Pacific Northwest Ballet Presents AIR TWYLA Tonight

Curtains up! AIR TWYLA propels Pacific Northwest Ballet into its new season with a trio of works by its first artist-in-residence, renowned choreographer Twyla Tharp. The program includes the world premiere of Waiting at the Station with a commissioned score by New Orleans music legend Allen Toussaint. Sharing the program with Waiting at the Station are the Scottish-inspired Brief Fling (a PNB premiere) and Tharp's homage to Ol' Blue Eyes and ballroom dance, the unforgettable Nine Sinatra Songs. AIR TWYLA runs for only seven performances, tonight, September 27 - October 6 at Seattle Center's Marion Oliver McCaw Hall. Tickets start at $28 and may be purchased by calling 206.441.2424, online at, or in person at the PNB Box Office at 301 Mercer Street. AIR TWYLA is made possible through the generous support of presenting sponsor The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.

"Let's face it, Twyla Tharp seems to have a second home and it's right here in Seattle," said PNB Artistic Director Peter Boal. "With AIR TWYLA, PNB presents our eighth work by the choreographer, our third world premiere, and our third all-Tharp program. She is truly one of the great innovators of our time. We are so pleased to welcome Twyla back to our studios and to our city once again."

Mr. Boal continued, "I'm especially looking forward to the opportunity to hear Twyla talk about the creation process during an on-stage lecture demonstration prior to the premiere." In conjunction with AIR TWYLA, PNB is offering a special preview event on Wednesday, September 25 at 6:30 pm: TWYLA THARP ON STAGE. The presentation will feature Ms. Tharp as she rehearses the Company inWaiting at the Station. For more information, see SPECIAL EVENTS, below.

PNB is honored to welcome two very special guest artists performing with the company during AIR TWYLA. R&B great Allen Toussaint will join the PNB Orchestra during the opening weekend performances of his Waiting at the Station. And American Ballet Theatre soloist Sascha Radetsky will be joining the PNB dancers in the September 27 and 28 evening performances of Brief Fling. "Sascha has worked extensively with Twyla in the past," said Mr. Boal. "His appearance as a guest with PNB not only showcases this exciting performer, but honors Twyla's long standing relationship with American Ballet Theatre." (See ABOUT THE ARTISTS, below, for more information.)



Music: Michel Colombier & Percey 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

Premiere: February 28, 1990; American Ballet Theatre (San Francisco, California)

"Brief Fling has a punning title that refers to the Scottish motifs in Miss Tharp's choice of music and costumes, but this is not a wee bonny ballet. It is an admirably fierce and aggressive plunge into what a dance language can express within self-imposed limits." - Anna Kisselgoff, The New York Times

Brief Fling was Mikhail Baryshnikov's last commission from Twyla 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 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. (Program notes courtesy of


Music: Allen Toussaint

Choreography: Twyla Tharp

Costume and Set Design: Santo Loquasto

Lighting Design: James F. Ingalls

Pacific Northwest Ballet's world premiere of Twyla Tharp's Waiting at the Station is generously underwritten by Peter & Peggy Horvitz.


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

Premiere: October 14, 1982; Twyla Tharp Dance, Vancouver, British Columbia

PNB Premiere: February 2, 2006

Twyla Tharp dedicates Nine Sinatra Songs to Rhoda and Jerry Oster. PNB's performances acknowledge, with appreciation, Sinatra Enterprises and The Frank Sinatra Foundation.

Following the workings of her Sinatra-inspired 1976 duo, Once More, Frank, and in the wake of her investigation of the methods of turn-of-the-century exhibition/ballroom dancing for the movie Ragtime, Twyla Tharp created Nine Sinatra Songs in 1982. The work has become a popular classic and a mainstay in the repertories of professional dance companies worldwide, presenting its view of 1950s social dancing through the nostalgic and yet sharpened eyes of the 1980s. Oscar de la Renta's dresses and tuxedos flash with a similar double edge of past and present ages.

Each of the songs Tharp has chosen has its own musical and dance/theater character. Her choreography reinforces traditional ballroomdancing, but upscales it with the active participation of the female dancer. The opening, "Softly As I Leave You," is based on the theme of infatuation. A tango-flavored "Strangers in the Night" is followed by "One For My Baby," featuring a couple in late-night, knowingrapport. After "My Way" re-gathers the first three couples, a fourth lends tart, comic relief with "Somethin' Stupid." Unhurried and subtle glamour bathes "All the Way," while "Forget Domani" is a true showpiece. This duo plays it straight, fast, front and center, in the manner of actual ballroom competition entrants. The capstone couple is engrossed in a battle of wits and maneuvers. Dancing to "That's Life," they engage in fast and furious one-upmanship. The final swell, for all couples, is a later version of "My Way."


Tuesday, September 24, 2013, 12:00 pm

Central Seattle Public Library, 1000 Fourth Avenue, Seattle

Join PNB for a free lunch-hour preview lecture at the Central Seattle Public Library. Education Programs Manager Doug Fullington will offer insights about AIR TWYLA, complete with video excerpts.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

6:30-8:00 pm at McCaw Hall

Hear from iconic choreographer Twyla Tharp, PNB's first Artist-in-Residence, as she rehearses the Company onstage at McCaw Hall inWaiting at the Station, her latest creation for PNB. Set to a newly crafted score by legendary New Orleans jazz/R&B artist Allen Toussaint, Ms. Tharp's new work exemplifies the genius and wit that has made her an American dance legend. Tickets are $25, available through the PNB Box Office.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Lecture 6:00 pm, Nesholm Family Lecture Hall at McCaw Hall

Dress Rehearsal 7:00 pm, McCaw Hall

Join PNB artistic director Peter Boal and acclaimed dance, theatre and film designer Santo Loquasto (Waiting at the Station) during the hour preceding the dress rehearsal. Attend the lecture only or stay for the dress rehearsal. Tickets, $12 for the lecture or $30 for the lecture and dress rehearsal, may be purchased through the PNB Box Office.

FIRST LOOK: A Brief Fling
PNB's Season-Opening Gala
Friday, September 27 at 4:30 pm
Join PNB's signature celebration to start the new season. Guests of this festive evening enjoy an exclusive cocktail party, an elegant black tie dinner, and raise-the-paddle. The party continues post-performance with drinks, dessert, and dancing onstage. Pre-performance dinner tickets start at $300 per guest (includes onstage after-party and valet parking). Onstage after-party tickets start at $40. (Note: AIR TWYLA performance tickets sold separately.) FIRST LOOK is sponsored by The Boeing Company and Lane Powell. To purchase tickets, contact PNB Special Events at 206.441.2429 or


Nesholm Family Lecture Hall at McCaw Hall

Join Education Programs Manager Doug Fullington for a 30-minute introduction to each performance, including discussions of choreography, music, history, design and the process of bringing ballet to the stage. One hour before performances. FREE for ticketholders.


Nesholm Family Lecture Hall at McCaw Hall
Skip the post-show traffic and enjoy a Q&A with Artistic Director Peter Boal and PNB dancers immediately following each performance.FREE for ticketholders.


Tickets to AIR TWYLA ($28-$174) and special events are available through the PNB Box Office:

  • Phone: 206.441.2424 (Mon.-Fri. 9am-6pm; Sat. 10am-5pm)
  • In person: 301 Mercer Street, Seattle (Mon.-Fri. 10am-6pm; Sat. 10am-5pm)
  • Online: (24 hours a day, seven days a week)

Tickets are also available, subject to availability, 90 minutes prior to each performance at McCaw Hall, located at 321 Mercer Street.



All Thursday and Friday performances: September 27, October 3 and 4 at 7:30 pm
One ticket for $15 and two for $25 for patrons 25 years and younger! To purchase tickets, contact the PNB Box Office at 206.441.2424or visit 301 Mercer Street. This offer is good for September 27, October 3 and 4 performances only. Offer is subject to availability and not valid on previously purchased tickets. Each attendee must present valid I.D. upon ticket retrieval.


PNB is a proud participant of the Teen Tix arts access program. Teen Tix members 13 to 19 years old can purchase tickets to PNB performances and other music, dance, theater and arts events for only $5. To join Teen Tix or view a list of participating organizations, visit


Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. For group tickets, please call 206.441.2416, email or


Half-price rush tickets for students and senior citizens (65+) may be purchased in-person with valid ID, beginning 90 minutes prior to show time at the McCaw Hall box office. Subject to availability.


Since graduating from Barnard College in 1963, Twyla Tharp has choreographed more than 160 works, 129 dances, 12 television specials, six Hollywood movies, four full-length ballets, four Broadway shows, and two figure-skating routines. She received one Tony Award, two Emmy Awards, 19 honorary doctorates, the Vietnam Veterans of America President's Award, the 2004 National Medal of the Arts, the 2008 Jerome Robbins Prize, and a 2008 Kennedy Center Honor. Her many grants include the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

In 1965 Ms. Tharp founded her dance company, Twyla Tharp Dance. Her dances are known for their creativity, wit and technical precision coupled with a streetwise nonchalance. By combining different forms of movement - such as jazz, ballet, boxing and inventions of her own making - Ms. Tharp's work expands the boundaries of ballet and modern dancer. In addition to choreographing for her own company, she has created dances for Joffrey Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Paris Opera Ballet, The Royal Ballet, New York City Ballet, Boston Ballet, The Australian Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Martha Graham Dance Company, Miami City Ballet, PNB, Atlanta Ballet and Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

Ms. Tharp's work first appeared on Broadway in 1980 with When We Were Very Young, followed by her collaboration with David Byrne on The Catherine Wheel and later by Singin' in the Rain. In 2002, Ms. Tharp's dance musical Movin' Out, set to the music and lyrics of Billy Joel, ran for three years and then toured nationally for three years. For Movin' Out Ms. Tharp received the 2003 Tony Award, the 2003 Astaire Award, the Drama League Award for Sustained Achievement in Musical Theater; and both the Drama Desk Award and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Choreography. For the London production Ms. Tharp won Best Choreography (Musical Theatre) Award of the UK's Critics' Circle National Dance Awards 2006. Ms. Tharp later worked with Bob Dylan's music and lyrics inThe Times They Are A-Changin, and Come Fly Away, set to songs by Frank Sinatra.

In film Ms. Tharp has collaborated with director Milos Forman on Hair, Ragtime, and Amadeus, with Taylor Hackford on White Nightsand with James Brooks on I'll Do Anything. Her television credits include choreographing Sue's Leg for the inaugural episode of PBS' "Dance In America," co-producing and directing "Making Television Dance," which won the Chicago International Film Festival Award; and directing "The Catherine Wheel" for BBC Television. Ms. Tharp co-directed the television special "Baryshnikov by Tharp," which won two Emmy Awards as well as the Director's Guild of America Award for Outstanding Director Achievement.

In 1992 Ms. Tharp wrote her autobiography Push Comes to Shove. She went on to write The Creative Habit: Learn it and Use it for Life, followed by The Collaborative Habit: Life Lessons for Working Together both of which were published by Simon and Schuster. Today, Ms. Tharp continues to create. For more information, visit

Allen Toussaint (Composer, Waiting at the Station) is an American musician, songwriter and record producer and one of the most influential figures in New Orleans R&B. Mr. Toussaint has crossed many paths in his illustrious 40+ year music career. He has produced, written for, arranged, had his songs covered by, and performed with such musical giants as The Judds, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Elvis Costello, Patti LaBelle, Mac "Dr. John" Rebennack, Aaron and Art Neville, Joe Cocker, The (original) Meters, Glen Campbell, The Band, Little Feat, The Rolling Stones, Devo, Ernie K-Doe, Lee Dorsey, Irma Thomas, Etta James, Ramsey Lewis, Eric Gale and countless others.

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 and, in 2009, the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2011, and the Song Writers Hall of Fame in 2012.. Mr. Toussaint was also awarded the Grand Prix from France's Academia du Jazz, making him the first non-traditional jazz artist to be awarded such an honour. The honors have not slowed down in 2013, with Mr. Toussaint receiving an honorary doctorate of Fine Arts from Tulane University along with Dr. John, Natasha Trethewey and his Holiness, the Dali Lama.

Santo Loquasto (Set and Costume Designer, Waiting at the Station) is a designer for dance, theatre, and film. Twyla Tharp's Push Comes to Shove marked the beginning of his relationship with American Ballet Theatre. For his work with ABT he has also collaborated with choreographers Jerome Robbins, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Kenneth MacMillan, Agnes de Mille, and Mark Morris. As designer for the Paul Taylor Dance Company he has designed such works as Speaking in Tongues, Spindrift, Company B, and Funny Papers. His design work has also been seen at the National Ballet of Canada, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, San Francisco Ballet, and the Hubbard Street Dance Company.

In 1989, Mr. Loquasto won both the Tony and Drama Desk awards for his set design of the New York Shakespeare Festival's Cafe Crown, and, in 1990, he again won both the Tony and Drama Desk awards for his costume design for Grand Hotel. He received his first Tony in 1977 for costume designs for The Cherry Orchard. For other work in the theatre, he has received an Obie, the Joseph Maharam Award, and both Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desks awards. Other productions for which his set designs have received Tony nominations are That Championship Season, What the Wine-Sellers Buy, The Cherry Orchard, American Buffalo, The Suicide, Long Day's Journey Into Night and Glengarry Glen Ross. For film, Loquasto has received Academy Award nominations for his production design for Woody Allen's Bullets Over Broadway and Radio Days, and for his costume design for Allen's Zelig. Other film credits include Desperately Seeking Susan, Big, Crimes and Misdemeanors and Husbands and Wives.

Sascha Radetsky (Guest Artist, Brief Fling evening performances, September 27 and 28) began his ballet studies in the San Francisco Bay Area with Damara Bennett and Ayako Takahashi. At the age of 15, he was invited to study at the Bolshoi Academy under world-renowned men's teacher Pytor Pestov. After a year in Russia, he studied on scholarship at the Kirov Academy in Washington, D. C. under Rudolph Kharatian and Andrei Garbouz. He toured with the Kirov Ballet throughout the United States and internationally. He also studied on scholarship at the summer programs of the School of American Ballet, American Ballet Theatre's School of Classical Ballet with Mikhail Baryshnikov, the San Francisco Ballet School and the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Vail, Colorado. Radetsky joined American Ballet Theatre as an apprentice in 1995, became a member of the corps de ballet in 1996 and a Soloist in 2003. Radetsky has danced the works of acclaimed choreographers such as George Balanchine, Mark Morris, Paul Taylor, Lar Lubovitch, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Twyla Tharp, Antony Tudor, John Cranko, Agnes de Mille, Jorma Elo, Jerome Robbins, Ann Reinking, Christopher Wheeldon and Jiri Kylian. He has been a frequent guest performer and teacher with ballet companies across the United States and abroad. In 2000, Radetsky starred in the movie Center Stage as well as in pop singer Mandy Moore's music video "I Wanna Be With You" from the Center Stage soundtrack. He is married to ABT Soloist Stella Abrera.

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Pacifc Northwest Ballet's AIR TWYLA is made possible by presenting sponsor The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. The world premiere of Twyla Tharp's Waiting at the Station is generously underwritten by Peter & Peggy Horvitz. Twyla Tharp dedicates Nine Sinatra Songs to Rhoda and Jerry Oster. PNB performances acknowledge, with appreciation, Sinatra Enterprises and The Frank Sinatra Foundation. Pacific Northwest Ballet's 2013-2014 Season is proudly sponsored by ArtsFund and Microsoft Corporation. The season is also sponsored in part by 4Culture, and Office of Arts & Culture Seattle. Media sponsors are The Seattle Times and KOMO 4.

Schedule and programming subject to change. For further information, please visit

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