King of the dance - Page 2

A true innovator celebrates 25-plus years of ballet and beyond
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Caroline Rocher and Ricardo Zayas
Photo by Marty Sohl

Why, King asked, do we always see male-female duets in terms of gender relationships? Couldn't a dance be about a mother and a child or a sky and a landscape?

He does follow one convention — putting women on pointe — though he noted that this doesn't have to be a female prerogative. "If you look at most cultures, you see an appreciation of the idea of being elevated, of being above the earth. In Africa dancers use stilts. In Balkan countries men do dance on their toes." He often took barre on pointe, and during his training at Harkness House men took pointe class once a week. If enough training becomes available, one of these days King just might put men into pointe shoes.

For his anniversary premieres, King has choreographed two works, one to a new score by tabla master Zakir Hussein, the other to selections from baroque composers. The connection? Both types of music, to be performed live, allow for improvisation. According to the enthusiastic King, "That's when the artists can go deep inside themselves and become fully who they are." *

ALONZO KING'S LINES BALLET

Fri/2, 9 p.m.; Sat/3 and Nov. 7–10, 8 p.m.; Sun/4, 7 p.m.; Nov. 11, 3 p.m.; $25–$65

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts theater

700 Howard, SF

(415) 978-2787

www.ybca.org

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