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.
A brief excerpt featuring Tharp and O'Day.
Stand By Your Man
Performed by Tammy Wynette
Written by Tammy Wynette and Billy Sherrill
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
Written by Geroge and Ira Gershwin
Do I Love You?
Performed by Cole Porter
Written by Cole Porter