The History of Up And Down, I & II

The History of Up And Down, I & II
World premiere date
Premiere location place
Oberlin, OH

Elizabeth Fain, Isabelle Garcia-Lorca, Sybille Hayn, Sara Rudner, Twyla Tharp,  Rose Marie Wright

Other program information

Presented with the support of the Ohio Arts Council and Gilford Instrument Laboraties.

A work for the company and a large group of students, The History of Up and Down I consists of two sets of exercises: The Beginner's Exercise Book and the Oberlin Exercise Book. These exercises are performed to music by Willie "The Lion" Smith and Jelly Roll Morton in a gymnasium.  

The History of Up and Down II is performed on stage to "Walking the Dog" by Rufus Thomas. The choreography for the stage version was organized by computer.  The dancers learn the computer program's reorganized sections and perform the phrases in conjunction with a student's independently designed light plot. 

This material was later revised to become Eight Jelly Rolls (1971).

  • Tharp rehearses with the Martha Graham Dance Company.

    <p>©Jesse Huot</p>
  • Tharp in rehearsal with the Martha Graham Dance Company.

    <p>© Jesse Huot</p>
Video URL
Video Description

Rehearsal and performance footage of Tharp, dancers and Oberlin College students.

The History of Up and Down (premiere) | Twyla Tharp and Dancers
Jones Field House, Oberlin College
Oberlin, OH