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The preeminent Twyla Tharp, known for her ballet, modern and vernacular dance innovation, brings a world premiere to the Northrop in Minneapolis next year. Tharp's 60 years as a choreographer will be marked with Beethoven's "Diabelli Variations" and Philip Glass' "Aguas da Amazonia" with live music from the Chicago-based Third Coast Percussion.

The Twyla Tharp Dance program on Jan. 26 is among the highlights of Northrop's 2024-25 season, which includes a second world premiere, two Northrop Centennial Commissions, six dance engagements, five music series events and a film series.

"She's one of my artistic heroes," says Northrop's director of programming, Kristen Brogdon, about Tharp. "I'm so excited that we can host the premiere of that piece."

Besides Tharp's, the other world premiere in the upcoming season is "Children of Dharma," a Northrop Centennial commission by Ragamala Dance Company. Ragamala had to cancel its performance of "Avimukta: Where the Seeker Meets the Sacred" this spring when the Cowles Center announced its closing. The company will host a gala event on May 4 at the Center for Performing Arts for its upcoming performance that will be on the Carlson Family Stage Nov. 2.

Ragamala's new piece finds inspiration from an ancient Indian epic, the Mahabharata. "They're looking at it as a global story about the impact that violence has on people on a very individual level," Brogdon says, adding that the new piece has eco-feminism themes.

The return of two standout groups is also in the upcoming lineup. One is Shamel Pitts' "Tribe," which Northrop and the Walker Art Center have teamed up to support for a three-year engagement. (The choreographer brought his mesmerizing "Black Hole" to the Walker in March.) He and his interdisciplinary troupe will perform a duet called "Touch of Red," inspired by the quick footwork used in boxing, on March 6, 2025.

BalletMet, from Columbus, Ohio, also returns after gracing Northrop earlier this month when the company presented a gut-wrenching duet by Edwaard Liang as part of "10,000 Dreams: A Celebration of Asian Choreography." When it performs on March 28, 2025, the company will do another work by Liang, inspired by Max Richter's recomposition of Vivaldi's "Four Seasons." BalletMet will also perform "Timeless Tide" a Northrop Centennial commission by Yue Yin, set to an original score by Michel Banabila.

Two crowd-pleasers return to the Northrop, as well: Dance Theatre of Harlem performs classic and neoclassical works on Sept. 27 and a relaxed matinee on Sept. 28. The season ends with American Ballet Theatre's presentation of the Romantic tragedy "Giselle" on April 18-19, 2025.

Northrop also continues its fruitful collaboration with Liquid Music next season. On Oct. 4, the series highlights BBC Jazz Award-winning keyboardist Kit Downes playing Northrop's Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ. He'll play with guitarist Bill Frisell and a small ensemble of string players from the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra for "Southern Bodies."

Liquid Music and Northrop also present its latest "Sun Dogs" offering pairing composers and filmmakers, with four film/new music pairings including one commission for organ, electronics and sampled vocals by Daniel Wohl and performances by the contemporary classical chamber group Alarm Will Sound.

Other offerings in the new season include a performance by Northrop's to-be-named resident artist organist, two performances by VocalEssence, and the University of Minnesota's Marching Band. Organist Aaron David Miller will accompany the Buster Keaton classic "The Cameraman," and organist Filip Presseisen makes his Northrop debut accompanying Carl Theodor Dreyer's silent film "The Passion of Joan of Arc."