Alonzo King, hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle as “one of the few bona fide visionaries in the ballet world today,” showcases his gifted dancers in Alonzo King LINES Ballet’s first performance at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts.The San Francisco-based company comes to Fairfax, 8 p.m., Oct. 3, for a pre-performance discussion, free to ticketholders, 45 minutes prior to the performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III, sponsored by the Friends of the Center for the Arts.
The performance includes King’s critically acclaimed work from 2007, “Rasa,” a deeply evocative and shimmering piece praised by the New York Times as “an intriguing wonder.” “Rasa” is set to a hypnotic score by Grammy Award-winning classical Indian percussionist and tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain. Tabla is a form of dancing music first found in northern Indian courts in the early 18th century, and according to the LINES Ballet website, “‘Rasa’ is both a continuation of a deep tradition – the interdependence of dance and tabla music as art forms – and an expression of the contemporary global vision of [Alonzo King and Zakir Hussain].”
King uses scientific and mathematical principles to further develop the language of movement, and creates work that explores the cross-cultural roots of classical ballet. He has collaborated with noted artists as diverse as actor Danny Glover, bassist Edgar Meyer, jazz pianist Jason Moran, former Grateful Dead percussionist Mickey Hart, the Kung Fu monks of the Shaolin Temple and Baka artists from the Central African Republic. He is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including the Jacob’s Pillow Creativity Award for “moving ballet in a very 21st century direction.” He was also named a “San Francisco National Treasure” by the San Francisco Museum & Historical Society, and a Master of Choreography by the Kennedy Center. King’s works are in the repertories of the Swedish Royal Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, Ballet Béjart, Les Ballets de Monte Carlo, Joffrey Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Hong Kong Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. King’s philosophical and visionary approach was shaped by his family; his father, Slater King, and his uncles, C.B. King and Preston King, were prominent figures in the Civil Rights movement, and his mother, Valencia King Nelson, is the founder of AfriGeneas, an organization dedicated to African ancestry.
For more information on Alonzo King LINES Ballet, please visit linesballet.org.