Spring 2011 Project: Twyla Tharp’s Eight Jelly Rolls


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Yale Dance Theater’s

Pilot Project 2011:



In the spring of 2011, YDT’s pilot undertaking centered on a reconstruction of EIGHT JELLY ROLLS, a canonical work in American dance history, choreographed by Twyla Tharp in 1971. Working with two Twyla Tharp rehearsal directors, Katie Glasner and Jennifer Way Rawe, both former Tharp dancers, students aimed to master Tharp’s style. With guest coaches Sara Rudner and Rose Marie Wright contributing expertise, YDT members considered the problem of synthesizing generational knowledge in dance preservation.

Groundbreaking in her synthesis of dance techniques and vocabularies, Twyla Tharp pioneered a crossover style that combines elements from classical ballet, jazz, tap, athletics, hip-hop, and more. With music by Jelly Roll Morton, EIGHT JELLY ROLLS marks a key point in Tharp’s early career, the moment she turned away from postmodern dance aesthetics to explore music, movement invention, and a conscious effort to please the audience.

YDT Members Spring 2011

Amymarie K. Bartholomew is a sophomore chemistry major at Yale. She received extensive training with the New Haven Ballet and with the Lenihan School of Irish Dance. A member of Groove Dance Company and the Yale Undergraduate Ballet Company, she has had experience with post-modern dance performing Twyla Tharp’s Torelli and Yvonne Rainer’s Trio A with Advanced Dance Repertory, a Yale dance studies course.


Derek DiMartini is a Theater Studies major, class of 2013.  Although he did not start dancing until his senior year of high school, he quickly fell in love with dance’s expressivity.  He is currently a member of A Different Drum Dance Company at Yale and is an avid choreographer.


Juliette Jeanfreau began dancing at the age of four and trained at the Giacobbe Academy of Dance in New Orleans, LA. She graduated from University of Richmond in 2010, where she was a member of the University Dancers and was involved with Latin dance and step. Currently a first-year M.Div. at the Yale Divinity School, she is choreographing and performing in a Yale production of Chicago in addition to participating in YDT.


Patrick Lee is a senior in Saybrook College majoring in Ethics, Politics and Economics, with a concentration in global health. He recently enrolled in his first-ever ballet and modern dance classes this semester, and he is humbled to be a part of the YDT. Patrick also sings in an all-male a cappella group and is an avid amateur knitter.


Elena Light is a sophomore at Yale double majoring in French and Art History. She trained in classical ballet and modern dance at Oakley Ballet Center and attended intensive summer programs at the Oregon Ballet Theater and The Boston Conservatory. She is currently a member of Yaledancers and is Artistic Director for the Alliance for Dance at Yale.


Lydia Martin is a junior American Studies major at Yale (Ezra Stiles college). She studied modern dance at the 92nd Street Y and the Dalton School in New York City with teachers Jessica Nicoll and Randi Sloan, respectively. Lydia has performed professionally with Janis Brenner and Dancers and Monica Bill Barnes and Company, and is thrilled to be participating in YDT this year.


Aren Vastola is a freshman in Yale College, class of 2014. He hasn’t yet declared a major, but is interested in humanities, languages, writing, and fine and performing arts. Aren has trained in ballet, tap, jazz, and modern, and is a member of Yale’s A Different Drum dance company.

Rehearsal Directors

Eight Jelly Rolls was the first piece Katie Glasner performed with the Twyla Tharp company.  As a performer, Ms. Glasner danced at the White House during the Reagan administration, in the ancient amphitheater of Caesaria, on Broadway in Singin’ in The Rain. Her teaching credits include Princeton Ballet School, Ballet Hispanico, American Music and Dramatic Academy, Princeton University, New York University, Penn State, Wesleyan College and University of CA/Irvine.  Currently Assistant Chair and Senior Associate Department of Dance at Barnard College (Columbia University), Katie is committed to passing on the legacy of dance in every way possible.

Jennifer Way Rawe danced with Twyla Tharp Dance from the 1975 to 1988. During her time with the Tharp Company, she performed in all of the company’s active repertory, including projects for television and film, such as Hair, Ragtime, and Amadeus. Besides being a performer, Jennifer Way Rawe was responsible for reconstructing and rehearsing repertory within the Tharp Company and transferring Tharp’s works to other companies. She has taught and coordinated numerous workshops and master classes for Twyla Tharp Dance and independently. From 1990 –1997, Ms. Way Rawe served on the faculty at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and from 1999 – present, she has served as company rehearsal director for Dancewave’s Kids’s Company, in Brooklyn NY, and continues to teach and stage Tharp repertory in colleges and universities.

Faculty Director

Emily Coates directs the dance studies curriculum and serves as artistic director of the World Performance Project at Yale University. She has danced with New York City Ballet, Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project, Twyla Tharp, and Yvonne Rainer. Her current work includes an ongoing choreographic collaboration with Burkinabe artist Lacina Coulibaly, the outcomes of which include a duet titled ICI OU AILLEURS, a group piece for Ballet Memphis which the company premiered in February 2011, and a book project currently in development.