Reading Between the LINES: 5 Facts About Alonzo King LINES Ballet

Since 1982, Alonzo King LINES Ballet has been proving that everything is beautiful at the ballet. This San Francisco based dance company produces, teaches, and encourages diverse works of movement art deeply rooted in cultural traditions, and influenced by classic structure and modern passions. At LINES, when you raise your arms, someone’s always there (if you’d like more A Chorus Line references, email us). To learn more about these movement mavericks, here are 5 Facts About Alonzo King LINES Ballet.

1. Long Live the King

Alonzo King has a dance resume as long as the legs of his dancers. He has worked with the Swedish Royal Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Alvin Ailey, choreographed with Baka artists from Central African Republic, with China’s Shaolin Monks, was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Corps de Ballet International Teacher Conference, the Barney Choreographic Prize from White Bird Dance in April 2013, and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom presented the Mayor’s Art Award to Alonzo King in October 2008, calling him a “San Francisco treasure.” If accomplishments were pirouettes King could spin for years.

2. Discover Discovery

The Alonzo King LINES Ballet Discovery Project is a program designed to reach out to dancers whom otherwise would not have been reached by the lithe loving arms of dance. They provide intermediate to advanced dancers ages 13 and up with three to five day intensive workshops conducted by LINES Ballet faculty members. So if your kid is the next Misty Copeland, or even the next Billy Elliot, grab a leotard and discover the Discover Project.

3. Bonjour Franck

“Tracing LINES with Alonzo King” is a short film created by the very French, and very professional photographer Franck Thibault, chronicling the company during rehearsals and performances in San Francisco, Monaco, and France. It explores the passion of Alonzo King, his dancers, and is a magnificent marriage of the subject of dance and the medium of photography.

4. I Think Therefore I Dance

Alonzo King treats ballet like a science, founded on the universal principles of energy, evolution, and form. The way we dissected frogs in grade school, King dissects movement with an eye for precision and passion, except he uses his words and body, not scalpels and tweezers (thank god). In the words of the man himself, “Moving is thought in action. So when you see great movers, you’re actually seeing great thinkers.” King and Einstein would have made great prom dates, trading ideas and dance moves over corsage exchanges.

5. Dance Dance Revelation

The Alonzo King Lines Ballet was part of a two hour benefit called DanceFAR, which means dancing “for a reason.” Dancing on stage, and in da club is all well and good, but DanceFAR, held at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater and Forum in San Francisco, is a night both to celebrate dance, and to raise money for the Cancer Prevention Institute of California. The showcase brought together more than 75 dancers and raised over $100,000 last year. When’s the last time you clubbed for a cause?