In The Studio: Why Alonzo King Thinks Politicians Need To Dance More
At 5'10" I felt like an ant in the studio with Alonzo King LINES Ballet. The San Francisco-based company is full of statuesque dancers whose passion is infectious. Every story was told not only through their movement, but through the expression on their faces and their connection to one another.
We talked to artistic director Alonzo King about his love of collaborations and why he thinks politicians need to dance more.
What are some of the things that draw you to working with collaborators from other disciplines?
Anyone who is brilliant—regardless of their discipline—I want to work with them. I'm drawn to people who have thought of not what they're going to get from something but what they going to bring to it. What do they have that is unique that they can bring as an offering? You want the access to their genius, but you also want access to their child. They can be masterful and bring their full opinion on a subject but they're able to also cut it off and be a little kid. They work like a duality.
Is that something you expect from your dancers as well?
I think of the dancers as collaborators. It's a small company and we're together a lot. So, you want to make sure you're in a community of people who you genuinely enjoy being around. In terms of art-making, I love someone who at whatever stage in their life they feel like they can do more. Because sometimes you have a dancer who is brilliant but they burn out. Being in a relationship with dance is like being in a relationship with a human being. After 30 or 40 years you have to think, How do I keep it alive and not take it for granted?
In terms of the dance community on a larger scale, is there anything you would like to see more of in 2018?
I'd like to see politicians dancing. I'd like to see the world practicing art. Because the introspection from true art practice can't lie.
Essential oils sometimes get a bad rap. Between the aggressive social media marketing for the products and the sometimes magical-sounding claims about their healing properties, it's easy to forget what they can actually do. But if you look beyond the pyramid schemes and exaggerations, experts believe they have legit benefits to offer both mind and body.
How can dancers take advantage of their medicinal properties? We asked Amy Galper, certified aromatherapist and co-founder of the New York Institute of Aromatic Studies:
Karen Azenberg, a past president of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, stumbled on something peculiar before the union's 2015 move to new offices: a 52-year-old sealed envelope with a handwritten note attached. It was from Agnes de Mille, the groundbreaking choreographer of Oklahoma! and Rodeo. De Mille, a founding member of SDC, had sealed the envelope with gold wax before mailing it to the union and asking, in a separate note, that it not be opened. The reason? "It is the outline for a play, and I have no means of copyrighting…The material is eminently stealable."