Alonzo King LINES Ballet to be Presented in ARTWorks at Segerstrom Center for the Arts

The program on Saturday, January 20, 2024 at 7:30 p.m. in Segerstrom Hall features pieces from six of King’s works.

By: Dec. 05, 2023
Alonzo King LINES Ballet to be Presented in ARTWorks at Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Segerstrom Center for the Arts will present Alonzo King LINES Ballet in ARTWorks, an evening featuring captivating moments from its diverse repertoire, highlighting the breadth and depth of choreographer Alonzo King's vision. 

The program on Saturday, January 20, 2024 at 7:30 p.m. in Segerstrom Hall features pieces from six of King’s works: Following the Subtle Current Upstream, Dust and Light, Writing Ground, Resin, Suite Etta, and Child of Sky and Earth. These works embody the full spectrum of the human experience - from the contemplative and heart-wrenching to the joyful and cathartic. Notably, all of these pieces will be making their Center debuts, promising a night of discovery and artistic revelation. Alonzo King has quickly become a beloved figure at the Center, with his innovative and soul-stirring choreography captivating audiences over the past few years. 

Tickets beginning at $29 are available at scfta.org.

The musical landscape will span a range of traditions, including blues, Italian baroque, pop, and jazz, as well as music from Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Tibetan Buddhist influences. Following the Subtle Current Upstream (2000) originally commissioned by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, is described by King as a “piece about how to return to joy” and features a score by tabla master Zakir Hussain and South African singer Miriam Makeba. King’s ethereal Dust and Light (2009) is set to concerti by prolific Baroque composer Arcangelo Corelli and religious chants by Francis Poulenc

Writing Ground (2010), originally commissioned by the Monaco Dance Forum, draws inspiration from a poem by award-winning writer Colum McCann. King’s 2013 work Resin is set to music by Jordi Savall and various Sephardic field recordings. Suite Etta (1997) pays homage to the musical legacy of Etta James and Child of Sky and Earth (2021), a solo originally choreographed for NYC Ballet principal dancer Tiler Peck, and commissioned by the Kennedy Center, features a score by jazz pianist Jason Moran and vocals by Gregory Porter.

"We've been fortunate to work with some of the greatest musicians on the planet during the past 41 years. And if you could choose masterful composers from around the world, why would you limit yourself to one genre?” says Alonzo King. “A lament is a lament, regardless of its place of origin. I simply want to work with tuning forks that vibrate truth, for movement and sound are both vibrations; they are inextricably linked."

The performance seeks to answer the very basic question of what it means to be human through movement, music, and the power of sharing the experience together.

Rachel Howard in the San Francisco Chronicle said of this program, “If you seek space for contemplation in these times of painful world conflict, go to Alonzo King LINES Ballet … King’s awareness of the shared vulnerability of humanity unites, as does the LINES dancers’ extraordinary commitment. This LINES Ballet season serves as a kind of prayer for peace.”   

In a Colburn School interview with Christina Mancebo in February, 2023, King said, “Movement is the principal expression of life. The heart is beating, the brain is synapsing, blood is rushing through the veins. The peristaltic process—healing—many diseases pass through our bodies that could have been fatal but they are worked out so that this machine of breath and willpower [present] signs that this thing is living. There’s a radiation from rocks and plants, so movement is the principal expression of life, whether we’re in war or whether we are being kind to each other … there are natural spaces that are also moving with life and they have an effect on us. Our internal world is the instrument we dance from because dancers are musicians.”

King finds “The tuning fork used by choreographers, painters, mothers, and fathers raising children…is [asking] is this true? And if it’s true, it is therefore beautiful because truth and beauty are the same. And so that’s the obsession from the beginning of planet Earth until the end of planet Earth—is what I’m presenting and saying, is there truth emanating from this statement, this painting, this writing, this novel.”

In reflecting upon his early experiences of dance and his training, King shares that “movement was an internal part of my being. It was something that I did all the time. My mother was a dancer, and she was an inspiration to me. And then I went to a formal academic education with the School of American Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Joffrey Ballet School, and Harkness Ballet.”

Segerstrom Center for the Arts applauds its corporate partner Kaiser Permanente as its Official Health Care Partner, Spa Gregorie’s as its official wellness partner and recognizes Riviera Magazine as the official media partner for the Dance Series.

About Alonzo King LINES Ballet

Forty-one years of outstanding, multi-disciplinary collaborations for the stage place the LINES Ballet company, that has been guided since 1982 by the unique artistic vision of Alonzo King, at the forefront of artistic innovation in ballet. With each collaboration, LINES Ballet investigates deeply rooted affinities between Western and Eastern classical forms, elemental materials, the natural world, and the human spirit. LINES Ballet has collaborated with noted composers, musicians and visual artists from around the world to create performances that alter the way we look at ballet today.

At LINES Ballet, the artistic investigation is infinite and essential for it leads to what unites us as human beings: empathy, joy, and the ability to transcend. LINES Ballet’s spring and fall home seasons and global tours share this vision of transformative, revelatory dance with 50,000+ audience members worldwide every year. The Company has been featured at venues such as the Venice BiennaleMonaco Dance ForumMaison de la Dance de Lyon, the Edinburgh International FestivalMontpellier Danse, the Wolfsburg Festival, the Holland Dance Festival, and most recently the Théâtre National de Chaillot in Paris.

In addition to the Company, Alonzo King LINES Ballet is also the home to nationally recognized dance education and community programs including LINES Training Program and Summer Program, the joint BFA Program in Dance with Dominican University of California, and the LINES Dance Center, one of the largest dance facilities on the West Coast.

King said, “The term LINES alludes to all that is visible in the phenomenal world. There is nothing that is made or formed without a line. Straight and Circle encompass all that we see. Whatever can be seen is formed by a line. In mathematics it is a straight or curved continuous extent of length without breadth. Lines are in our fingerprints, the shapes of our bodies, constellations, geometry. It implies genealogical connection, progeny and spoken word. It marks the starting point and a finish. It addresses direction, communication, and design. A line of thought. A boundary or eternity. A melodic line. The equator. From vibration or dot to dot it is the visible organization of what we see.”

About Alonzo King

Alonzo King 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. Named as a choreographer with “astonishing originality” by The New York Times, Alonzo King LINES Ballet has been guided by his unique artistic vision since 1982.

King has works in the repertories of the world’s leading ballet and modern companies and has collaborated with distinguished visual artists, musicians, and composers across the globe. His work has been recognized for its impact on the cultural fabric of the company’s home in San Francisco, as well as internationally by the dance world’s most prestigious institutions.

King was honored with a Dance Magazine Award in 2020. He received Honorary Doctorates from The Juilliard School, Dominican University of California, and California Institute of the Arts in recognition of his significant contribution to the field of dance. Renowned for his skill as a teacher, King was also honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Corps de Ballet International Teacher Conference in 2012. Joining historic icons in the field, King was named one of America’s “Irreplaceable Dance Treasures” by the Dance Heritage Coalition. An internationally acclaimed guest ballet master, his training philosophy undergirds the educational programming at the Alonzo King LINES Dance Center of San Francisco, which includes the pre-professional Training ProgramSummer Program, and the BFA Program at Dominican University of California.




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