Primary Instrument: Piano
ALONZO KING (Choreographer, Artistic Director) is a visionary choreographer who has works in the repertories of companies throughout the world including the Swedish Royal Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Dance Theater of Harlem, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Hong Kong Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre, and Washington Ballet. He has worked extensively in opera, television, and film, and has choreographed works for prima ballerina Natalia Makarova and film star Patrick Swayze. Mr. King has also collaborated with artists such as actor Danny Glover, legendary jazz saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, and tabla master Zakir Hussain. Renowned for his skill as a teacher, Mr. King has been the guest ballet master for National Ballet of Canada, Les Ballets de Monte Carlo, San Francisco Ballet, Ballet Rambert, Ballet West and others.
In 1982, Mr. King founded Alonzo King's LINES Ballet, which has developed into an international touring company. Seven years later, he inaugurated the San Francisco Dance Center, which has grown into one of the largest dance facilities on the West Coast offering over 80 open classes to adults and teenagers. In 2001, Alonzo King started the LINES Ballet School to nurture and develop the talents of young dancers through year-round and summer programs. Expanding the scope of his educational visions to the college level in 2006, Alonzo King and LINES Ballet embarked on a partnership with the Dominican University of California, creating the West Coast’s first Joint BFA program in Dance. It is the only Joint BFA program in the country to be led by an active, world-renowned master choreographer.
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom presented the 2nd Annual Mayor’s Art Award to Alonzo King in October 2008, calling him a “San Francisco treasure, embodying the best of San Francisco, the creative excellence and diverse culture of this city.” In June 2008, Alonzo King was honored with the Jacob's Pillow Creativity Award, in recognition of his contribution to moving ballet in a very 21st-century direction, in the words of Ella Baff, Executive Director of Jacob's Pillow. The Creativity Award is the third major national award Alonzo King has received in the past three years-in 2006, he was recognized as one of the fifty outstanding artists in America by the United States Artists organization, and in 2005, received the Bessie Award for Choreographer/Creator-and one of many such honors he has received over the course of his career. He is also the recipient of the NEA Choreographer's Fellowship, Irvine Fellowship in Dance, National Dance Project and the National Dance Residency Program, as well as five Isadora Duncan Awards. He has also received the Hero Award from Union Bank, the Lehman Award, and the Excellence Award from KGO, and was chosen as the recipient of the San Francisco Foundation's 2007 Community Leadership Award.
Alonzo King has served on panels for the National Endowment of the Arts, California Arts Council, City of Columbus Arts Council and Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Arts Partners Program. In 2005 he was named a Master of African-American Choreography by the Kennedy Center. He is a former commissioner for the city and county of San Francisco, and a writer and lecturer on the art of dance; his contributions appear in the books Masters of Movement: Portraits of American Choreographers and in Dance Masters: Interviews with Legends of Dance. In 2005 he was awarded an honorary Doctorate by Dominican University of California, and the following year was given the Green Honors Chair Professorship from Texas Christian University. Last spring, he received a second honorary Doctorate from his alma mater, CalArts (California Institute of the Arts) in Los Angeles.