Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet Astonishes at Jacob’s Pillow
The Lines Ballet at the Pillow; photo by Ben Rudick
Memo to organizers of Barack Obama’s inauguration: Book Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet.
On Wednesday night at Jacob’s Pillow, the San Francisco-based troupe opened a five-day run with two epic pieces Migration: The hierarchical migration of birds and mammals and Rasa, which is set to music by Zakir Hussain, son of the legendary tabla player Ustad Alla Rakha. Like Barack Obama, Alonzo King exudes a multicultural perspective informed by a rigorous, cultivated intelligence. He has a global vision and carries a message that we must respect and understand our history in order to reinvent and invigorate our future.
King’s company is known for taking classical ballet techniques and forms and using them to create mesmerizing movements that are at once astonishing, archetypal and avant garde. His troupe is “mad with highly technical dancers who look like they could cut diamonds,” says Ella Baff, the Pillow’s executive director. Migration is both fresh and familiar—the story of evolution told in a universal language of motion and music. Migration reflects the idea that all living creatures have similar desires and struggles, which deserve honor and respect.
There are very few tickets left to Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet’s remaining shows at the Pillow (through Sunday, July 27) and if you are lucky enough to score a seat you will be rewarded by dance that makes you believe that there’s nothing more powerful than a highly-evolved imagination made visible.