American Ballet Theatre’s fall season brought back Twyla Tharp’s “In the Upper Room”—an exhilarating cornucopia of energy, movement and sound, rightly regarded as one of Tharp’s greatest hits. It was a thrill to see this piece entering the company’s repertory after more than a decade-long hiatus. The dance, which Tharp created for her own company—Twyla Tharp Dance—in 1986, with its over-the-top trappings, may look a bit worn and quaint after all these years. But as the spirited performance of this Tharpian classic revealed—the piece still has a “wow effect” on the viewers; it still delivers a full-bodied invigorating punch and keeps the audience on the edge of their seats for the entire 40-minute run.
American Ballet Theatre in Jessica Lang’s “Garden Blue.” Photograph by Rosalie O’Connor