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 Post subject: LINES Ballet 2010
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:26 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
LINES Ballet is on tour in Pittsburgh and will perform works choreographed by Alonzo King, on Friday and Saturday, January 15-16, 2010 at the August Wilson Center.

Mark Kanny previews the program in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

News-Tribune

Sara Bauknecht in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Post-Gazette


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 Post subject: Re: LINES Ballet 2010
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:16 am 
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From Valerie Gladstone in the Boston Globe: The message is in the MOVEMENT - Alonzo King’s dances reflect a world of influences


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 Post subject: Re: LINES Ballet 2010
PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:56 am 
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From Karen Campbell in the Boston Globe: San Francisco dancers portray an austerely compelling struggle


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 Post subject: Re: LINES Ballet 2010
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:48 am 
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From Keith Powers in the Boston Herald: Choreographer is King among men


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 Post subject: Re: LINES Ballet 2010
PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:58 am 
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From Marcia Siegel in the Boston Phoenix: Squiggles and lines - Alonzo King at the ICA....


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 Post subject: Re: LINES Ballet 2010
PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 3:04 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
LINES Ballet performs at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center through April 25, 2010. Allan Ulrich reviews the premiere of "Wheel in the Middle of the Field" on Friday, April 16 in the San Francisco Chronicle.

SF Chronicle


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 Post subject: Re: LINES Ballet 2010
PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 1:30 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
LINES Ballet performs at the St. Sauveur Arts Festival in Quebec on August 5 and 7, 2010. Victor Swoboda interviews Alonzo King in the Montreal Gazette.

Montreal Gazette


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 Post subject: Re: LINES Ballet 2010
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:09 pm 
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LINES Ballet's Fall 2010 season opens on October 14 with a Gala Performance at Yerba Buena Center. The season features the premiere of a reinterpretation of "Scheherazade" through October 24. Andrea Pflaumer previews the program in The Examiner.

The Examiner


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 Post subject: Re: LINES Ballet 2010
PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 5:53 pm 
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Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
“Scheherazade” Premiere
Lines Ballet
Yerba Buena Center
San Francisco, CA

October 14, 2010

By Catherine Pawlick

Peach bellinis and lemon drops filled the hands of audience members and patrons at Lines’ Opening Night pre-performance reception on Thursday night, where summery cocktail dresses and business suits strolled mingled inside the tent at Yerba Buena Center for the Performing Arts. As conversation hummed, the audience prepared for the first San Francisco performance of “Scheherazade,” commissioned by Princess Caroline of Monaco with support from the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation. The first of Lines Ballet’s fall 2010 season, this performance proved to be anything but your grandfather’s version of the same ballet. Traditional Russian ballet, à la Mikhail Fokine this was not.

Set to a unique musical mix that references the trademark harp solos and violin themes so prevalent of Rimsky-Korsakov’s traditional “Scheherazade” score , but then layers Eastern musical instruments and African-sounding drum beats on top, this “Scheherazade” ventures further into the abstract from the well known tale of Persian passion. Token nods to the luxury of Old Arabia appear in the women’s costumes: rich peacock feathered- tutus, and ornately beaded, sequined dresses with short bustles. While the men, presumably representing slaves, are more sparsely dressed: dark brown shorts or longer, flared “skirts” and bare chests. From the initial interlude between Scheherazade and her slave, it is clear that the typical hierarchy is not present here.

First three dancers swathed in gauze enter, performing choreographer Alonso King’s usual complex cursive movements. Following Rimsky-Korsakov’s theme of the live harp, a fourth dancer in silver sequins joins the three, and the sound shifts to the lament of the violin. This is our Scheherazade. We see solo dancing from each of the three women, and after they depart a man enters in a green gauze skirt-pant. The visual dialogue between Scheherazade and this “slave” ensues, accented with urgent, sharp movements. A series of male solos follow their duet, the men dressed similarly in wide skirt-pants, and shirtless. As dancers enter and exit the stage, King seems to play with the concept of internal and external. Borders disappear, outward motion turns inward, inward movements are reversed. It’s as if we see the choreographer’s busy thoughts on stage. On a technical note, one dancer, in a stunning pink costume complete with bustle, played with teetering balances downstage, hovering and adjusting her limbs as she stood on one leg. Such balancing talent can rarely be found outside of Cuba; this dancer recalled the talents of Viengsay Valdez. After her brief solo, Scheherazade and the slave re-emerge, this time with a five-foot rope linking his ankle to hers. The symbol of slavery is clear, but as she pulls him, and he pulls her, the question arises: who here is the slave? King seems to question the surface of the Arabian tale, for his version is clearly not one of passion as much as it is a weighted, earthbound struggle. In fact, there’s nothing ethereal, passionate, or romantic here at all. The couple uses each other, pulling and twisting, folding over, and crawling, each movement an effort. They never float, but therein perhaps is the commentary on Scheherazade’s fate: she’s enslaved, at least as much as he is.

The music shifts to a lone female voice chanting and a tribal drum beat joins in before the violin theme returns. As the main couple disappear, another woman in a gorgeous peacock feather tutu dances, her arms appearing to preen. A man enters, is blindfolded, and attempts to reach out to the women around him. Five men in shorts dance together, one of them diving into the group of four, lifting the fifth high overhead. The Lines men, it must be said, are among the most athletic and toned that you can witness on stage today, the epitome of lean, muscular movement.

As the finale approaches, interludes of solo work overlap, with multiple dancers moving to their own inner rhythms at once. It’s almost visual overload, this much diverse movement, when suddenly King introduces a section of uniform ensemble work, and for a moment the eye relaxes onto form and structure. A line of nine people folds at the middle, as they move forward and back, their arms scooping imaginary water, or hope, from the ground to the sky. The drum beat increases, and other dancers enter and exit the stage in short bursts of powerful movement. Arms punch the air, quadruple pirouettes shoot off, and hovering balances continue. At last our Scheherazade slowly pushes the weighty slave offstage, her hand on the center of his chest, as the piece ends.

Alonso King has for more than a decade been known for his trademark choreography and unique approach not only to dance, but to dance composition. This “Scheherazade” is a modern approach to the Arabic tale, and one that prompts contemplation. From his talented, select group of performers, to the conceptual themes behind his work, King has succeeded in creating a novel production that, while far from classical, is certainly drenched in dance, in every sense of the term.

_________________
Author, "Vaganova Today: The Preservation of Pedagogical Tradition" (available on amazon.com)


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 Post subject: Re: LINES Ballet 2010
PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:20 pm 
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Allan Ulrich reviews "Scheherazade" in the San Francisco Chronicle.

SF Chronicle


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 Post subject: Re: LINES Ballet 2010
PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:25 pm 
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Location: Where little cable cars climb halfway to the stars
Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Scheherazade, Novellus Theater, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, October 15, 2010.

There are three categories of LINES dancers: Tall or powerful, or tall and powerful, and from season to season, their sinews become more sinewy, the glistening sweat more copious, and the audience more loyal to the melodies and rhythms recast into steps by Artistic Director, Alonzo King. Their bodies belong to the choreography, and it is hard to imagine the work King does danced by another company: It’s one thing to separate the dancer from the dance and quite another to separate this dance from this company.

“Dust and Light,” where the Polenc and Corelli score is invited in to turn that organic partnership into a ménage á trois, opens with Meredith Webster and Keelan Whitmore entering stage left, Webster inclined back, as Whitmore drives her downstage right using his (rather amazing) head, that she then takes in both hands, as he seems to go gangly in her grasp. Steps then become articulated probes as a rack of lights descends from the ceiling to turn spectral what began so rustically (Lighting: Axel Morgenthaler), with Webster in a white dotted swiss gauze chemise (Costumes: Robert Rosenwasser).

A second couple, led by that wonder-monger, Ashley Jackson, partnered by Michael Montgomery, boost the energy with lifts that include a kind of whole body fouétté. Two male dancers who muck about upstage are not helpful.

As each couple makes its entrance, the idea takes hold that one has been invited to a wedding where the music is marrying the steps, and the groom and his groomsmen eclipse the bride and her bridesmaids. A men’s duet danced by Keelan Whitmore and Corey Scott-Gilbert is the evening’s apogee. Scott-Gilbert gives us the magisterial and Whitmore, the mastery, their chiseled but pliant bodies elucidating both the fundamentals and subtleties of movement. They bring to their skill set what the Cubans would refer to as condiciones, and deploy them to maximum advantage.

“Scheherazade” begins with a mic’ed boom, a shot across the bow, and a flying carpet above the stage—or is it, in its first iteration, a cloud? The effects here overshadow the content, and at times you can feel (waterfall, Tibetan-like music) as if you are waiting for a meal at a vegetarian restaurant where, when it arrives, you find that the protein has gone missing. Putting the very androgynous Meredith Webster (reminiscent in her attack of Summer Lee Rhattigan) in an oversized silver-sequined chemise is just one of the problems that aggregate. When the ensemble assembles in a line, there is the suspicion that King has lost interest, letting the music go its own way and the steps...? Then suddenly and gloriously, allowed to wander off, the music has chosen Africa as its destination and a drumbeat suffuses the atmosphere, turning the dancers into quirky moon units, each finding a dream to follow (Music: Zakir Hussain, after Rimsky-Korsakov). The surrender has booked a voyage of discovery, the evening ending in that duality, with you signed up once again as a true believer.


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 Post subject: Re: LINES Ballet 2010
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:20 am 
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Ann Murphy reviews "Scheherazade" in the San Jose Mercury News.

Mercury News


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 Post subject: Re: LINES Ballet 2010
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:31 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
In the San Francisco Chronicle, Leba Hertz writes about the weather balloons that are used to create lanterns in "Scheherazade."

SF Chronicle


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