Twyla Tharp's Song 'Aquarius'

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HAIR- “AQUARIUS” Brittney Johnson Dance 36 Dr. Ninotchka Bennahum November 3, 2014 HAIR-“AQUARIUS” Aquarius is the eleventh sign of the zodiac and are the perfect representatives for The Age of Aquarius. “Those born under the sign Aquarius have the social conscience needed to carry us into the new millennium.” They are humanitarian, philanthropic and keenly interested in making the world a better place. In the movie Hair (1979), the song “Aquarius” is sung as frustration and rebellion begin to fill the hearts of the dancers coming into Central Park. As the dance progresses dancers leave from burning their military draft papers to join in the slow but powerful, expressive dance. The boisterous voice that leads the song gives the…show more content…
“Twyla Tharp's work fused classical discipline and rigor with avant-garde iconoclasm, combining ballet technique with natural movements like running, walking and skipping. While modern dance had historically aspired to high seriousness and spirituality, Tharp's work was edgy.” Tharp expanded the boundaries of contemporary performance and modern dance through her over exaggerated and unpredictable movements danced to pop, classical music, or silence. With the influential power she had in the world of modern dance, Twyla Tharp was able to create “Aquarius” to express the way she felt about the period of constant war that she was living through. “No one could tolerate me, so I had to do my own work" , as an active and bold choreographer for her time, Tharp had no fear in giving her opinion through her art and her contribution to building up the countries dance culture made her a top choice of one to relay a message of the current issues in 1970 American society. The choreography along with its creator have contributed to the history of modern dance because of the movements done and way they were put together. With a blend of organized and synchronized movements, the Twyla Tharp dancers begin the dance with these dance moves and slowly progress to a more individually expressed dance that communicates the feelings of the…show more content…
At this point of the war families longed for their son, husbands and fathers to be brought back to the United States and the American government began to lose the support that it once had for this war as pictures, videos and letters started to come out and show what was truly happening overseas. The start of the movie progresses and shows how both the director and choreographer felt about the events happening in the world. The dance is set in the beginning of Milos Forman’s movie, Hair (1979), with the illegal burning of draft papers in Central Park by some of the dancers. The dancers then led by the live sung lyrics with statements like, “harmony and understanding,” and “the minds true liberation”2nd footnote, begin to perform. With the combination of dancers of different races dancing together, free expression clothing styles and a vast amount of body contact shows the harmony and liberation felt during that time through expressionism dancing. In the midst of destruction, confusion, and hunger for peace; the dance presents a moment of togetherness and release from the stress of war. This dance gave Tharp the ability to show how she felt about the Vietnam War and helped her to later produce a full Broadway show, Movin’ Out, on the Vietnam War that she was awarded The President's Award from the Vietnam Veterans for her show recognizing the struggles of soldiers and dealing with the
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