Alonzo King

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Alonzo King
Alonzo King.jpg
Alonzo King
Born1952 (1952)
Albany, Georgia, U.S.[1]
Occupation(s)Dancer, Choreographer
Years active1981 - Present
AwardsDance Magazine Award, 2020; Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, 2015; San Francisco Museum & Historical Society San Francisco Treasure Award, 2012; Jacob's Pillow Dance Creativity Award, 2008; Bessie Award for Choreographer/Creator, 2005; Kennedy Center Master of Choreography, 2005

Alonzo King, born in Georgia to civil-rights activists Slater King and Valencia King Nelson, is an American dancer and choreographer based in San Francisco.[2] King grew up in Georgia and California, and, as an adult, decided his contribution would be teaching and choreography. In 1982, having established himself as a well-respected teacher, he founded Alonzo King LINES Ballet. Believing that everyone has the potential to grow through dance, seven years later he opened what was then known as the San Francisco Dance Center, offering classes for both professionals and the community.[3]

Alonzo holds Honorary Doctorate Degrees from The Juilliard School,[4] California Institute of the Arts,[5] and Dominican University of California.[4]

Alonzo King LINES Ballet[edit]

In 1982, upon relocating back to California, King founded Alonzo King LINES Ballet,[6] which premiered at the San Francisco State's McKenna Theater. Sharing his choreography around the world, LINES Ballet performs bi-annual home seasons at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco,[7] and also maintains an international touring schedule including a recent set of performances in Hong Kong of The Propelled Heart in September 2017.[8]

Awards and recognition[edit]

King is the recipient of numerous awards including an NEA choreographic fellowship, San Francisco Mayor's Award, a Jacob's Pillow Creativity Award, and Kennedy Center Master of Choreography which was awarded in 2005.[9][10] In 2020, he was one of five honorees of the Dance Magazine Awards.[11] In addition to his work for LINES Ballet, King's choreography is also in the repertoire of other dance companies including The Royal Swedish Ballet, Ballet Frankfurt, Ballet Béjart, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, Joffrey Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Hong Kong Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.[12][13][14]

Selected works[edit]

  • 2013: Meyer
  • 2012: AZIMUTH, Constellation
  • 2011: Resin, Figures of Thought
  • 2010: Writing Ground, Wheel in the Middle of the Field
  • 2009: Scheherazade, Refraction, Dust and Light
  • 2008: The Radius of Convergence, The Steady Articulation of Perseverance
  • 2007: Rasa, Irregular Pearl, Long River, High Sky
  • 2006: Sky Clad, Migration
  • 2005: The Moroccan Project, Handel, Salt, Odd Fellow, Satoh
  • 2004: Before the Blues, Rite of Spring, Baker Fix, Coleman Hawkins, The Patience of Aridity, Waiting for Petrichor
  • 2003: Heart Song, Syzmanski's Vibraphone Quartet
  • 2002: Road, Splash, Koto
  • 2001: The People of the Forest, The Heart's Natural Inclination
  • 2000: Following the Subtle Current Upstream, Soothing the Enemy, Riley, Tango, In to Get Out
  • 1999: Shostokovich String Quartet
  • 1998: Hovering Slightly Above Ground, Who Dressed You Like a Foreigner?, Tarab, Long Straight Line, Map, Land Forms
  • 1997: String Trio, Suite Etta, Three Stops On the Way Home, Handel Trio
  • 1996: Klang, Sacred Text, Handel Pas de Deux, Ground
  • 1995: Signs and Wonders, Rock, String Quartet
  • 1994: Poulenc Pas de Deux, Ocean, Along the Path
  • 1993: Bach Cello Suite, Compelling Geological Evidence, Pavane
  • 1992: Gurdjieff Piano Music
  • 1991: Song of the Aka, Cante
  • 1990: Without Wax, Toccatta in D Minor
  • 1989: Lila, Fallen Angel
  • 1988: Awake in the Dream, Ligeti Variations, Reoccurrence
  • 1987: Rain Dreaming, Granados Pas de Deux
  • 1986: Prayer, Stealing Light
  • 1983: Ictus[15]


  1. ^ Cynthia Bond Perry (January 1, 2017). "For the first time, celebrated choreographer Alonzo King brings his ballet company to his home state". The Atlanta Magazine. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  2. ^ Molly Glentzer (May 2, 2014). "Meet: Alonzo King, LINES choreographer". Chron. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  3. ^ "Dance Magazine Award Honoree: Alonzo King". Dance Magazine. December 2, 2020. Retrieved January 5, 2021.
  4. ^ a b "Choreographer Alonzo King, Actress Rita Moreno, and Composer Kaija Saariaho to Receive Honorary Doctorates at Juilliard's 114th Commencement Ceremony on May 24, 2019 | The Juilliard School". Retrieved January 5, 2021.
  5. ^ "Honorary Degree Recipients". CalArts. Retrieved January 5, 2021.
  6. ^ Jessica Yang (October 12, 2017). "Through sound and shape: Alonzo King LINES Ballet performance". The Phoenix. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  7. ^ Andrew Gilbert (May 2, 2017). "Choreographer Alonzo King sets new work to crisis of vanishing words". The Mercury News. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  8. ^ Natasha Rogai (September 4, 2017). "Arts review: The Propelled Heart – Lisa Fischer shines with Alonzo King Lines Ballet from Frisco - Translating an Indian guru's philosophical concept into choreography was a tough challenge, but the energetic dancers match Fischer's vocals wonderfully". South China Morning Post. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  9. ^ "Alonzo King LINES Ballet Announces Spring Season, 5/4-14". Broadway World. March 1, 2017. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  10. ^ "Alonzo King LINES Ballet infuses classical dance traditions with bold movement". Virginia Tech News. March 14, 2016. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  11. ^ Kosman, Joshua (September 25, 2020) [September 22, 2020]. "S.F. choreographer Alonzo King honored by Dance Magazine". San Francisco Arts & Entertainment Guide. Retrieved January 5, 2021.
  12. ^ Mandy Prather (January 9, 2017). "Alonzo King LINES Ballet performs in Danville during two-day residency". The Advocate-Messenger. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  13. ^ Jennifer Homans (August 2, 2012). "Meet: The Universalist". New Republic Magazine. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  14. ^ Zan Dubin (March 19, 1994). "Meet: Alonzo King's Intersecting LINES : Dance: The choreographer, whose troupe is at the Irvine Barclay Theatre tonight, is interested in what unites people". LA Times. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  15. ^ "Choreographic Work". LINES Ballet. Retrieved July 2, 2013.

External links[edit]