Ballet Gone Wild: Alonzo King LINES Ballet's New Premiere

Photo by RJ Muna, Courtesy Mona Baroudi.


This week, the ballet world and the animal kingdom will collide for the premiere of Alonzo King LINES Ballet's Biophony. The new work, made by King in collaboration with soundscape artist Bernie Krause and composer Richard Blackford, features the choreographer's raw, virtuosic movement set amidst the sounds of roaring lions, buzzing bees and other creatures. For our bi-weekly newsletter, Pointe spoke with LINES dancer Courtney Henry before the premiere, Apr. 3-12.

How would you describe the movement?

It's really varied. We've been recording some of the rehearsals and I got to see a little clip. There are some sections with a lot of flocking, when we all move at once, and I thought, Wow, we're going so fast! There's a lot of surprise and action, but at the same time, there are moments that just feel really good on the body. A lot of Alonzo's work comes from an internal place, so it's never this "putting on" or "doing of the steps."

 

What's been the most challenging part of the piece for you?

Matching the intensity of the music at times. These are wild animals that we're listening to, and while we're not always expected to necessarily match them in movement, I think we're playing off of it. When there is a lion roaring, clearly there needs to be some type of fire. I've been trying to work on that without going too far into left field.

 

Will the audience be able to recognize certain animal sounds?

There are obvious ones, like birds, and we have this really awesome section with bees buzzing. But for some of the sounds, we were definitely fooled. For one, I thought, Oh, that's a lion. But it was actually a wild pig.

 

Based on your experience with the company, what advice would you offer to dancers who are getting ready to launch their professional careers?

Stay true to yourself. I think growing up, whether it's in dance or anything, there's always this pressure to conform. But the older I get, the more I realize that the things that make you different are the highlights. Ultimately, I think that's what choreographers are looking for.

 

For even more interviews, tips, audition info and giveaways, sign up for our FREE e-newsletter.

Latest Posts


Getty Images

Class of 2020, These Ballet Stars Have a Heartfelt Video Message Just for You

Congratulations to this year's graduating seniors!

You might not have had the chance to take that long planned-for final bow, but we're here to cheer you on and celebrate all that you've accomplished. And we've brought together stars from across the ballet world to help us; check out the video to hear their best wishes for your futures.

To further fête all of the ballet grads out there, we're also giving away 100 free subscriptions to Pointe... plus, one lucky bunhead will receive a personalized message from one of ballet's biggest stars. Click here to enter!


Courtesy Boylston

Is the #EsmeraldaChallenge Quarantine's Next Big Thing?

By this point in the coronavirus pandemic shutdown, people are completely burned out on dancing at home. So it's no surprise that last week, all-around dance superstar Alex Wong posted a video on Instagram performing the famous La Esmeralda variation... but in his living room. And with a frying pan instead of a tambourine.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Tulsa Ballet in Ma Cong's Tchaikovsky: The Man Behind the Music. Kate Luber Photography, Courtesy Tulsa Ballet.

Updated: Mark Your Calendars for These Online Ballet Performances

Updated on 5/27/2020

Since COVID-19 has forced ballet companies around the world to cancel performances—and even the remainder of their seasons—many are keeping their audiences engaged by streaming or posting pre-recorded performances onto their websites or social media channels. To help keep you inspired during these challenging times, we've put together a list of upcoming streaming events and digital performances.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks