Alonzo King LINES Ballet Returns to Jacob's Pillow, 7/15-19
Alonzo King LINES Ballet returns to Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival with bold new ideas for contemporary ballet July 15-19. The critically-acclaimed San Francisco-based company presents three innovative works including the East Coast premiere of Biophony danced to a natural soundscape created by composer Richard Blackford and bioacoustician Dr. Bernie Krause; Concerto for Two Violins to J.S. Bach's iconic "Concerto in D minor"; and Men's Quintet to a daring score by Grammy Award-winning composer Edgar Meyer. Alonzo King was the 2008 recipient of the prestigious Jacob's Pillow Dance Award.
Praised as "hyperkinetic" and "exceptional" by The New Yorker, Alonzo King LINES Ballet has emerged as one of the most celebrated contemporary ballet companies in the world. Embodying the unique artistic vision of choreographer and Artistic Director Alonzo King, the company draws upon deep cultural traditions and has embarked on numerous successful collaborations with acclaimed composers, musicians, and visual artists, pushing the envelope for ballet repertoire.
Declared "smart and satisfying" by Allan Ulrich of The San Francisco Chronicle, Concerto for Two Violins is a salute to neoclassicism and George Balanchine's 1941 masterpiece Concerto Barocco. The work features the company in three movements, and mirrors Bach's iconic score of two dueling violins. King's nod to Balanchine is "potent partner for Bach's organization of forces" and "the effect is especially striking...LINES Ballet dancers always look fabulous." (Brian Seibert, The New York Times). Concerto for Two Violins was made possible through the White Bird 2013 Barney Choreographic Prize, awarded to Alonzo King for his compositional ingenuity.
Set to bass virtuoso Edgar Meyer's warm composition "Violin Concerto Movement II", Men's Quintet, an excerpt from King's 2008 ballet The Radius of Convergence, exhibits the classical technique and contemporary overtones of the company. The cast features Michael Montgomery, one of Dance Magazine's 2013 "25 to Watch," in explosive solo moments accompanied by an exquisite corps. Noting the unique powers of the company members, acclaimed dance critic Deborah Jowitt states "how wonderfully each one manages the amazing physical monologues that King has devised for him."
Biophony, King's collaboration with composer Richard Blackford and famed bioacoustician and author of the book The Great Animal Orchestra Dr. Bernie Krause, is defined as "the collective sound vocal organisms generate in a given habitat" (Krause). This pioneering work demonstrates the acoustic harmony of the world set to wild movements and surprising musical and visual partnerships. Performed to Krause's sound score of more than 15,000 species including Amazonian frogs, African bees, Egyptian geese, humpback whales, and elephants, Biophony demonstrates the prowess of LINES Ballet dancers "in a raw nature interpreted through the human body" (Allan Ulrich, The San Francisco Chronicle). Ulrich continues, "King's off-kilter classical style seems made for this material. The contorted extremities and whipping pointe work to which we're accustomed inspired animal metaphors in the choreographer years ago."
Alonzo King founded Alonzo King LINES Ballet in 1982, an international touring company of remarkable dancers performing contemporary ballets infused with cultural traditions and classical technique. The company collaborates with noted composers, musicians, and visual artists around the world including legendary musician Mickey Hart and cutting-edge architect Christopher Haas among countless others. Developing its expressive potential in a new language of dance technique, Alonzo King's artistic vision is brought to fruition through the extraordinary LINES Ballet dancers.
Alonzo King LINES Ballet continues its commitment to dance education and community involvement through the joint B.F.A. Program in Dance with Dominican University of California, the LINES Ballet Training Program, the LINES Ballet Summer Program, and the LINES Dance Center, one of the largest dance facilities on the West Coast.
Known as one of the field's highest-regarded choreographers, Alonzo King is "one of the few bona fide visionaries in the ballet world today" (San Francisco Chronicle). His distinguished works appear in the repertories of prominent dance companies throughout the world, including the Royal Swedish Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and The Hong Kong Ballet, among others. He has served on panels for major arts councils, received numerous prestigious awards, contributed as a writer and lecturer on the art of dance, and supported dance education by establishing facilities and college programs. King inaugurated the San Francisco Dance Center in 1989, now one of the largest dance facilities on the West Coast. He established the LINES Ballet School for young dancers in 2001 and, in 2006, forged a partnership with the Dominican University of California, forming the West Coast's first joint education program for students pursuing a B.F.A. in Dance. King was named one of the fifty outstanding artists in America by the United States Artists organization in December 2006, one of only four Fellows in Dance. He was the recipient of a 2005 New York Dance and Performance "Bessie" Award for Choreographer/Creator, the NEA Choreographer's Fellowship, Irvine Fellowship in Dance, and five Isadora Duncan Awards. King received the President's Award for Dance Masters of America and the Barney Choreographic Prize for White Bird Dance in 2013. In 2015, King recently won the prestigious Doris Duke Artist Award and was placed on the Dance Heritage Coalition's "Irreplaceable Dance Treasures" List.
Alonzo King LINES Ballet last performed at the Pillow in 2008, following three previous engagements in 2000, 2002, and 2005; Alonzo King also received the Jacob's Pillow Dance Award in 2008. Company member Shuaib Elhassan is an alumnus of the Contemporary Program at The School at Jacob's Pillow.
PERFORMANCE AND TICKET INFORMATION:
· Free Pre-Show Talks with Jacob's Pillow Scholar-in-Residence Philip Szporer are offered in Blake's Barn 30 minutes before every performance.
· A Post-Show Q&A with Alonzo King LINES Ballet and a Jacob's Pillow Scholar-in-Residence will take place onstage on Friday, July 17.
· Tickets $39-$75. Now on sale online at jacobspillow.org, via phone at 413.243.0745, or in person at the Jacob's Pillow Box Office. A limited number of $19 Under 35 Friday tickets are available for July 17; limit 2 per person, must be between the ages of 18 and 35.
· $10 Youth Tickets for those 17 and under are available for Friday, July 17 and matinee performances on Saturday, July 18 and Sunday, July 19 for Alonzo King LINES Ballet.
· Box Office Hours: Sunday through Tuesday, 11am-5pm, Wednesday through Saturday 11am-8pm.
· Jacob's Pillow is located at 358 George Carter Road in Becket, MA, 01223 (10 minutes east on Route 20 from Mass Pike Exit 2). The Jacob's Pillow campus and theatres are handicapped-accessible.
· Pillow Members receive exclusive benefits. To become a Member, call 413.243.9919 x125.
· Jacob's Pillow is located at 358 George Carter Road in Becket, MA, 01223 (10 minutes east on Route 20 from Mass Pike Exit 2). The Jacob's Pillow campus and theaters are handicapped accessible.
Jacob's Pillow, celebrating its 83rd Festival in 2015, is a National Historic Landmark, recipient of the National Medal of Arts, and home to America's longest-running international dance festival. Each Festival includes more than 50 national and international dance companies and 350 free and ticketed performances, talks, tours, classes, exhibits, and events. The School at Jacob's Pillow, one of the most prestigious professional dance training centers in the U.S., encompasses the diverse disciplines of Ballet, Cultural Traditions, Contemporary, and Musical Theatre Dance, as well as an Intern Program in various disciplines of arts administration, design, video, and production. The Pillow's extensive Archives, open year-round to the public, chronicle more than a century of dance in photographs, programs, books, costumes, audiotapes, and videos. Year-round Community Programs enrich the lives of children and adults through public classes, residencies in area schools, and an extensive schedule of free public events. Through Jacob's Pillow Curriculum in Motion, a nationally-recognized program, Artist Educators work with Berkshire County teachers and students grades K-12, transforming curricula such as biology, literature, and history into kinesthetic and creative learning experiences. Creative Development Residencies, in which dance companies are invited to live and work at the Pillow and enjoy unlimited studio time; choreography commissions; and the annual $25,000 Jacob's Pillow Dance Award all support visionary dance artists and choreographers. Virtual Pillow is aimed at expanding global audiences for dance and offers the opportunity to experience dance and Jacob's Pillow from anywhere in the world via online interactive exhibits, global video networks, and social media. As part of the Virtual Pillow initiative, Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive is a curated online video collection of dance highlights from 1936 to today. On March 2, 2011, President Obama honored Jacob's Pillow with a National Medal of Arts, the highest arts award given by the United States Government, making the Pillow the first dance presenting organization to receive this prestigious award. For more information, visit www.jacobspillow.org.