LINES’ New Take on "Schéhérazade"

Published in the Dec 2009/Jan 2010 issue.

The Ballets Russes famously emphasized collaboration between choreographers and composers, and Alonzo King’s work with world musicians follows in this tradition. It’s fitting, then, that Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet is scheduled to open the Monaco Dance Forum’s centennial celebration of the Ballets Russes with a reimagining of the historic company’s 1910 Schéhérazade. For his interpretation of the celebrated ballet, premiering in Monte Carlo December 9, King recruited renowned Indian composer Zakir Hussain, who will transcribe Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s original score for ancient and contemporary Persian instruments.


King says his new choreography for Schéhérazade is inspired by the story—in which the heroine prevents a vengeful king from killing her and others by telling mesmerizing tales—rather than Michel Fokine’s original steps. “The essence of Schéhérazade is transformation,” says King. “Her love and wisdom change a bitter man. That’s my starting point.” —Kina Poon