Like an arrow poised for flight, an undercurrent of restless agitation pervades Alonzo King’s latest work set to four Shostakovich string quartets. The music wavers in a state of crystalline suspension, pushing the dancers’ tensile strength to the limit as they revel in the space between harmony and discord, in the long arc before an earthbound fall.
Rasa, a deeply evocative and shimmering piece, set to an original score by tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain, which was called “an intriguing wonder” by the New York Times. Zakir Hussain’s mastery of classical Indian percussion and unique vision of world music have brought him worldwide renown, including a Grammy nomination, and his collaborations with Alonzo King renew classical forms in an entirely innovative way. Tabla music began as dancing music, in Northern Indian courts in the early 1700s, and its hypnotic intensity and complex rhythms convey the strong feeling that they are meant to move the body. Rasa is thus both a continuation of a deep tradition--the interdependence of dance and tabla music as art forms--and an expression of the contemporary global vision of both artists.