Excerpt from The Propelled Heart, a collaboration between Alonzo King LINES Ballet and Lisa Fischer, featuring former company dancer Courtney Henry
San Francisco's long-standing contemporary ballet company, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, celebrates its 40th Anniversary this year. Led by visionary choreographer and thought-leader Alonzo King, LINES Ballet is at the forefront of artistic innovation, fostering multi-disciplinary collaborations with compelling artists, including Grammy-Award winning vocalist Lisa Fischer who will join the dancers onstage this spring at YBCA. With a compelling mission, genius dancers, and 2 million audience members worldwide over the last forty years, LINES still sees untapped potential to uncover.
What keeps King ahead of the curve are his convictions.
“Art is one of the doorways through which vision can be expanded,” says King. “It makes the bigger picture clear, showing the invisible links between all things. My aim with our work is to remind me, the artists, and the viewers that love is the ocean that we rose from, swim in, and will one day return to, and that love, if listened to and deeply cultured, can bring us to liberation.”
King sees all things as interconnected and believes everyone is an artist. This value has led LINES Ballet to expand their impact beyond audience members. Alonzo King LINES Ballet is an artistic hub in the heart of downtown San Francisco, home to nationally recognized dance education and community programs including LINES Training Program and Summer Program, the joint BFA Program in Dance with Dominican University of California, Teens at LINES, and LINES Dance Center, one of the largest dance facilities on the West Coast offering 50 classes weekly to adult dancers of all ages and levels.
To King, “art is the inheritance of every individual. It activates evolutionary growth, is an intellectual virtue, and the fostering principle for all that is made, done, or known.”
King’s philosophy on dance training differs from that of many traditional schools. And all of LINES education programs, from the fully funded in-school residency programs for kids in the Bay Area (HEART with LINES) to pre-professional programs for teens to adults, are grounded in it.
“Too often, particularly in what we call dance training,” says Alonzo, “there is an emphasis on the body, which transposes the traditional hierarchy that the spirit is above the mind and the mind above the body. What is really being trained is the mind and heart. Nothing is separate; all things are integrated.”
Since 1982, Alonzo King LINES Ballet has inspired students, artists, and audience members all around the globe to envision their fullest, most compassionate, most extraordinary potential.
This spring, the company kicks off its 40th Anniversary celebration with a world premiere featuring Lisa Fischer, who has shared the stage with musical luminaries of nearly every genre, including Mick Jagger, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Beyoncé, and Sting. Lisa will perform live alongside the LINES Ballet dancers to an original score set by jazz pianist, composer, and MacArthur Fellow, Jason Moran. Performances run from May 13-22, 2022 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, with the 40th Anniversary Gala on May 14. Tickets are available at linesballet.org/spring-2022.