Sue's Leg

Sue's leg thumbnail
World premiere date
Premiere location place
St. Paul, MN
Commissioner
Dance sections

I. Please Take Me Out of Jail: Tharp, Wright, Rawe, Rinker

II. I Can’t Give You Anything But Love: Tharp, Wright, Rawe, Rinker

III. I Can’t Give You Anything But Love: Tharp

IV. Fat and Greasy: Wright, Rawe, Rinker

V. Tea For Two: Tharp, Wright, Rawe, Rinker

VI. Ain’t Misbehavin’: Tharp

VII. I’m Livin’ in a Great Big Way: Tharp, Wright, Rawe, Rinker

VIII. In the Gloamin’: Tharp, Wright, Rawe, Rinker

IX. I’ve Got My Fingers Crossed: Tharp, Wright, Rawe, Rinker

Dancers

Tom Rawe, Kenneth Rinker, Twyla Tharp, Rose Marie Wright

Total number of dancers
4
Runtime
00:24:16
Other program information

From the original program: "Sue's Leg, to music by Fats Waller, was written in New York City from November 5 to December 20, 1974. It is dedicated to Suzanne Weil" 

Sue's Leg is named for and dedicated to Sue Weil, who sponsored the company's residencies at the St. Paul Civic Center in Minnesota. The dance was built during one of these residencies over the course of a month. All rehearsals were open to the public free of charge for the entire creation and rehearsal process.

Risky partnering and complex counterbalances enhance the theatrical tension in the movement vocabulary. The illusion of the dancers' unconcerned attitude is heightened by the technical difficulty in Tharp's choreography. 

On the night of the premiere, the dance was performed twice: once to open the show and again to close it. The first performance was fully produced with lights and costumes, which are exact replicas of the dancers' own rehearsal clothes but in rich fabrics. The second performance was presented in the original rehearsal clothes under work lights. Presenting the work twice served to lay bare the choreography, outside of the theatrical elements of lights and costume.

  • Sue's Leg new
    Rawe, Tharp, Wright and Rinker perform in rehearsal clothes. ©Bill Davis
  • image
    Rawe, Tharp, Wright and Rinker perform in costume. ©Tom Berthiaume
Video Description

Tharp, Wright, Rawe and Rinker perform at Town Hall in New York City.

Full music program

1. Please Take Me Out Of Jail
Written and Composed by Fats Waller
Published by Viktor Recordings – 1927

2. I Can’t Give You Anything But Love
Written by Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields – 1928
Recorded by Fats Waller for Viktor Recordings – 1938

3. Fat and Greasy
Written by Porter Grainger and Charlie Johnson
Recorded by Fats Waller for RCA – 1935

4. Tea for Two
Written by Vincent Youmans and Irving Caesar – 1925
Recorded by Fats Waller for HMV – 1935

5. Ain’t Misbehavin’
Written by Andy Razaf, Fats Waller and Harry Brooks
Published by Viktor recordings – 1929

6. I’m Living in a Great Big Way
Written by Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields
For the Musical “Hooray for Love” starring Fats Waller – 1935

7. In The Gloaming
Written by Annie Fortescue Harrison and Meta Orred – 1877
Recorded by Fats Waller for Viktor Recordings – 1938

8. I’ve Got My Fingers Crossed
Written by Ted Koehler and Jimmy McHugh
For the Film “King of Burlesque” starring Fats Waller – 1936

Music details
Music track
webmusic-suesleg.mp3
Audio sample

I Can't Give You Anything But Love
By Fats Waller

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Fort Worth Art Museum
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Municipal Auditorium
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American Dance Festival at Connecticut College
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Town Hall
New York, NY
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Ohio Wesleyan University
Delaware, OH
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St. Paul Civic Center
St. Paul, MN