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Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, a 24-year-old San Francisco company that appeared at City Center’s Fall for Dance Festival last month, is now bringing two New York premieres to Midwood’s Walt Whitman Theatre.

LINES Ballet is headed by Alonzo King, a choreographer recognized by a Bessie award, five Isadora Duncan Awards, and works shown in the repertoire of the Joffrey Ballet, Dance Theater of Harlem, and the like.

Although the titles of the new works - "Migration" and "Sky Clad" - sound like two takes on the same winged theme, they are quite different compositions.

"Migration," recently praised by the San Francisco Chronicle as "King at his best," is a piece about the constant evolution of form explored through birds’ passage from the egg shell to the sky.

"In this world, everything is trying to fulfill itself," King told GO Brooklyn. "Animals are trying to express themselves; humans are trying to reach realization. All living and non-livings things are evolving in some kind of realization."

While the plasticity of dancers in "Migration" is based on the visual imagery of life changing form, "Sky Clad" is built around a more abstract notion of sound.

Here, music is everything. Accompanied by live music from Hindustani vocalist Rita Sahai, and "tabla" (a small hand drum) and violin players, the dancers respond to two types of sound known in classical Indian music - the one heard by the human ear and "anahata," a vibration of the universe echoed by the heart. "Sky Clad" is built around the conversation between dancers and musicians.

"Rita Sahai is wonderful," says King. "When things are live, there is the possibility for anything to happen. [The musicians] can play with intensity, which really affects the dancers and allows them to go deeper."

Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts presents Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet on Nov. 18 at 8 pm at the Walt Whitman Theatre, 2900 Campus Rd. at Hillel Place on the campus of Brooklyn College in Midwood. Tickets are $15, $20 and $25. For tickets, call (718) 951-4500 or visit

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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