Twyla Tharp seems to understand this idea, and her propensity for shimmying and shaking feels right so much of the time—like when she uses jerky phrases to undercut the serious perfection of music like Bach’s, as she does in her new piece Preludes and Fugues, to excerpts from his Well-Tempered Clavier I and II which I saw at the David H. Koch Theater last weekend. The messy humanness of these interpolated tics marries so well with the sanctity of the Bach—music that is so beautiful it hardly seems like it could be man-made. How can one not spasmodically rejoice that something so perfect exists? Great music (and great art in any form) can indeed tingle the spine and make one involuntarily shiver.
Preludes and Fugues was one of four new pieces Tharp made for her 50th Anniversary Tour. The troupe performed for ten weeks all across the country, but the Koch Theater—its final stop—could not be a more perfect setting for the program. The choreographic bookends which opened each half of the show, First Fanfare and Second Fanfare (to annunciatory brass compositions by John Zorn), echoed the Fanfare for a New Theater which Igor Stravinsky created for the inauguration of the building in 1964. In fact, the massive chandelier which hangs over the auditorium is meant to evoke