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.
Capezio, Bloch, So Dança, Gaynor Minden.
At the top of the line, dancers have plenty of quality footwear options to choose from, and in most metropolitan areas, stores to go try them on. But for many of North America's most economically disadvantaged dance students, there has often been just one option for purchasing footwear in person: Payless ShoeSource.
When Sonya Tayeh saw Moulin Rouge! for the first time, on opening night at a movie theater in Detroit, she remembers not only being inspired by the story, but noticing the way it was filmed.
"What struck me the most was the pace, and the erratic feeling it had," she says. The camera's quick shifts and angles reminded her of bodies in motion. "I was like, 'What is this movie? This is so insane and marvelous and excessive,' " she says. "And excessive is I think how I approach dance. I enjoy the challenge of swiftness, and the pushing of the body. I love piling on a lot of vocabulary and seeing what comes out."
Back when Robbie Fairchild graced the cover of the May 2018 issue of Dance Magazine, he mentioned an idea for a short dance film he was toying around with. That idea has now come to fruition: In This Life, starring Fairchild and directed by dance filmmaker Bat-Sheva Guez, is being screened at this year's Dance on Camera Festival.
While the film itself covers heavy material—specifically, how we deal with grief and loss—the making of it was anything but: "It was really weird to have so much fun filming a piece about grief!" Fairchild laughs. We caught up with him, Guez and Christopher Wheeldon (one of In This Life's five choreographers) to find out what went into creating the 11-minute short film.
When Hollywood needs to build a fantasy world populated with extraordinary creatures, they call Terry Notary.
The former gymnast and circus performer got his start in film in 2000 when Ron Howard asked him to teach the actors how to move like Whos for How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Notary has since served as a movement choreographer, stunt coordinator and performer via motion capture technology for everything from the Planet of the Apes series to The Hobbit trilogy, Avatar, Avengers: Endgame and this summer's The Lion King.
Since opening the Industry Dance Academy with his wife, Rhonda, and partners Maia and Richard Suckle, Notary also offers movement workshops for actors in Los Angeles.