In The Upper Room

In The Upper Room
World premiere date
Premiere location place
Highland Park, IL
Commissioner

The Norman and Rosita Winston Foundation

Dance sections

I. Washington, Stasick and Carrafa, O'Day and Bishton

II. Washington, Stasick, Foldi, Oppenheimer and Colton, Whitener, Foster, Nakagawa, Troy, Santee

III. Washington, O'Day, Foldi, Carrafa, Stasick, Bishton

IV. Colton, Whitener, Foster, Nakagawa, Troy, Santee

V. Washington, Stasick, Foldi and Carrafa. O'Day, Bishton

VI. Stasick, Whitener and Washington, Colton

VII. Carrafa, O'Day, Bishton

VIII. Oppenheimer, Colton, Whitener, Foster, Nakagawa, Troy, Santee

IX. Full Company

Total number of dancers
13
Runtime
00:39:00
Other program information

Music Produced by Kurt Munkacsi
Music conducted by Michael Riesman

From the original program:  "This work was made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. Also, special thanks for the generous support of the Doll Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Mobil Foundation, Inc., The Ida and William Rosenthal Foundation, and Agnes Gund Saalfield."

Originally premiered as Untitled, the title In The Upper Room first came into print on February 3, 1987.

Awards

Olivier Award 
Won:
   Outstanding Achievement in Dance: Twyla Tharp and Jennifer Tipton (1991)

Following a grueling year of touring, Tharp's company took a year long haitus, reassembling in May 1986. The first new piece they performed was In The Upper Room.

Tharp commissioned composer Philip Glass to create a new score.  "The music hints at things, but I tried to leave a lot of space for the dance to happen,” states Glass, “In that way the dancers complete it, fill it in." The choreography fuses a broad spectrum of movement into one vigorous vocabulary; boxing, tap dance, yoga, ballet and full-out sprinting are intertwined. The dancers must push through the difficult steps, intricate timing and aerobic demands of the choreography.

The dancers appear and disappear through fog and lights designed by Jennifer Tipton. The costumes by Norma Kamali begin as black and white striped jumpsuits. As the piece progresses, the dancers shed layers of clothing, revealing bright red under-layers and sweaty skin.  

In The Upper Room synthesizes choreography, costumes, music and lighting into a transcendent experience for both audience and performers. It has become a central piece in the repertories of dance companies worldwide.

  • In The Upper Room
    Company dancers in a promotional photo. © Richard Avedon Courtesy of The Richard Avedon Foundation
  • image
    Uchida, Foldi and Washington - "The Stompers"  - in performance. ©Herbert Migdoll
  • image
    Company dancers in performance at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1987.  © Tom Brazil
  • image
    Company dancers perform at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1987. © Tom Brazil
Video Description

Company dancers in the first studio run-through.

Full music program

In the Upper Room
Composed by Philip Glass - 1986
Conducted by Michael Riesman
Released on Orange Mountain Music

1. Dance I
2. Dance II
3. Dance III
4. Dance IV
5. Dance V
6. Dance VI
7. Dance VII
8. Dance VIII
9. Dance IX

Music details
Music track
webmusic-itur.mp3
Audio sample

Dance III
By Philip Glass

In The Upper Room | Alabama Ballet
Alabama School of Fine Arts
Birmingham, AL
In The Upper Room | Alabama Ballet
Alabama School of Fine Arts
Birmingham, AL
In The Upper Room | Alabama Ballet
Alabama School of Fine Arts
Birmingham, AL
In The Upper Room | Alabama Ballet
Alabama School of Fine Arts
Birmingham, AL
In The Upper Room | Louisville Ballet
The Kentucky Center
Louisville, KY
In The Upper Room | Louisville Ballet
The Kentucky Center
Louisville, KY
In the Upper Room | Ballet de Lorraine
Quai des Arts
Argentan, France
In the Upper Room | Ballet de Lorraine
Le Granit à la Maison du Peuple
Belfort, France
In The Upper Room | Miami City Ballet
Kravis Center for the Performing Arts
West Palm Beach, FL
In The Upper Room | Miami City Ballet
Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Fort Lauderdale, FL
In The Upper Room | Miami City Ballet
Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts
Miami, FL
In The Upper Room | The Australian Ballet
Sydney Opera House, Joan Sutherland Theatre
Sydney, Australia
In The Upper Room | The Australian Ballet
Shanghai Grand Theatre
Shanghai, China
In The Upper Room | The Australian Ballet
National Centre for the Performing Arts
Beijing, China
In The Upper Room | The Australian Ballet
Arts Centre Melbourne
Melbourne, Australia
In the Upper Room | Birmingham Royal Ballet
Theatre Royal Plymouth
Plymouth, UK
In The Upper Room | Birmingham Royal Ballet
Birmingham Hippodrome
Birmingham, UK
In The Upper Room | San Jose Ballet
San Jose Center for the Performing Arts
San Jose, CA
Nine Sinatra Songs - In The Upper Room | Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre
Benedum Center
Pittsburgh, PA
In the Upper Room | Ballet de Lorraine
CCN Ballet de Lorraine
Nancy, France
In The Upper Room | Pacific Northwest Ballet
McCaw Hall
Seattle, WA
In the Upper Room | New National Theatre Tokyo
New National Theatre Tokyo Playhouse
Tokyo, Japan
In The Upper Room | Alberta Ballet
Edmonton, Canada
In The Upper Room | Alberta Ballet
Jubilee Auditorium
Calgary, Canada
Sinatra Suite - Junk Duet - In The Upper Room | American Ballet Theatre
New York City Center
New York, NY
In the Upper Room | National Ballet of Canada
Four Seasons Centre
Toronto, Canada
In The Upper Room | Royal Winnipeg Ballet
Centennial Concert Hall
Winnipeg, Canada
In The Upper Room | Sarasota Ballet
Sarasota Opera House
Sarasota, FL
In The Upper Room | Birmingham Royal Ballet
Birmingham Hippodrome
Birmingham, United Kingdom
In The Upper Room | Cincinnati Ballet
Arnoff Center for the Arts
Cincinnati, OH
In The Upper Room | Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre
Benedum Center
Pittsburgh, PA
In The Upper Room | Houston Ballet
Wortham Theater Center
Houston, TX
In The Upper Room | Zurich Ballet
Zürich Opera House
Zürich, Switzerland
In The Upper Room | National Ballet Canada
Four Seasons Centre
Toronto, Canada
In the Upper Room | Colorado Ballet
Denver Performing Arts Complex
Denver, CO
In the Upper Room | Les Ballet des Monte-Carlo
Grimaldi Forum
Monaco
In The Upper Room | National Ballet of Canada
Toronto, Canada
In the Upper Room | Corella Ballet
La Granja
Segovia, Spain
In The Upper Room | Boston Ballet
Boston, MA
In The Upper Room | Atlanta Ballet
Atlanta, GA
In The Upper Room | Orlando Ballet
Orlando, FL
In The Upper Room | Pacific Northwest Ballet
McCaw Hall
Seattle, WA
In The Upper Room | Pennsylvania Ballet
Philadelphia, PA
In The Upper Room | Bolshoi Ballet
Bolshoi Theatre
Moscow, Russia
In The Upper Room | Miami City Ballet
Miami, FL
In The Upper Room | Washington Ballet
Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Washington, DC
Sinatra Suite - In The Upper Room | American Ballet Theatre
New York City Center
New York, NY
In The Upper Room | American Ballet Theater
New York City Center
New York, NY
In The Upper Room | Birmingham Royal Ballet
Birmingham, UK
Push Comes To Shove - In The Upper Room | Royal Swedish Ballet
The Royal Opera House
Stockholm, Sweden
In The Upper Room | Birmingham Royal Ballet
Birmingham, UK
In The Upper Room | Dutch National Ballet
Amsterdam, Nedarlands
In The Upper Room | The Australian Ballet
Melbourne, Australia
Waterbaby Bagatelles (premiere) - In The Upper Room | Boston Ballet
Wang Center
Boston, MA
Sextet - Brahms Paganini - Baker's Dozen - In The Upper Room | Twyla Tharp Dance
Palais Garnier
Paris, France
Fever - Octet - Demeter and Persephone - In The Upper Room | Twyla Tharp Dance
New York City Center
New York, NY
In The Upper Room | American Ballet Theater
Palais Garnier
Paris, France
Brief Fling - In The Upper Room | American Ballet Theatre
Orange County Performing Arts Center
Costa Mesa, CA
In The Upper Room | American Ballet Theatre
Orange County Performing Arts Center
Costa Mesa, CA
In The Upper Room - Bum's Rush - Quartet - Everlast | American Ballet Theatre
Shrine Auditorium
Los Angeles, CA
Quartet - Everlast (premiere) - In The Upper Room | American Ballet Theatre
War Memorial Opera House
San Francisco, CA
Bums Rush - Quartet - The Fugue - In The Upper Room | American Ballet Theatre
Auditorium Theater
Chicago, IL
Bum's Rush - In The Upper Room | American Ballet Theatre
Civic Opera House
Chicago, IL
In The Upper Room (ABT premiere) | American Ballet Theater
Orange County Performing Arts Center
Costa Mesa, CA
In The Upper Room - Baker's Dozen | Twyla Tharp Dance
The Opera Theatre
Adelaide, Australia
In The Upper Room - Baker's Dozen | Twyla Tharp Dance
His Majesty's Theatre
Perth, Australia
In The Upper Room - Baker's Dozen | Twyla Tharp Dance
Her Majesty's Theatre
Sydney, Australia
In The Upper Room - Baker's Dozen | Twyla Tharp Dance
Victorian Arts Centre
Melbourne, Australia
In The Upper Room - Baker's Dozen | Twyla Tharp Dance
Playhouse Square Center
Cleveland, OH
In The Upper Room - Baker's Dozen | Twyla Tharp Dance
Brooklyn Academy of Music
Brooklyn, NY
In The Upper Room - Baker's Dozen | Twyla Tharp Dance
Théâtre de Beaulieu
Lausanne, Switzerland
In The Upper Room - Baker's Dozen | Twyla Tharp Dance
Opernhaus Zürich
Zürich, Switzerland
In The Upper Room - Baker's Dozen | Twyla Tharp Dance
Teatro Español
Madrid, Spain
In The Upper Room - Baker's Dozen | Twyla Tharp Dance
Volksbühne
Berlin, Germany
In The Upper Room (premiere) - Baker's Dozen | Twyla Tharp Dance
The Murray Theatre at Ravinia
Highland Park, IL
Baker's Dozen - In The Upper Room (preview) | Twyla Tharp Dance
The Little Theatre
Saratoga Springs, NY