Lines Ballet at Yerba Buena Center


Vancouver Playhouse

Shostakovich and SAND

Alonzo King LINES Ballet is a celebrated contemporary ballet company that has been guided since 1982 by the unique artistic vision of Alonzo King. Collaborating with noted composers, musicians, and visual artists from around the world, Alonzo King creates works that draw on a diverse set of deeply rooted cultural traditions, imbuing classical ballet with new expressive potential. Alonzo King understands ballet as a science –founded on universal, geometric principles of energy and evolution – and continues to develop a new language of movement from its classical forms and techniques. 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. Its particular nothingness, and its potential for unimaginable power, has caused minds to liken sand to human beings for eons.


Like an arrow poised for flight, an undercurrent of restless agitation pervades Alonzo King’s latest work set to four Shostakovich string quartets. The music wavers in a state of crystalline suspension, pushing the dancers’ tensile strength to the limit as they revel in the space between harmony and discord, in the long arc before an earthbound fall.

Choreography by Alonzo King
Music by Dmitri Shostakovich
Lighting Designer by David Finn
Costume and Set Design by Robert Rosenwasser


Sand is the uncountable aggregation, and yet today grains of sand can be estimated. Sand can halt an engine. A grain of sand can temporarily blind you. It has been used as a metaphor for the passage of time, in hour glasses, and in dance as a listening process in how the body slowly shifts in transitions. There is power in the commonness of its abundance, its vast shapely beauty in dunes, on beaches, the desert, and the bottoms of oceans. Sand is the mineral cousin of water, it can be poured, and the wind can maneuver it into wave-like patterns. Sand is used to polish and shape some of the hardest materials on the planet. You can hold sand by cupping your hands. When you grip it, it escapes through your fingers. Sand is largely composed of quartz crystals. Quartz is primarily made up of silicon dioxide, which has a unique physical property of being piezoelectric, which lends itself for use as a primary foundation of circuit boards, and computer processors. It has often been said that human beings are like tiny pebbles placed together in tight proximity to cause friction until our edges become smooth.

Choreography by Alonzo King
Music by Charles Lloyd and Jason Moran
Lighting Design by Axel Morgenthaler
Set Design by Christopher Haas
Costume Design by Robert Rosenwasser
Costume Construction by Joan Raymond




Lines Ballet at Yerba Buena Center
Lines Ballet at Yerba Buena Center
“ Alonzo King is one of the few bona fide visionaries in the ballet world today. —San Francisco Chronicle
Lines Ballet at Yerba Buena Center

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