ALONZO KING LINES BALLET RETURNS TO THE HARRIS THEATER
WITH TWO CHICAGO DEBUTS MARCH 4TH AND 5TH
CHICAGO (February 19, 2015) San Francisco-based Alonzo King LINES Ballet, led by visionary Founder and Artistic Director Alonzo King, will present two alternate programs, both Chicago debuts, at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, Wednesday, March 4 at 6:00PM as part of the Theater’s popular Eat + Drink to the Beat series and Thursday, March 5 at 7:30PM in a full-length evening performance.
Wednesday’s performance is the first appearance for LINES Ballet in the Eat + Drink to the Beat series. Concerto for Two Violins, choreographed to Bach’s concerto in D Minor (utilized famously by George Balanchine in 1941), is a sleek and sharp salute to ballet’s past while marking the continued evolution of neoclassicism. Shostakovich is King’s latest work set to four Shostakovich string quartets. The program runs just under an hour and, as with all Eat + Drink to the Beat performances, some of Chicago’s best food trucks will be parked on Lower Randolph selling after work bites that patrons are welcome to bring into the theater with them. Harris Theater concessions will also feature specialty cocktails for purchase.
A post-performance reception for all patrons attending the March 4 performance will take place in the Harris lobby. Alonzo King and the dancers of LINES Ballet will engage with patrons, including over 100 beneficiaries of the Theater’s Access Tickets Program from After School Matters, The Chicago Academy for the Arts, and The Chicago High School for the Arts.
Thursday night’s performance features an original score performed live by Grammy Award–winning double bassist Edgar Meyer along with violinist Rob Moose and cellist Gabriel Cabezas. Created for LINES Ballet’s 30th anniversary, Meyer premiered in April 2013 at the Yerba Buena Center of the Arts Theater in San Francisco. The original music, composed by Meyer, mixes classical and jazz for cello, violin, double bass, and piano to complement King’s choreography with a backdrop of synchronized water created by Academy Award–winning designer Jim Doyle. The Thursday program also includes King’s intricate Writing Ground, inspired by the poetry of National Book Award–winning author Colum McCann. Commissioned in 2010 by Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, Writing Ground incorporates an eclectic variety of Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Tibetan Buddhist music.
“The Harris is among the best stages of the world. When you walk into the space, you are inspired,” said Alonzo King regarding the upcoming Chicago performances.
The company will also participate in several community engagement activities while in Chicago. On Monday, March 2, LINES Ballet will offer a workshop for Chicago Academy for the Arts, in which students will learn excerpts of Alonzo King’s choreography. A pre-performance artist talk will take place on March 4 for high school students from After School Matters. A post-performance artist conversation with Alonzo King and Edgar Meyer will take place on stage immediately following the March 5 performance. All audience members are welcome to participate in this conversation.
All tickets for the March 4 Eat + Drink to the Beat performance are $5 and tickets for the March 5 evening performance are $10–$95, available at HarrisTheaterChicago.org or by calling the Box Office at 312.334.7777.
The March 4 Eat + Drink to the Beat performance is made possible thanks to generous support from Ricardo and Laura Rosencranz, Lead Sponsor. The March 5 presentation of Alonzo King LINES Ballet is made possible thanks to generous support from Ariel Investments, Opening Night Sponsor. Additional support to help underwrite the Community Engagement programming was generously provided by an Anonymous donor.
About Alonzo King LINES Ballet
Alonzo King LINES Ballet is a celebrated contemporary ballet company that has been guided since 1982 by the choreographer Alonzo King. Collaborating with noted composers, musicians, and visual artists from around the world, King creates works that draw on a diverse set of deeply rooted cultural traditions, imbuing classical ballet with new expressive potential. 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. 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.
The term LINES alludes to all that is visible in the phenomenal world. There is nothing that is made or formed without line. “Straight” and “circle” encompass all that we see. Whatever can be seen is formed by lines. In mathematics it is a straight or curved continuous extent of length without breadth. Lines are in our fingerprints, the shapes of our bodies, constellations, geometry. It implies genealogical connection, progeny and spoken word. It marks the starting point and finish. It addresses direction, communication, and design. A line of thought. A boundary or eternity. A melodic line. The equator. From vibration or dot to dot it is the visible organization of what we see.
About Alonzo King
Alonzo King has been called a visionary choreographer who is altering the way we look at ballet. He has works in the repertories of the Royal Swedish Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, Ballet Bejart, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, Joffrey Ballet, Alvin Ailey, Hong Kong Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. He has worked extensively in opera, television, and film. Known for collaborations, seminal works include People of the Forest (2001), choreographed with Baka artists from Central African Republic, and Long River High Sky (2007), with China’s Shaolin Monks. He has collaborated with actor Danny Glover, legendary jazz saxophonist Pharaoh Sanders, Hamza al Din, Pawel Szymanski, Jason Moran, and tabla master Zakir Hussain. Renowned for his skill as a teacher, King has been guest ballet master for dance companies around the globe. In 2012 King was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Corps de Ballet International Teacher Conference.
About Edgar Meyer
In demand as both a performer and a composer, Edgar Meyer has formed a role in the music world unlike any other. Hailed by the New Yorker as “the most remarkable virtuoso in the relatively unchronicled history of his instrument,” Meyer’s unparalleled technique and musicianship in combination with his gift for composition have brought him to the fore, where he is appreciated by a vast, varied audience. His uniqueness in the field was recognized by a MacArthur Award in 2002.
- •• All programs, prices, and dates are subject to change •••
About Harris Theater for Music and Dance
The Joan W. and Irving B. Harris Theater for Music and Dance is a 1500-seat state-of-the art performance venue located in Chicago’s Millennium Park. Opened in November 2003, the nonprofit Harris Theater was the first multi-use performance venue built in downtown Chicago since 1929. Harris Theater serves as a unique national model of collaboration between the philanthropic community and performing arts organizations in music and dance. More than a decade later, the theater features the most diverse offerings of any venue in Chicago, hosting local, national, and internationally renowned artists and ensembles.
The Harris Theater’s primary mission is to partner with an array of Chicago’s music and dance performing arts organizations to help them build the resources and infrastructure necessary to achieve artistic growth and long-term organizational sustainability. The Harris Theater’s original group of 12 resident companies has grown to include 35 diverse and exceptionally talented performing arts organizations, including internationally acclaimed Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Music of the Baroque, Chicago Opera Theater, Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNow, and collaborations with Lyric Opera of Chicago, National Museum of Mexican Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and Columbia College Chicago. Through these partnerships, the Theater has earned national recognition as a distinctive model for collaboration, performance, and artistic advancement.
The Theater supports its mission by providing partner organizations with subsidized rental, technical expertise, and marketing support, allowing the organizations to focus on what they do best—bringing the finest in music and dance performances to the public. The Theater offers professional development opportunities, including the innovate Learning Lab, endorsed with grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Harris Theater is also dedicated to presenting internationally acclaimed music and dance organizations to enhance its reputation as well as to help build audiences for the Theater’s resident companies. Through the Harris Theater Presents series, the Theater has achieved widespread recognition as a vital cultural anchor in Chicago. Daniel Barenboim, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Renee Fleming, the Hamburg Ballet, Lang Lang, the New York City Ballet, the Paris Opéra Ballet, the San Francisco Ballet, Stephen Sondheim, and many others have graced the Harris’ Elizabeth Morse Genius Stage through this series.
To learn more about the Harris Theater, please visit HarrisTheaterChicago.org. Call the Marketing Department at 312.334.2419 to request a brochure or additional information.
The Harris Theater maintains a commitment to promoting access to and appreciation for the arts for Chicago residents of all ages and communities. Founded in 2009, the Access Tickets Program engages health and human service agencies, K-12 schools, and community organizations to provide the uplifting benefits of the arts to children and families facing illness and other challenging circumstances. To date, the Theater has provided more than 8,000 underwritten performance tickets through the Access Tickets Program, reaching 25 diverse Chicago neighborhoods. The Theater also partners with arts schools and training programs to connect Chicago’s most gifted students with the master artists who perform on the Harris Theater stage. Visit engage.harristheaterchicago.org to learn more.
Arts Education Partnerships
As a presenter of artists and ensembles at the height of their fields, the Harris Theater has the opportunity to provide unique pre-professional experiences for Chicago’s most gifted young artists and students. Through partnerships with schools and arts training programs, the Theater has connected students with renowned artists including Wendy Whelan, Michael Tilson Thomas and the New World Symphony, Wu Han, Anne-Marie McDermott, Orion Quartet, Hamburg Ballet, and Sphinx Virtuosi.
The Harris Theater has established model partnerships with Chicago Academy for the Arts, Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts), and Music Institute of Chicago. These partnerships have three key components:
- Access to the master artists who perform at the Harris Theater, through ongoing programs such as master classes, workshops and post-performance discussions
- Opportunities to present student work through collaboration with presented artists, appearances in Eat to the Beat, and participation in Harris Theater outreach and special events
- Complimentary tickets for students to attend performances, connecting their work in the classroom to the extraordinary work of artists appearing in the Harris Theater Presents series
The Harris Theater is proud to have the support of The Northern Trust Company as its 2014–2015 season sponsor. United Airlines is the official and exclusive airline of the Harris Theater. Hyatt Regency Chicago is the Harris Theater 2014–2015 season hotel partner. The Theater also gratefully acknowledges the Irving Harris Foundation for its leadership support of the Presenting Fund. The Harris Theater is partially supported by the Illinois Arts Council Agency. All performances take place on The Elizabeth Morse Genius Stage at the Harris Theater.
Harris Theater for Music and Dance
205 E Randolph Drive
Chicago, IL 60601