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 Post subject: Lines Ballet's "Long River High Sky"
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 12:49 pm 
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Location: El Granada, CA, USA
From the SF Chronicle.

Quote:
Ballet and kung fu well-matched dance partners in Lines premiere
Rachel Howard, Special to The Chronicle

Monday, April 16, 2007

For those who don't know, it's worth stating plainly: Alonzo King is the real deal as a choreographer, one of the few bona fide visionaries in the ballet world today, and we are fortunate to have him and his Lines Ballet in San Francisco.

It's especially worth stating lest the deeper wonders of his latest project, which opened Friday at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, be overshadowed by sheer novelty. For this 25th anniversary spring season, King has engaged seven Buddhist monks from China's Shaolin Temple. Renowned for their martial arts, they have lived in San Francisco since 2004 under the auspices of their monastery, and they are spectacular.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 12:03 pm 
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Location: San Francisco
Lines Ballet in collaboration with the Shaolin Monks
April 20, 2007
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Most likely, when you think of ballet, you don’t automatically think kung fu. Or monks. Or young boys performing front headsprings (yes, head, not hand) across a stage. But thanks to Alonzo King’s creative wit, that’s exactly what we got with Lines Ballet’s collaboration with San Francisco’s localized Shaolin Monks. This evening (rumored to be titled “Long River High Sky” yet not listed as such anywhere in the materials) combined King’s distinctive contemporary choreography with the Monks’ kung fu, tai chi, gymnastics, and overall calming presence, and what began as a ballet vs. monk dichotomy ended with a common understanding that both performance styles and beliefs held beauty and strength in the highest of regards.

Surprisingly, a third “performance style” emerged quietly yet powerfully through the work: that of the musicians. Hong Wang, Wanpeng Guo, and Shenshen Zhang of Melody of China harmoniously accompanied the performers using 15 different instruments (banhu, dizi, and concert sheng to name a few). At times, I found my mind drifting off listening to the music, harmonious and serene at times and quickly beating at others.

While the program spanned a lot of ground throughout the two halves and its 29 sections, the fusion we all expected never quite took flight. Many times, the monks looked like props to the Lines dancers and vice versa, and the two forms never quite developed a visually pleasing balance. I expected something more than the mishmash of form against form: a newly codified movement style or editing to create more “common ground,” perhaps. But even with these issues, the program envelopes your senses and mind with images of what might be possible with a little bit of artistic effort and imagination (except that of monks in arabesque).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 12:21 pm 
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Location: El Granada, CA, USA
This is what I was worried about. How do you effectively integrate the two styles without it looking like they were just slapped on stage together. Semms as though Mr. King didn't quite solve the problem.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 1:48 pm 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
For all you Alonzo King Lines Ballet fans, the company appeared at Bytom Festival and we have an interview and a review. Please drop in and shre your thoughts about the company or the works on display:

http://www.ballet-dance.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=30100


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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 1:27 pm 
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Location: El Granada, CA, USA
Rachel Howard reviews the encore of te Lines Ballet with the Shaolin monks. As far as gimmicks go, this has got to be the gimmick-iest.

From the SF Chronicle.

Quote:
Dance review: Lines Ballet with Shaolin monks
Rachel Howard, Chronicle Dance Correspondent

Friday, May 30, 2008

Usually the phrase "back by popular demand" is just so much marketing spin, but apparently the word really has gotten out about Lines Ballet's collaboration with Shaolin monks. This week's entire encore run of "Long River High Sky" at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater is sold out, and Wednesday's opening-night audience was on its feet the moment the curtain fell.

Most of the cheers during the two-hour show went to the monks' more acrobatic kung fu feats: propeller-legged jumps, lightning-fast punches, landed on the crown of the head. But after one quartet exclusively by Lines' own exquisite dancers, an irrepressible lone enthusiast shouted "Bravo!," and more power to him.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 3:22 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:01 pm
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Location: El Granada, CA, USA
A review from the Contra Costa Times.

Quote:
Lines Ballet leaps back into kung fu collaboration
By Ann Murphy
Correspondent
Article Launched: 05/31/2008 12:00:55 AM PDT


San Francisco's Lines Ballet has never been a stranger to cross-cultural collaboration. Long before mixing idioms was commonplace in the concert hall, company founder and artistic director Alonzo King began to inflect ballet with fractured, zigzagging shapes that held echoes of Asia, Indonesia and Africa.

Such cultural surfing could be an add-on or a gimmick, and in some hands it would. For King, however, recombining Western classical dance with non-Western forms is a fundamental aspect of his quest to find new ways of expressing what is shared across cultures and through time.

This week's reprise of "Long River High Sky," his 2007 collaboration with the masterful Shaolin Monks, demonstrates how potent cultural partnerships can be, and may be King's most riveting collaboration yet.



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 11:37 am 
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
LINES Ballet will perform "Long River, High Sky" on the University of Washington World Dance Series, Thursday-Saturday, November 20-22 at Meany Hall. Andrew Gilbert previews the program in the Seattle Times:

Seattle Times

Nancy Wick previews the performance in University Week:

University Week


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 11:27 am 
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Jean Lenihan reviews the Thursday, November 20, 2008 performance at the University of Washington's Meany Hall in the Seattle Times:

Seattle Times


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