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Sarah Hart
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The Joyce Theater
Alonzo King's Lines Ballet
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Alonzo King's Lines Ballet, May 5-10, Joyce Theater, New York

by Sarah Hart, Kpm Associates
May 5, 2009
The Joyce Theater
175 Eighth Avenue (at the corner of 19th Street)
New York, NY 10011

Featured Dance Company:

Alonzo King's Lines Ballet
Alonzo King's Lines Ballet (office)
26 Seventh Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Alonzo King's LINES Ballet will perform a special New York City engagement May 5 – 10, 2009 at The Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue (at 19th Street). The acclaimed company is returning to the Joyce with a new program of work from the gifted choreographer featuring: "Rasa", an exhilarating and transformative work set to tabla master Zakir Hussain's rhythmic beat and another New York Premiere tba.

Tabla music began as dancing music, in Northern Indian courts in the early 1700s, and its hypnotic intensity and complex rhythms convey the strong feeling that they are meant to move the body. There is an enthralling quality to the cyclical, accentual repetitions of rhythms. Zakir Hussain, son of the legendary tabla player Ustad Alla Rakha, has created music with an array of artists from the Karnatic tradition of Southern India, the international Silk Road Project, and Western drummers. He is the preferred accompanist for many of India's classical musicians and dancers. He began touring before he was twelve, and has received numerous awards including a Grammy for his collaborative album, Planet Drum. This is his third collaboration with Alonzo King. The tabla, with its rich texture of rhythmic patterns, is the main form of percussion in the Hindustani music of North India. The tabla bridges folk, semi-classical, and classical Hindustani music genres, and was intrinsic to the lost dances of the tawaif-s, who performed in 18th-century courts.

Alonzo King has been recognized for his extraordinary vision; San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom presented the 2nd Annual Mayor's Art Award to him in October, stating a "San Francisco treasure, embodying the best of San Francisco, the creative excellence and diverse culture of this city." In June 2008, he was honored with the Jacob's Pillow Creativity Award, in recognition for "moving ballet in a very 21st-century direction," praised Ella Baff, the Executive Director. In 2006, the newly formed United States Artists organization recognized 50 outstanding living artists in America: Mr. King was honored with one of the four Fellowships in Dance nationwide, and the only one given in California. He received the Bessie Award for Choreographer/Creator in 2005. He has also been the recipient of the NEA Choreographer's Fellowship, the Irvine Dance Fellowship, 5 Isadora Duncan awards, 2 honorary doctorates, and the 2007 Community Leadership Award. His works are in the repertories of companies throughout the world: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Dance Theater of Harlem, Frankfurt Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Swedish Royal Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre, and Washington Ballet. He has worked extensively in opera, television, and film and has choreographed works for Natalia Makarova and film star Patrick Swayze. Renowned for his skill as teacher, Mr. King has been guest ballet master for numerous companies.

Alonzo King's LINES Ballet was founded in San Francisco in 1982, and has developed into a celebrated international touring company. Collaborating with noted composers, musicians, and visual artists, Alonzo King creates works that draw on a diverse set of deeply rooted cultural traditions and imbue classical ballet with new expressive potential. In 1989, Alonzo King inaugurated the San Francisco Dance Center, which has grown into one of the largest dance facilities on the West Coast, and in 2002 started the LINES Ballet School and Pre-Professional Program. In 2006, LINES Ballet joined with Dominican University of California to create a unique Joint BFA program in Dance. The Company is also enjoying tremendous success abroad with sold-out houses in Germany, France, Italy at such venues as the Venice Biennale and the Maison de la Dance in Lyon. LINES Ballet has been featured at several prestigious festivals, including Montpellier Danse, the Wolfsburg Festival, the Holland Dance Festival, and the 50th anniversary of the Spoleto Festival. For more information visit www.linesballet.org

Performances are Tuesday & Wednesday at 7:30 pm; Thursday - Saturday at 8:00 pm; and matinees at 2:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday. There is a Humanities program on Wednesday 5/6. Tickets are $49, $35 & $19 and for Joyce members $37 & $26; through JoyceCharge (212) 242-0800 and www.joyce.org.
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