Alonzo King LINES Ballet Returns Featuring New Work set to Bach’s Double Violin Concerto, Supported by White Bird Prize


When: Thursday – Saturday, February 26-28, 2015, 7:30 pm
Where: Newmark Theater, SW Broadway & Main, Portland
Tickets: Starting at $26, available at and Portland’5 Box Office
1111 SW Broadway (formerly PCPA) NO added fees.
1-800-380-3516 (added fees apply).
Discounts available for groups/students and seniors.
Sponsors: Tina Skouras and Yale Popowich, Jim and Susan Winkler
Media Sponsor: The Oregonian

“The most sophisticated modernism in classical dance… the artistic equivalent of a shooting star.” – The Los Angeles Times
White Bird is honored to present world-acclaimed Alonzo King LINES Ballet at the Newmark Theater, February 26-28. Alonzo King, founder of LINES Ballet, was the first recipient of the White Bird ‘Barney’ Creative Prize, awarded in 2013. Alonzo King’s visionary choreography, brought to life by the extraordinary LINES Ballet dancers, is renowned for connecting audiences to a profound sense of shared humanity. King works in close collaboration with noted composers, musicians, and visual artists from around the world to create work that draws on a diverse set of deeply rooted cultural traditions, renewing and transcending traditional ballet. Last appearing with White Bird in 2008, Alonzo King LINES Ballet will perform three of King’s most compelling recent works, each demonstrating how King uses the classical forms and techniques of ballet to develop a new movement language.


White Bird’s program will begin with Concerto for Two Violins (premiere October 2013), that was created with support from the White Bird Barney Creative Prize.* Choreographed to Johann Sebastian Bach’s Concerto in D Minor (familiar to dance-goers as the score for George Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco and Paul Taylor’s Esplanade), King thoroughly investigates every melodic layer and every violin note of the well-known score so we hear the beloved melodies anew. A cast of male and female dancers begin the piece with energetic passages in unison formation and exploding solos. Their movements are true to King’s style, creating unique shapes and new lines as their bodies appear to sing louder than the instrumental score. In the second movement, King uses four dancers to convey emotions equal to the rich tonal voice of the accompanying strings. San Francisco Chronicle dance critic Allan Ulrich described Two Violins as “dancing of immense pliancy and emotional resonance by a team of amazingly resilient performers who relish the challenges that King’s choreography throws their way.”
Following Concerto for Two Violins is Alonzo King’s Men’s Quintet, excerpted from The Radius of Convergence which debuted in 2008. Featuring five male dancers, the piece is performed to Edgar Meyer’s Violin Concerto, Movement II. The collaboration between King and Meyer is a meeting of two exceptionally inspired and innovative minds. “When I first heard the second movement of Edgar Meyer’s Violin Concerto, I was knocked off my feet,” says King. “Its profoundly mesmerizing beauty and wave-like repetitions, interrupted by rhythmic shifts, was an ideal world to construct choreography. The music seemed to embody the ancient with the new, with a stillness that moved.”

Writing Ground concludes the performance—a collaboration between King and award-winning Irish American author Colum McCann. Premiering in 2010 as a commission for the Monte Carlo Ballet, King was inspired by the shared artistic values of McCann. McCann’s free verse is the starting point, and King translates through movement the ideas and the spiritual aesthetic to the audience. This emotionally searing and lyrical work is set to a collection of sacred early music from Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist and Christian traditions. Writing Ground “illustrates the power of Alonzo King’s story-telling at its height” (Huffington Post), exploring issues that transcend time, love and loss, power and weakness. King’s heartening choreography challenges the company to experience new physical territory. The dancers and audience experience a range of emotions from fear to defiance, exhilaration and exhaustion.

Alonzo King has been called a visionary choreographer, who is altering the way we look at ballet. King calls his works ‘thought structures’ created by the manipulation of energies that exist in matter through laws, which govern the shapes and movement directions of everything that exists. King has works in the repertories of the Swedish Royal Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, Ballet Bejart, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, Joffrey Ballet, Alvin Ailey, Hong Kong Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. He has worked extensively in opera, television, and film. Known for collaborations, seminal works include People of the Forest (2001), choreographed with Baka artists from Central African Republic, and Long River High Sky (2007), with China’s Shaolin Monks (both presented by White Bird). In addition to his company, which he founded in 1982, Alonzo King founded the San Francisco Dance Center in 1989, which has become one of the largest dance facilities on the West Coast. Alonzo King is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including the Dance Masters of America, President Award, and the first ever Barney Choreographic Prize from White Bird Dance, which King received in July 2013 and April 2013 respectively. In October 2012 the San Francisco Museum & Historical Society named King a “San Francisco Living Treasure” in recognition of the significant contributions he has made to the historic fabric of San Francisco over the last 30 years. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom presented the Mayor’s Art Award to King in October 2008, calling him a “San Francisco treasure.”

*The White Bird ‘Barney’ Creative Prize is supported by the Dorothy Lemelson Trust and the White Bird/MKG Financial Group New Works Fund. White Bird’s 2014-15 season is supported by the Regional Arts & Culture Council, James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust, The Collins Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Fred W. Fields Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation, Ronni Lacroute/ WillaKenzie Estate, Work for Art, Oregon Arts Commission, Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF), The Autzen Foundation, Trust Management Services, The Jaffe Foundation, The Boeing Company and Multnomah County Cultural Coalition.

Alonzo King LINES Ballet Returns Featuring New Work set to Bach’s Double Violin Concerto, Supported by White Bird Prize