Earlier this month, Alonzo King LINES Ballet released the first in a series of five dance films, part of a new project entitled "There Is No Standing Still." The series features company members spanning 10 cities and four continents dancing amid their outdoor environments, in spaces ranging from quiet forests to rocky deserts to the ocean shore. While COVID-19 has put the company's normal activity on hold and forced the dancers to separate from each other physically, "There Is No Standing Still" allows LINES to create new material together in a different way. Directed by Robert Rosenwasser and edited by Philip Perkins, this installment of five short films incorporates choreography by artistic director Alonzo King and company dancers as they become one with the space around them. Check out the first two, released last month, below.
Each short film strings together individual dancers (with the occasional duet) performing in their personal environments. King wishes the dancing to be genuinely personal; The movement integrates improvisation with choreographic phrases from company repertoire that hold particular meaning for each dancer. For each film, King and Rosenwasser are partnering with a different composer to create an original score.
LINES is a relatively small and tight-knit company. Rosenwasser describes each piece of the project as a self-portrait, or a personal postcard, from the dancer. "The hard reality we face of being separated by the pandemic has provided us with a creative opportunity to work together again, to communicate with each other, and to communicate with audiences from their own isolated spaces." The company, he says, will continue to create despite the pandemic.
King considers the film series a continuation of the company's repertoire, and an opportunity to explore connection to the natural world. "When you see the dancers in nature, they're back in the origin of dance," he says. "It's back into the larger picture. And it's a reminder that we want to continue to expand." King approaches dance as a tool for inspiring hope during difficult times. "The purpose, as always, is to put out truth and beauty, because truth and beauty are a political statement," he says. "The fact that it exists is a reminder that no matter what happens in the world, there is always light."