the map. The music’s infectious good humor and animation inspire references to the pop/social dances of its era: the frug, the jerk, the swim, the monkey, as well as more formally theatrical arrangements for duets, trios and canons. Tharp has described her ballet as being “about teenagers” and her ballet’s mood as one of young people at play, say, junior high kids in the process of figuring themselves out.

Kansas City Ballet Premiere: October 12, 2006, Lyric Theatre

 

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