Men's Piece


Men’s Piece is a short theatrical work that blends concert dance with the lecture/demonstration format. Tharp's narration, not unlike The Bix Pieces, is at once humorous, personal and academic.

A line of white tape divides the stage into two halves: “WORK” and “PLAY.” Tharp moves back and forth across the border. On one side, she teaches three men a march with rapid-fire instructions, such as “retrograde the inversion” and “flip fronts 94°.” On the other, she partners Kevin O’Day, alternately waltzing and grappling with him. Their final duet is based on isometric partnering - equal but opposing forces.


  • Men's Piece
    Tharp in rehearsal. ©Martha Swope
  • Tharp and Bishton rehearse. ©Martha Swope


A brief excerpt featuring Tharp and O'Day.
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Music Program:

Stand By Your Man
Performed by Tammy Wynette
Written by Tammy Wynette and Billy Sherrill

Champagne Charlie
Performed by Leon Redbone
Written by George Leybourne

He Loves and She Loves
Performed by Fred Astaire
Written by George and Ira Gershwin

Strike Up the Band
Performed by
Written by Geroge and Ira Gershwin

Do I Love You?
Performed by Cole Porter
Written by Cole Porter

Performance History

Twyla Tharp Dance
October 4, 1991

Works on this program: Octet (premiere), Men's Piece (premiere), Deuce Coupe III

Twyla Tharp Dance
October 5, 1991
Twyla Tharp Dance
New York City Center, New York, NY
January 28, 1992
Twyla Tharp Dance
New York City Center, New York, NY
January 30, 1992

Additional performances on February 1 & 2, 1992
Works on this program: Sextet (premiere), Men's Piece, The Golden Section

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