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Alonzo King: 35 Years of Lines Ballet

The company founder and choreographer discusses his decades-long creative journey.



By redefining choreographed pieces as “thought structures,” Alonzo King has changed the way audiences experience ballet — a feat furthered by the unending list of global collaborators he has tapped to enhance each performance. As a former commissioner for the city and county of San Francisco, King has deep roots in the community — and now, with 35 years of movement, so does Lines Ballet.

MM: Tell me about about your journey with Lines.

AK: Thirty-five years ago Pam Hagen, Robert Rosenwasser and myself decided to form a dance company. Our dream was to establish a place where we could work, create art, develop dancers and share those works with the world. We have been incredibly fortunate to work with some of the most gifted artists, creators and thinkers alive. We tour both internationally and domestically, are celebrating a 10-year BFA program with Dominican University, and maintain a pre-professional training program (Lines Dance Center), as well as multiple channels of outreach into our local and national community.

MM: What is one thing you’re most excited about this anniversary season?

AK: This year, we are thrilled to be reunited with longtime collaborator master tabla player Zakir Hussain.

MM: Where do you look for inspiration?

AK: Nature. Meditation.

MM: What are your hopes for the company going forward?

AK: In the words of Sri Gyanamata, our goal continues to be “more and better.”

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