San Francisco’s Visionary & Boundary-Pushing Alonzo King LINES Ballet Brings Duo of Canadian Premieres to VIDF 2017

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Vancouver International Dance Festival (VIDF) proudly present exquisitely hyperkinetic and technically superb Alonzo King LINES Balleton March 3 & 4, 2017 at the Vancouver Playhouse. Following a triumphant, sold-out appearance at VIDF in 2012, the endlessly innovative ensemble returns to share two electric Canadian premieres of Sand and Shostakovich from visionary namesake and founder Alonzo King. 

“Watching a piece of Alonzo King’s choreography is a revelation. Your eyes and mind open to new ways of seeing the human body in form and movement,” says Barbara Bourget, Co-Producer of VIDF. “There is a geometric – almost architectural intricacy to his choreography that has established him as a peerless international icon. When you add in the fact that his creations are performed by some of the world’s most highly trained and accomplished dance artists, you have an experience that is truly unforgettable.” 

Hailed by William Forsythe as “one of the few, true Ballet Masters of our time,” Alonzo King is a visionary choreographer who has changed the way the world looks at ballet. Understanding the form as a science rooted in universal, geometric principles of energy and evolution, his singular approach has seen him create work for the repertoires of such institutions as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Ballet Bejart, Frankfurt Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and more.

Renowned for their technical brilliance, hyper-physicality, and exquisite extensions, Alonzo King LINES Ballet is the choreographer’s primary home for innovation and creation. Founded in San Francisco in 1982, the company collaborates with noted composers, musicians, and visual artists from around the world to create works that draw on diverse sets of deeply rooted cultural traditions. In doing so, the company imbues classical ballet with new expressive potential.

In Vancouver, the company will share two exquisite and contrasting Canadian Premieres:

Shostakovich (2014)
Shostakovich takes ballet to extreme dimensions with its explosive athleticism. Set to four Shostakovich string quartets, the company is pushed to the limit, moving at fast, frenetic paces: one minute performing triple and quadruple pirouettes – tossed and spun into upside down lifts – the next, effortlessly balancing on pointe in gorgeous, long limbed poses.

Like an arrow poised for flight, there is an undercurrent of restless agitation in the creation. The music wavers in a state of crystalline suspension, pushing the dancers’ tensile strength to the limit as they revel in the space between harmony and discord, in the long arc before an earthbound fall.

SAND (2016)
Having enjoyed critical success at its world premiere in April 2016, SAND is touted as “transformative” – a sophisticated spectacle performed to the original, masterful score of tenor saxophonist Charles Lloyd and jazz pianist Jason Moran. The trailblazing jazz duo, who brought their partnership to the dance stage for the first time with SAND, amplifies the virtuosity and potency of King’s incredibly talented company of dancers.

Forever rooted in the canonical structures of the past, ballet dancers and jazz musicians mine the present moment. Together they revel in the freedom borne of exacting discipline, and boldly forge ahead.

Tickets to Alonzo King LINES Ballet are available online at: vidf.ca/tickets

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