Choreographer Alonzo King has created contemporary ballets for more than 50 international dance companies as well as dozens of pieces for film, television, opera and his own company, LINES Contemporary Ballet. Easily one of the most sought-after ballet masters in the world, Alonzo King is often living out of a suitcase, traveling to multiple locations in short order. Spark travels with King to New York City as he mounts new ballets with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Cedar Lake Ensemble.
LINES has grown steadily since founding its in 1982. The company has received international recognition for choreographic innovation, creative collaborations and world-class dancers. King’s choreography adapts the forms and disciplines of classical ballet in ways that appeal to contemporary audiences. One of the hallmarks of Alonzo’s method is how he communicates his ideas: rendering the abstractions of complex choreography into directions that the dancers can feel and see, activating all their senses, and demanding that the dancers dig deep within themselves to expose their true emotions. For him, it is not about the steps. He wants to create “what is real.”
The drive to make art is what keeps King on such a rigorous travel schedule and why he continues to search for new ways of sharing and expressing his art. In 1989, under the direction of King, LINES founded the San Francisco Dance Center, which serves as a resource for the entire Bay Area dance community. It has become the largest public dance space on the West Coast, offering a wide variety of movement and dance forms, including ballet, modern, Jazz, flamenco, Afro-Latin, East Indian, Brazilian, yoga and pilates. In 1994, LINES launched a major initiative to expand the involvement of world-renowned artists in the creation of new work and became one of the resident companies at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.