I wrote this blog post to promote an upcoming show at the Wisconsin Union Theater when I was Special Events Coordinator for the venue. I’m passionate about the performing arts and live events, and I enjoy promoting cultural experiences like the ballet I wrote about in this piece. See the original published post here.
A Memory of Motion
by Kelsey Pulera, Special Events AD
When I was seven, my mom took me to see Disney on Ice’s Beauty and the Beast. It was everything a little girl who loved princess stories, singing and cozy mittens could want. But beneath the facade of flashy costumes and glittering pyrotechnics, the most impressive aspect of the performance was the way the actors moved. Even as a young child, I knew the show would be far less exciting if it weren’t for the unpredictability of the actors’ motions. I had forgotten about this afternoon excursion with my mom until a few weeks ago when I searched “Alonzo King LINES Ballet” on YouTube, and was struck by a rush of memories.
The first thing I noticed about the company is its fluidity. The dancers seem to glide around as if they are on ice, floating around the rink like figure skaters. There is a clear transfer of energy from one dancer to another, which is a prominent aspect of Alonzo King’s choreography. The US Artist Award winner understands ballet as a science. His work is a combination of creativity, research, and collaboration that together develop an artistic representation of the laws of motion.
The company has been awarded multiple honors including Jacob’s Pillow Creativity Award, San Francisco Mayor’s Award, Doris Duke Foundation Award and many others. The ballet’s latest addition to an expansive repertoire is titled “The Propelled Heart”, and it features Grammy award-winning vocalist Lisa Fischer. The piece’s focus is motion and the human body’s potential as a musical instrument.
The Alonzo King LINES Ballet is constantly making efforts to expand the opportunities for involvement in dance. The San Francisco-based company hosts the Discovery Project, which aims to diversify professional ballet and reach out to communities where opportunity for dance is limited. Outreach programs like this are necessary for the maintenance of performing arts. As part of the LINES Ballet’s mission and our own at the Wisconsin Union Theater, the company will be doing a masterclass with the UW-Madison dance department prior to their show. This is an amazing opportunity for UW students to work with some of the best professionals in the dance industry.
Dance has a way of connecting us with stories and memories we have all but forgotten. Whether it’s Disney on Ice or a book you read as a child, The Alonzo King LINES Ballet will remind you why you loved it in the first place. The performance is in Shannon Hall at 8 PM on Friday, March 11th. Tickets are available online and by calling the box office at 608-265-ARTS.