Alonzo King LINES Ballet, the internationally celebrated contemporary ballet company, culminates its 30th Anniversary year this Spring with a world premiere collaboration between visionary choreographer Alonzo King and Grammy award winning double bassist and composer Edgar Meyer, April 19-28, 2013. The collaboration also features a set by Academy Award winning designer Jim Doyle, one of the world’s leading creators of water feature designs.
Celebrated by the New Yorker as “…the most remarkable virtuoso in the relatively unchronicled history of his instrument,” Meyer draws audiences from all music corners – his styles include classical, bluegrass, newgrass, and jazz. Meyer and his musicians will perform live alongside the LINES Ballet dancers for every performance – with Meyer on double bass and piano, and a cellist and violinist.
Of his aspiration to work with Meyer, King says, “When I first heard the second movement of Edgar Meyer’s Violin Concerto, I was knocked off my feet. Its profoundly mesmerizing beauty and wave like repetitions interrupted by rhythmic shifts was an ideal world to construct choreography. The music seemed to embody the ancient with the new, with a stillness that moved.”
Doyle is a specialist in the world of fog and water and a Director at WET Design, a water design firm best known for its 9-acre Fountains of Bellagio in Las Vegas. Along with lighting designer Axel Morgenthaler, Doyle will create an elemental environment of liquid and light to accompany King’s work.
LINES Ballet’s 30th Anniversary Gala will be held on Saturday, April 20, 2013 celebrating three decades of Alonzo King’s artistry, innovation, and collaboration.
Since its founding in 1982, Alonzo King LINES Ballet has been guided by the unique artistic vision of Alonzo King. King creates works that draw on a diverse set of deeply rooted cultural traditions, imbuing classical ballet with new expressive potential. He is celebrated for his collaboration with noted composers, musicians, and visual artists – his collaborators over the last three decades have included jazz saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, tabla master Zakir Hussain, actor Danny Glover, Polish composer Pavel Syzmanski, Nubian oud master Hamza El Din, percussionist Mickey Hart, visual artist Jim Campbell, the BaAka from the Central African Republic, and the Shaolin monks of China, to name a few. The conceptual design, production, aesthetic and artistic direction of each project is shaped in collaboration with Creative Director and Designer Robert Rosenwasser.
In addition to the company’s home seasons, LINES Ballet tours globally and has been featured at venues such as the Venice Biennale, Monaco Dance Forum, Maison de la Dance, the Edinburgh Festival, Montpellier Danse, the Wolfsburg Festival, and the Holland Dance Festival. The Company continues its robust international touring schedule throughout 2013, with a fall touring schedule that includes performances in Israel and throughout Europe, including in Lyon, La Rochelle, Rouen, Marseilles and at the Théâtre National de Chaillot in Paris.
Alonzo King LINES Ballet’s company dancers are David Harvey, Ashley Jackson, Caroline Rocher, Meredith Webster, Keelan Whitmore, Ricardo Zayas, Michael Montgomery, Courtney Henry, Kara Wilkes, Zack Tang, Yujin Kim and Paul Knobloch
About Alonzo King
Alonzo King is a visionary choreographer who is altering the way we look at ballet. King calls his works ‘thought structures’ which are created by the manipulation of energies inherent in matter, through laws that govern the shapes and movement directions of everything that exists. King has works in the repertories of the Royal Swedish Ballet, Ballets de Monte Carlo, Béjart Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Alvin Ailey, Hong Kong Ballet, NCDT, and Washington Ballet. He has worked extensively in opera, television, and film. Known for collaborations, King’s seminal works include People of the Forest (2001), choreographed with BaAka artists from Central African Republic, and Long River High Sky (2007), with China’s Shaolin Monks. He has collaborated with actor Danny Glover, legendary jazz saxophonist Pharaoh Sanders, Hamza al Din, Pawel Szymanski, jazz composer Jason Moran, and tabla master Zakir Hussain. Renowned for his skill as a teacher, King has been guest ballet master for dance companies around the globe.
In 1982, King founded Alonzo King LINES Ballet, which has developed into a world-renowned touring company. Seven years later, he inaugurated the Dance Center, which has grown into one of the largest dance facilities on the West Coast. In 2001, King started the LINES Ballet Training and Summer Programs to nurture and develop the talents of young dancers. Expanding the scope of his educational visions to the college level in 2006, King and LINES Ballet embarked on a partnership with the Dominican University of California, creating the West Coast’s first Joint BFA program in Dance. It is the only Joint BFA program in the country to be led by an active master choreographer.
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom presented the Mayor’s Art Award to Alonzo King in 2008, calling him a “San Francisco treasure.” That year Alonzo King was also honored with the Jacob’s Pillow Creativity Award, in recognition of his contribution to “moving ballet in a very 21st-century direction.” In 2006, King received the US Artists award, just after being given New York’s Bessie Award for Choreographer/Creator in 2005. He is also the recipient of the NEA Choreographer’s Fellowship, Irvine Fellowship in Dance, National Dance Project and the National Dance Residency Program, and five Isadora Duncan Awards. Additional honors include the Hero Award from Union Bank, the Los Angeles Lehman Award, the Excellence Award from KGO, the San Francisco Foundation’s 2007 Community Leadership Award, the 2012 CORPS de Ballet Lifetime Achievement Award and the San Francisco Museum & Historical Society’s San Francisco Treasure Award. In 2005, he was named a Master of Choreography by the Kennedy Center. He is a former commissioner for the city and county of San Francisco, and a writer and lecturer on the art of dance. He was awarded the Green Honors Chair Professorship from Texas Christian University, and holds honorary Doctorates from Dominican University of California and California Institute of the Arts.
More information about Alonzo King LINES Ballet and its 30th Anniversary is at www.linesballet.org