Program Notes


Brief Fling

Music: Michel Colombier and Percy Grainger (Country Gardens, 1918; Handel in the Strand, 1912)
Choreography: Twyla Tharp
Staging: Matthew Dibble
Original Costume Design: Isaac Mizrahi
Original Lighting Design: Jennifer Tipton
Duration: 27 minutes
Premiere: September 28, 1990; American Ballet Theatre (San Francisco, CA)

Principal support for the PNB premiere of Twyla Tharp’s Brief Fling is provided by Lyndall Boal and Peter & Peggy Horvitz.
Additional support provided by Bonnie Towne, Norma Cugini, Jane M. & David R. Davis and Kalen & Sean Holmes.

Brief Fling is Mikhail Baryshnikov’s last commission from Tharp during his tenure as artistic director of American Ballet Theatre. The title references both the traditional Scottish dance and a short-lived romance. Isaac Mizrahi's tartan costumes divide the dancers into clans of blue, red, green and off-white.

In the opening section, two soloist couples in red and a quartet in green punch out syncopated phrases to a military tattoo. The principal couple clad in blue performs an extended set of variations to an English folk song backed by the ensemble dancers dressed in off-white. The finale features each clan in succession, compounding into a furioso fugue.

The score by Michel Colombier intersperses Percy Grainger’s sunny interpretations of traditional melodies from the United Kingdom with an ominous electronic score.

Notes courtesy of Twyla Tharp Productions. Used by permission.

Nine Sinatra Songs

Music: Songs sung by Frank Sinatra (“Softly As I Leave You,” “Strangers in the Night,” “One For My Baby (And One More For the Road),” “Somethin’ Stupid,” “All the Way,” “Forget Domani,” “That’s Life,” “My Way”)
Choreography: Twyla Tharp
Staging: Shelley Washington and Matthew Dibble with Paul Gibson
Original Costume Design: Oscar de la Renta
Original Scenic Design: Santo Loquasto
Original Lighting Design: Jennifer Tipton
Duration: 28 minutes
Premiere: October 14, 1982; Twyla Tharp Dance, Vancouver, British Columbia
Pacific Northwest Ballet Premiere: February 2, 2006

For Rhoda and Jerry Oster – Twyla Tharp
With appreciation to Sinatra Enterprises and The Frank Sinatra Foundation

Choreographed in 1982, Twyla Tharp’s Nine Sinatra Songs has become a popular classic,presenting its view of 1950’s social dancingthrough the nostalgic but sharpened eyes of the1980s. Oscar de la Renta’s dresses and tuxedosflash with a similar double edge of past andpresent eras. Choreographing to classic Sinatra—including “One for My Baby,” “Strangers inthe Night,” and “My Way”—Tharp upscalestraditional ballroom dancing with the active participationof the female dancer in styles rangingfrom tango to flamenco to exhibition disco.

Notes compiled by Doug Fullington.

Waiting at the Station

Music: Allen Toussaint (“Let’s,” “Bright Mississippi,” “Dolores’ Boyfriend,” “Mother- in-Law,” “Don’t Go To Sleep,” “Fas-Fess,” “I Miss You Baby,” “The Mardi Gras Stomp,” “Waiting at the Station”)
Choreography: Twyla Tharp
Scenic and Costume Design: Santo Loquasto
Lighting Design: James F. Ingalls
Duration: 32 minutes
Premiere: September 27, 2013; Pacific Northwest Ballet

The world premiere of Twyla Tharp’s Waiting at the Station is generously underwritten by Peter & Peggy Horvitz.

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