Tank Dive

Tank Dive
World premiere date
Premiere location place
New York, NY
Dance sections

I. Solo: Tharp

II. Quartet: Constance, Huot, McFarland, Severson

III. Solo: Tharp

Dancers

Twyla Tharp with Ann McFarland, Anne Severson, Christopher Constance, Robert Huot

Runtime
:04:20

Tank Dive begins as Tharp enters a darkened room wearing a pair of heeled shoes. She stands in parallel fourth position and spins a yo-yo representing the earth. The pop hit "Downtown" plays in the background as a tongue-in-cheek statement about the location of the New York underground arts scene and its rebellion against popular culture. Tharp counterbalances in a flat-back position against the weight of a second pair of shoes, a direct reference to the Egyptian goddess Nut. The title Tank Dive reflects Tharp’s belief that becoming a successful choreographer is equivalent to the chances of successfully diving into a thimbleful of water from a great height. These specially designed, oversized wooden shoes also serve as springboard to her exaggerated diver's poses. 

    
The Egyptian Goddess Nut (left) and Tharp in flat-back position

The second section of the dance is a quartet in which performers quickly weave in and out of the space, moving diagonally from corner to corner.  

The final section is a short solo for Tharp that recalls the yo-yo’s unraveling action with spiraling movements towards the floor. A final, fast recovery ends the piece with another iconic image as Tharp snaps into a pose duplicating that of Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man.

  
Leonardo Da Vinci's The Vitruvian Man (left) and Tharp duplicating the position.

  • Tank Dive
    Announcement for premiere performance.  ©Twyla Tharp
  • image
    Tharp rehearses at Hunter College. ©Robert Barry
  • image
    Tharp rehearses at Hunter College. ©Robert Barry
  • image
    Tharp rehearses at Hunter College. ©Robert Barry
Video Description

Tharp in two brief excerpts, filmed by Robert Barry.

Video Permissions

©Twyla Tharp

Video Permissions

©Twyla Tharp

Full music program

Downtown
Written by Tony Hatch
Performed by Petula Clark
Released by Warner Bros Records - 1965

Music details
Music track
downtown_sample_1.mp3
Dancing in the Streets - Tank Dive - Disperse - Group Activities - Generation - After 'Suite' - Medley | Twyla Tharp and Dancers
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York, NY
Dancing in the Streets - Tank Dive - Disperse - Group Activities - Generation - After 'Suite' - Medley | Twyla Tharp and Dancers
The Wadsworth Atheneum
Hartford, CT
Tank Dive | Twyla Tharp and Dancers
Künstverein
Stuttgart, Germany
Re-Moves (premiere) - Twelve Foot Change (premiere) - Tank Dive | Twyla Tharp and Dancers
Judson Memorial Church
New York, NY
Tank Dive (premiere)
Hunter College Art Dept. - Room 1604
New York, NY