Renée Fleming and Twyla Tharp take center stage

Renée Fleming and Twyla Tharp take center stage

Soprano Renée Fleming has enchanted legions of fans with her sumptuous voice, consummate artistry and compelling stage presence. She has inspired a flower (the Renée Fleming iris), a chocolate dessert by master chef Daniel Boulud, a character in Ann Patchett’s novel “Bel Canto” — and she’s one of the extraordinary performing artists featured in our starry programming line-up this month on the ALL ARTS broadcast channel.

[Check local listings for the ALL ARTS broadcast channel, available in the New York metro area, here.]

Renée Fleming. Photo courtesy of the Metropolitan Opera.
Renée Fleming. Photo courtesy of the Metropolitan Opera.

In “Renée Fleming in Concert” (March 20, 8 p.m. Eastern), the season premiere of Great Performances at the Met, America’s beloved diva performs live in an intimate and iconic American venue — the music salon of Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C. The program shows off Fleming’s wide repertoire, from favorite arias by Puccini and Massenet to selections by Handel and Korngold.

Dance aficionados won’t want to miss the U.S. broadcast premiere of “Twyla Moves” (March 29, 9:30 p.m. Eastern), an American Masters film exploring the career and famously rigorous creative process of modern dance pioneer Twyla Tharp. The legendary choreographer shares intimate details behind her trailblazing dances, her cinematic partnership with Miloš Forman (“Hair,” “Amadeus,” “Ragtime”), and her work on “Movin’ Out” and other Broadway musicals. Original interviews include Misty Copeland, Billy Joel and David Byrne.

Twyla Tharp putting her hair up with dancers. Credit: Herbert Migdoll.
Twyla Tharp putting her hair up with dancers. Credit: Herbert Migdoll.

The documentary includes select performances from Tharp’s iconic works. A notable highlight is Tharp and Mikhail Baryshnikov rehearsing “Push Comes to Shove” — a dance piece also featured in “Baryshnikov by Tharp,” the Emmy-winning 1984 Great Performances/Dance in America special that revolutionized the way dance was filmed for television.

We also observe Tharp as she builds a high-profile work from the ground up with Copeland, Herman Cornejo and Maria Khoreva, who rehearse by video conference during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Twyla Moves” will also be available to stream on ALL ARTS starting March 26.

Top Image: Twyla Tharp instructing at Pacific Northwest Ballet in 2008. Courtesy of Marc von Borstel.