Waiting at the Station
(“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”)
Scenic and Costume Design
James F. Ingalls
September 27, 2013; Pacific Northwest Ballet
The 2013 world premiere of Twyla Tharp’s Waiting at the Station was generously underwritten by Peter & Peggy Horvitz.
Waiting at the Station is a short narrative ballet set to a collection of compositions—both old and new—by R&B artist Allen Toussaint. Scenic and costume designs by Santo Loquasto set the scene in 1940’s New Orleans.
The story follows one man as he attempts to connect with his son and pass on his steps before he must surrender to the three gilded Fates that seek him out. The ensemble dances upstage for much of the work. They are a living frieze, providing background rhythm and dramatic tableau as two couples gambol, waltz, spar, and swing through a sampling of society’s many small conflicts. After the Father dances his goodbyes and recedes upstage with the three Fates, his Son leads the jazz funeral procession—a celebration of both life and death through music and dance. An epilogue follows, wherein the Father returns briefly to tidy a few loose ends and conduct the finale before boarding his last train.
Notes courtesy of Twyla Tharp Dance Foundation.