American Masters


Twyla Moves

Twyla Moves explores the life of legendary dancer, director and choreographer Twyla Tharp. Jumping from historical footage to the present day, the film traces her influential career while providing an intimate look at her famously rigorous creative process.

AIRED: March 26, 2021 | 0:02:36

- Your life is nothing but dance

when it's told.

You have no recreations and outside interests,

can you throw it all away?

Take two weeks in the Caribbean or whatever,

and never think of dance.

- Well, I wouldn't want to.

- Yeah.

- I mean, working is a recreation

is what I'm saying.

(upbeat instrumental music)

- [Twyla] I always said

okay, your chances of becoming successful

are about the same

as somebody jumping off a a hundred foot pole

into a thimble of water,

good luck.

(instrumental music continues)

- [Twyla] I gave myself stuff to do

that nobody else was doing.

That was the point.

(instrumental music continues)

- One, two, three, four, five!

Six, seven, eight.

(instrumental music continues)

- To push them to the limits

of what they could do physically

and she push them further.

I'd never had anyone pushed me like that before.

(counting dance beats)

- People are throwing themselves around the stage.

You know, I, I was worried about people getting injured

and I felt like

take it easy!

It was like risking life and limb.

- [Twyla] Dancers have to work every day.

I have to work every day.

The world of dance closed down.

How are we going to do this?

(instrumental music continues)

- We don't have a stage, but we have a virtual platform.

Let's see if we can bring St. Petersburg and LA together.

We can bring people together.

- Hi!

- Misty, girl!

- Even in this stage of her career in her life

she's setting the standard

for where dance is evolving to.

- I was definitely on my own.

I wanted to know who my mom was.

- And it should be fine to say

that I broke down.

It should be all right to say that.

Anybody would.

You want to be everything for everyone.

You can't.

(instrumental music continues)

- Do I feel like overall I've completed my mission?

Not yet.


  • ios
  • apple_tv
  • android
  • roku
  • firetv