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Holley Farmer

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Good news about Ms. Farmer, whose recent dismissal from the Merce Cunningham Dance Company was so sad and controversial: writing in today's NY Times, Gia Kourlas notes that Farmer is working with Twyla Tharp in Tharp's new Sinatra piece, Come Fly With Me.

In “Come Fly With Me,” her first time working with Ms. Tharp, she wears high heels and a little black dress. She plays a sexpot.

“I feel it’s the most ironic thing I could do right now: the wanted woman,” Ms. Farmer said after a rehearsal, laughing.

With her long legs and spiky red hair, Ms. Farmer has always been a striking dancer, but in rehearsals for Ms. Tharp’s show she has transformed herself into a 21st-century Ann-Margret. “I’m looking down at my feet, and my Merce calluses are going,” she said. “I don’t need them anymore, and I have these new shoes. And Merce would love that. I am changing. He always said, ‘If you usually step off the curb with your right foot, use your left foot.’ I’m using my left foot.”

Still, the learning curve for Ms. Farmer has been immense. Conquering the shoes has been one of her biggest hurdles. At a rehearsal last month she made shuffling steps, banged her heels on the floor and frowned. “Holley is going through culture shock,” Ms. Tharp noted, looking on with a mix of fondness and concern.

On cue Ms. Farmer took a few steps forward. Ms. Tharp, trim and chic in blue jeans, a crisp white shirt and sneakers, rose from her chair — she rarely sits still during a rehearsal— and took Ms. Farmer by the hand to demonstrate how to deliver a sultry walk. “Think about a tightrope,” she said. “Fifth position.”

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The article also mentions that former ABT dancers John Selya and Ashley Tuttle will be in this production. Former ABT principal Keith Roberts is working with Tharp to prepare/rehearse the dancers. Sounds exciting. I hope this show makes it to NYC.

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Great news. There is a review in the NY Times today of the new Twyla Tharp dance revue, Come Fly With Me. It got an excellent review, and Holly Farmer also won raves. Let's hope this makes it to Broadway VERY SOON!

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Here's the link to the Isherwood's review of the Tharp. I wasn't able to open an enlarged image of the photo abatt notes, but maybe you can.

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Alongside Farmer, two other names I'm really happy to see linked to a new Tharp work -- Charlie Neshyba-Hodges and John Selya. I'm hoping for a tour to my corner of the map.

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