Babatunji in Biophony.
Photo by Quinn B. Wharton.
Alonzo King’s Scheherazade is a re-envisioning of the ancient collection of Persian, Sanskrit, and Arabic stories of 1,001 Nights. The exquisite dancers of LINES Ballet present a vision of the transformative potential these stories possess: the way that we are offered a chance to listen to a voice that can change our lives, the power of art to illuminate all the chambers of our hearts. The new score by tabla master Zakir Hussain re-interprets the original music by Rimsky-Korsakov, incorporating traditional Persian as well as Western instruments. Commissioned by the Monaco Dance Forum to inaugurate the Centenary of the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo, Alonzo King LINES Ballet’s Scheherazade honors Diaghilev’s spirit of cutting-edge artistic collaboration, immersing audiences in a luminescent and richly textured world.
“Like so many dances by the celebrated choreographer Alonzo King, Dust and Light resembles poetry in motion,” the Boston Globe proclaims. In a landscape that shifts like the clouds, dappling the stage with soft light and then bathing the dancers in silvery radiance, Alonzo King brings out the emotional intimacy of dance. The LINES Ballet dancers move in harmonious counterpoint to each other, setting off the rich variations of Arcangelo Corelli’s Baroque music against Francis Poulenc’s otherworldly sacred choral odes. Each body is replete with radiant potential, as if the stage were filled with a dozen moons—or perhaps with a dozen suns, since, as Alonzo King says, “a tendu isn't just the straightening of the leg but a ray of light radiating from the sun.” As the duets and trios of dancers culminate in an exuberant ensemble, the intimacy of the piece expands and opens outwards, immersing the audience in luminous grace.