For Twyla Tharp, dancing is not just a hobby or a pastime; it is a way of life. Tharp will be speaking tonight at 7 p.m. in the Knapp Center as part of the Martin Bucksbaum Distinguished Lecture Series.
“Our goal is to bring people of national and international stature from some important dimension of society who can provide a timely and interesting perspective to share with Drake students, faculty and the community,” said Neil Hamilton, Bucksbaum Lecture committee chairman.
Tharp will provide a perspective in the arts and culture in her lecture. She is a world-renowned dancer and choreographer, whose work has been featured in over 135 dances, four Broadway productions, five Hollywood films and several television programs. After starting her own dance company, Twyla Tharp Dance, in 1965, Tharp’s career has skyrocketed, landing her numerous awards including a Tony Award and two Emmy Awards.
The lecture being presented tonight, while incorporating Tharp’s dance background, will touch more on how lessons she learned through dance can be applied to the broader spectrum of life in general. This topic ties in well with two of her books “The Collaborative Habit: Life Lessons on Working Together” (2009) and “The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life” (2003). The importance of creativity, hard work and inspiration will be the premise of Tharp’s speech.
“You don’t have to have experience in dance or know anyone in dance to get something out of her speech,” said Erica Harschen, the primary contact between Drake and Keppler Speakers, the agency Tharp works with. “The goal is to have the audience take something she’s going to talk about and be able to use it in their lives.”
The Bucksbaum Lecture Series was established in 1996 in honor of Martin Bucksbaum, a prominent figure in the Des Moines community and a member of Drake’s governing board. Former Bucksbaum speakers include Jane Goodall, Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson and Maya Angelou.
“We want students to hear somebody talk about their career and life path, and we hope it’s an inspirational opportunity,” Hamilton said. “That experience will add to their personal growth and help them reflect on the important role that our university plays in their lives and on the Des Moines community.”
Martin Bucksbaum Distinguished Lecture Series
“An Evening with Twyla Tharp”
7 p.m. Knapp Center
Book signing to follow