Alonzo King LINES Ballet Coming to Cullen Theater, 5/9

Alonzo King LINES Ballet Coming to Cullen Theater, 5/9

The San Francisco-based contemporary ballet company, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, will make its Houston debut Friday, May 9, 2014, at 8 p.m. in the Wortham Center's Cullen Theater, presented by Society for the Performing Arts.

Led by founder and artistic director Alonzo King, the LINES Ballet dancers are known for connecting audiences to a profound sense of shared humanity. This revered choreographer and his company use principles of science to further develop the language of movement. "The term LINES alludes to all that is visible in the phenomenal world," says King. "There is nothing that is made or formed without line. Straight and circle encompass all that we see. Whatever can be seen is formed by line."

While in Houston the company will perform two works choreographed by King. First on the program is Resin, a piece that moves from intimate duets to the flashing, barely visible footwork of a quartet of dancers, all to Sephardic music. Rare archival field recordings are interwoven with Judeo-Spanish songs by early-music artist Jordi Savall, and the stage is transformed into a shimmering and timeless landscape, as tiny, hardened tears, impressively portrayed by the use of salt, cascade downwards in streams of light.

The final work, Scheherazade, is a re-envisioning of the ancient collection of Persian, Sanskrit and Arabic stories of 1,001 Nights. The dancers of LINES Ballet will present a vision of the transformative potential these stories possess. The new score by tabla master Zakir Hussain re-interprets the original music by Rimsky-Korsakov, incorporating traditional Persian, as well as Western instruments.

King founded his 14-member LINES Ballet in 1982. Collaborating with noted composers, musicians and visual artists from around the world, Alonzo King creates works that draw on a diverse set of deeply rooted cultural traditions, infusing classical ballet with new expressive potential. He has been called a visionary choreographer, who is altering the way we look at ballet. King calls his works "thought structures" created by the manipulation of energies that exist in matter through laws, which govern the shapes and movement directions of everything that exists.

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