Docs

Steven Cantor to helm feature doc on Twyla Tharp for ‘American Masters’

American pubcaster PBS has commissioned Stick Figure Entertainment to produce a feature documentary on seminal dancer and choreographer Twyla Tharp for its arts strand ‘American Masters’. Directed by Academy Award-nominated and ...
September 9, 2020

American pubcaster PBS has commissioned Stick Figure Entertainment to produce a feature documentary on seminal dancer and choreographer Twyla Tharp for its arts strand ‘American Masters’.

Directed by Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Steven CantorTwyla Moves (working title; pictured) will feature never-before-seen interviews and select performances from Tharp’s library of 160-plus choreographed works.

In association with American Masters Pictures, the producers will paint an intimate portrait of Tharp’s storied career and her intensive creative process.

The tentatively titled project will document Tharp as she revisits her most memorable performances through archival footage while also reflecting on her enduring quest to evolve as a person and a choreographer.

A pioneer of both modern dance and ballet, Tharp will share in-depth insight into her influential career from pioneering dances, her cinematic partnership with Miloš Forman (HairAmadeusRagtime) and her successful career as a Broadway star alongside such luminaries as Billy Joel, Frank Sinatra and David Byrne.

Featured throughout the film will be interviews with Tharp’s family, and friends, as well as her closest dance and film collaborators including Mikhail Baryshnikov, Billy Joel, David Byrne and Bob Dylan, among others.

“I’ve made a lot of pieces, though never participated in one about myself,” said Tharp in a statement. “I’ve spent an entire career challenging myself and others to work outside of their comfort zone and this global pandemic certainly presents a challenge of the highest degree. It also brings time to reflect, and I look forward to collaborating with Steven in exploring pivotal stories, revisiting memorable pieces and discussing why and how I make dance.”

Twyla Moves is produced by Emmy Award-winning producer Jamie Schutz for Stick Figure and executive produced by Emmy- and Peabody Award-winner Michael Kantor for American Masters Pictures.

David Koh will oversee global sales.

PBS ‘American Masters’ has yet to announce a broadcast premiere for Twyla Moves.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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