Coronavirus Updates: USC  |  SCA

TWYLA MOVES: A Live Screening and Q&A with Director/Producer/SCA Alumnus Steven Cantor

May 4, 2021, 5:00 P.M. PDT

Live Online Webinar

Outside the Box [Office], American Masters, and Stick Figure Entertainment,
invite you to attend


A special live screening of


Directed by SCA Alumnus Steven Cantor
Produced by Steven Cantor and Jamie Schutz

Followed by a Q&A with Steven Cantor

Moderated by Michael Renov, Ph.D., Vice Dean of Academic Affairs
and the Haskell Wexler Endowed Chair in Documentary

5:00 P.M. PST on Tuesday, May 4th, 2021


We will screen Twyla Moves (82 minutes) live during the webinar.

Open to USC Students, Faculty, Staff, Alumni, and the General Public.

About Twyla Moves

Twyla Moves explores the life of legendary dancer, director and choreographer Twyla Tharp. Jumping from historical footage to the present day, the film traces her influential career while providing an intimate look at her famously rigorous creative process. Emmy®-winning and Oscar-nominated filmmaker Steven Cantor (American Masters – Willie Nelson: Still is Still Moving) follows Tharp as she builds a high-profile work from the ground up with an international cast of ballet stars, including Misty Copeland, Herman Cornejo and Maria Khoreva, who rehearse by video conference while under quarantine during the coronavirus pandemic. The film also features never-before seen interviews and select performances from Tharp’s vast array of more than 160 choreographed works, including 129 dances, 12 television specials, six major Hollywood movies, four full-length ballets, four Broadway shows and two figure skating routines.

A pioneer of both modern dance and ballet, Tharp discusses her inspiration and the process behind creating her trailblazing dances, such as “Fugue,” “Push Comes to Shove” and “Baker’s Dozen, her cinematic partnership with Miloš Forman (Hair, Amadeus, Ragtime) and her wildly successful Broadway career collaborating with such luminaries as Billy Joel, Frank Sinatra and David Byrne. Reflecting on her road to success and her quest to constantly evolve as a person and a choreographer, Tharp shares her stories of triumph and defeat, and how she remains deeply in love with dance. The documentary also features interviews with her family, friends and closest collaborators: the dancers, choreographers, directors and musicians she’s worked with and influenced throughout her life, including Joel, Byrne, Copeland, Cornejo, Khoreva and more.

About the Guests

STEVEN CANTOR (Director, Producer, SCA Alumnus)

Steven Cantor is the founder of New York City-based Stick Figure Productions. In 2017, Steven produced STEP, which premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival where it won a Special Jury Prize. The film was acquired by Fox Searchlight in a record-setting deal and won numerous awards after its worldwide theatrical release.

Prior to that, Steven produced and directed DANCER, which tells the story of the controversial ballet star, Sergei Polunin. A BBC Film, it was theatrically released in 35 countries and won Audience Awards at both the Warsaw and Amsterdam Film Festivals as well as a nomination for a 2017 PGA award for Best Documentary.

Steven received an Oscar nomination for his first film, BLOOD TIES: THE LIFE AND WORK OF SALLY MANN, about the notorious photographer. He also received an Emmy Award nomination for the HBO/Channel 4 UK DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND, about the rebellious tendencies of Amish teens and two nominations for the HBO/BBC film WHAT REMAINS, which revisited Sally Mann to follow the creation of a body of work on the nature of decay. Steven directed the HBO film, NO ONE DIES IN LILY DALE, about a town of psychic mediums and CHASING TYSON, an ESPN ‘30 for 30 about Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield.

Steven won an Emmy award for his PBS American Masters film WILLIE NELSON: STILL IS STILL MOVING and was nominated for an Emmy for producing and directing the ESPN film CUTTHROAT, about injured NHL goalie, Clint Malarchuk. He also produced and directed the Sundance film LOUDQUIETLOUD, about the reunion of the rock band, Pixies.

Steven was nominated for two Emmys for HBO’s I AM AN ANIMAL, about PETA founder, Ingrid Newkirk as well as two for HBO’s REPORTER: A FILM WITH NICHOLAS KRISTOF, which followed the NYT columnist to the Congo in search of a story. He produced UNRAVELED, a Showtime film which follows the disgraced lawyer Mark Dreier through his two-month house arrest prior to his sentencing.

In addition, Stick Figure has an ongoing partnership with Paul Allen’s Vulcan Productions and Executive Producer, Elisabeth Moss to create films and series on the classical arts, in particular, ballet. Their first feature, BALLET NOW, which Steven produced and directed, follows NYCB superstar, Tiler Peck, as she curates and stars in a show at LA’s Music Center.

MICHAEL RENOV, Ph.D., Vice Dean of Academic Affairs (Moderator)

Michael Renov, professor of Critical Studies and Vice Dean for Academic Affairs, is the author of Hollywood's Wartime Woman: Representation and Ideology and The Subject of Documentary, editor of Theorizing Documentary, and co-editor of Resolutions: Contemporary Video Practices, Collecting Visible EvidenceThe SAGE Handbook of Film Studies and Cinema’s Alchemist: The Films of Peter Forgacs.

In 1993, Renov co-founded Visible Evidence, a series of international and highly interdisciplinary documentary studies conferences that have, to date, been held on five continents. He is one of three general editors for the Visible Evidence book series at the University of Minnesota Press, which has published 27 volumes on various aspects of nonfiction media since 1997. In 2005, he co-programmed the 51st annual Robert Flaherty Seminar, a week-long gathering of documentary filmmakers, curators, and educators, creating 20 screening programs and filmmaker dialogues on the theme "Cinema and History."

In addition to curating documentary programs around the world, he has served as a jury member at documentary festivals including Sundance, Silverdocs, the Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival, Brazil's It's All True, the International Environmental Festival of Film and Video, also in Brazil, and DocLisboa in Portugal. He has taught graduate seminars at the University of Stockholm, Tel Aviv University and Central European University in Budapest, Hungary and has led documentary workshops in Jordan for the Royal Film Commission and in Cyprus. Renov's teaching and research interests include documentary theory, autobiography in film and video, video art and activism, and representations of the Holocaust.

Contact Information

Name: Alessandro Ago