Collaborating with noted composers, musicians and visual artists, King, who guides the company, creates works that draw on a diverse set of cultural traditions, imbuing classical ballet with new expressive potential. King understands ballet as a science, founded on universal, geometric principles of energy and evolution. His visionary choreography, brought to life by the extraordinary LINES Ballet dancers, is renowned for connecting audiences to a profound sense of shared humanity. The company, based in San Francisco, presents spring and fall home seasons that bring new works of illuminating beauty to Bay Area audiences. LINES Ballet’s global tours allow the company to share their vision of transformative, revelatory dance worldwide. The San Francisco Chronicle praised the company’s “Gripping, urgently beautiful choreography.”
Performances are set for 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 7, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 8, in the Alys Stephens Center’s Jemison Concert Hall. Tickets are $45, $35 and $28. UAB students and faculty may purchase $25 tickets; a limited number of $25 tickets are available for each show. All UAB students, faculty and staff may receive a 20 percent discount on single tickets. For tickets, call 205-975-2787 or visit www.AlysStephens.org.
Bringing their acclaimed partnership to the dance stage for the first time, tenor saxophonist Charles Lloyd and jazz pianist Jason Moran united with Alonzo King LINES Ballet for “SAND.” King’s choreography is fertile creative ground for the trailblazing duo — two generations of jazz masters who share “an unerring ability to get to the emotional heart of a song,” according to JazzTimes. According to the company’s description, “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.”
Called “riveting” by the San Francisco Chronicle, “Biophony” is King’s newest work in collaboration with natural soundscape artist Bernie Krause and composer Richard Blackford. For more than 40 years, Krause has traveled the globe with microphones tuned to the earth and its creatures. His vast archive catalogs the collective sound of entire ecosystems, what Krause terms biophony. From the rainforests of Borneo to a waterhole in Kenya, from the Alaskan tundra to a meadow high in the Sierra Nevada mountains, his recordings carry imprints of habitat in peril.
Onstage, these soundscapes reveal an intricate living orchestra cradling nature in suspension. The dancers’ senses are heightened amid calls of killer whales and tree frogs; their sweat seems to mingle with the mud, salt and dust of their new sonic environments, according to the company’s description of the work.
“They dance without ego, immersed in their song, unaware of being watched. We see classical technique refracted, distilled to an elemental purity that reminds us of our fellowship with all creatures; we see shoulder blades recast as vestigial wings. ‘Biophony’ takes place not at the threshold of the civilized and primal, but at the rejoining of two worlds never meant to be apart.”
This performance is part of the Jemison Investment Co. Dance Series. Supporting sponsors are South Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. Southern Company is lead sponsor for the Alonzo King LINES Ballet Southern tour. The Alys Stephens Center now has new amenities and technology to better present dance performance in its Jemison Concert Hall, and a new Meyer sound system to elevate the performance and the patrons’ experience.
The mission of Alonzo King LINES Ballet is to nurture artistry and the development of creative expression in dance, through collaboration, performance and education. The Alys Stephens Center will present a private class with Alonzo King LINES Ballet at the Alabama School of Fine Arts.
For more on Alonzo King LINES Ballet, visit the company’s site at www.linesballet.org.