Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Dance Review: Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet… Everything You Expect and More!

Alonzo King Lines, Photography by Marty SohlSunday evening I had the distinct pleasure of traveling by subway all the way up to the tip-top of the Bronx to the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts to see a company I have heard so many great things about but have never seen live. Well let me tell you, in short Lines Ballet was well worth the wait and the trip!

Alonzo King is really doing something amazing with Lines Ballet.  King’s choreography goes beyond flawless technique and really reflects artistry at it’s best.  And, even at its most untamed version yet, the dancers of Lines Ballet fully take on King’s quirky, soulful, and distinctive vocabulary in a way that seems innate and organic in their bodies.

The first part of the program is a work choreographed by Alonzo King entitled Signs and Wonders. This ballet, performed to a score of Traditional African music, fully lives up to its name with an eclectic blend of African rhythms, classical ballet vocabulary, and exquisite contemporary flare from dancers with jaw-dropping technique. Speaking of jaw-dropping, Corey Scott-Gilbert and Ashley Jackson truly own this phrase without a doubt. Corey Scott-Gilbert has a tantalizing presence that completely draws you into his long sleek lines, swift maneuvers through space, and incredible extension.  Dually, Ashley Jackson’s focus, effortless attack of the space, and simply beautiful artistry singles her out as a fierce diva.  What makes this piece so wonderful is the dancers sensual approach to pointe work, swift footwork, and sensitivity to Alonzo’s unique musicality.

Only the FIERCE Dancers Apply!The second part of the evening consists of a 45-minute ballet, Dust and LightDust and Light takes you on a spell-bounding journey to a place that feels like Egypt.  Set to a beautiful, goosebumpy, classical score by Francis Poulenc and Arcangelo Corelli, the work is designed with a quirky and unusually fitting approach to classical music. Alonzo King has a way of using his work to make classical music that much more magical!  When I think of stand-out moments in this piece, Caroline Rocher’s humble yet stunning quality in her movement as well as Laurel Keen and Brett Conway’s brilliant duet come to mind.

My initials thoughts of the evening, aside from being overwhelmed by the company’s dancers, was that although they are classified as being in the contemporary ballet world, Lines Ballet is really in a league of their own.  As a fellow performing artist, I am deeply inspired and moved by King’s work and look forward to seeing more of his work in the years to come!

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Official Dance Review by Simone Sobers
Performance:  Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet
Choreography:  Alonzo King
Venue:  Lehman Center for the Performing Arts
Show Date:  January 10, 2010
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