Waiting At The Station


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 1940s 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.

Apart from her own, Tharp has developed long working relationships with three dance companies over the course of her career; Pacific Northwest Ballet is one of these. After seven years of repertory and two prior commissions, artistic director Peter Boal approached Tharp to create a third piece for the company. Waiting at the Station anchored an All-Tharp program that included Nine Sinatra Songs and the Seattle premiere of Brief Fling.


  • Macy, Pasch, Moore and Adomaitis. ©Angela Sterling
  • Moore (back left), Macy, Pasch and Adomaitis with company dancers. ©Angela Sterling
  • Moore with company dancers. ©Angela Sterling
  • Imler and Tharp rehearse. ©Lindsay Thomas
  • Generosa and company dancers in studio rehearsal. ©Lindsay Thomas


Pacific Northwest Ballet dancers perform. ©Twyla Tharp
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Music Program:

Music by Allen Toussaint

1. Let's
2. Bright Mississippi
3. Dolores' Boyfriend
4. Mother-in-Law
5. Don't Go To Sleep
6. Fas-Fess
7. I Miss You, Baby
8. The Mardi Gras Stomp
9. Waiting at the Station

Audio Sample: 

Don't Go To Sleep
Written by Allen Toussaint

Performance History

McCaw Hall, Seattle, WA
September 27, 2013

Additional performances on September 28 & October 3-6, 2013
Works on this program: Brief FlingWaiting at the Station (premiere), Nine Sinatra Songs

McCaw Hall, Seattle, WA
June 3, 2016
Additional performances on June 4th and June 9th-12th.
McCaw Hall, Seattle, WA
June 10, 2016
Additional performance on June 11 and 12.
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