Alonzo King has been called a visionary choreographer, who is altering the way we look at ballet. King calls his works ‘thought structures’ created by the manipulation of energies that exist in matter through laws, which govern the shapes and movement directions of everything that exists.
King has works in the repertories of the Swedish Royal Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, Ballet Bejart, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, Joffrey Ballet, Alvin Ailey, Hong Kong Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. He has worked extensively in opera, television, and film. Known for collaborations, seminal works include People of the Forest (2001), choreographed with Baka artists from Central African Republic and Long River High Sky (2007), with China’s Shaolin Monks. He has collaborated with actor Danny Glover, legendary jazz saxophonist Pharaoh Sanders, Hamza al Din, Pawel Szymanski, Jason Moran, and tabla master Zakir Hussain. Renowned for his skill as a teacher, Mr. King has been guest ballet master for dance companies around the globe. In 2012 King was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Corps de Ballet International Teacher Conference.
King is the director of the international touring Company, Alonzo King LINES Ballet housed in San Francisco with the Alonzo King LINES Ballet BFA at Dominican University of California, Training Program, Summer Program, and Dance Center.
Alonzo King is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including the first ever Barney Choreographic Prize from White Bird Dance in April 2013. In October 2012 the San Francisco Museum & Historical Society named Alonzo King a "San Francisco Treasure" in recognition of the significant contributions he has made to the historic fabric of San Francisco over the last 30 years. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom presented the Mayor’s Art Award to Alonzo King in October 2008, calling him a “San Francisco treasure.” In June 2008, Alonzo King was honored with the Jacob's Pillow Creativity Award, in recognition of his contribution to "moving ballet in a very 21st-century direction". In 2006, King received the US Artists award, and in 2005, received New York’s Bessie Award for Choreographer/Creator. He is also the recipient of the NEA Choreographer's Fellowship, Irvine Fellowship in Dance, National Dance Project and the National Dance Residency Program, as well as several Isadora Duncan Awards. He has received the Hero Award from Union Bank, the Los Angeles Lehman Award, and the Excellence Award from KGO, and was chosen a recipient of the San Francisco Foundation's 2007 Community Leadership Award.
In 2014 King was appointed to the advisory council of the newly established Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University; and in 2005 he was named a Master of Choreography by the Kennedy Center. King is a former commissioner for the city and county of San Francisco, and a writer and lecturer on the art of dance. He was awarded the Green Honors Chair Professorship from Texas Christian University, and holds honorary Doctorates from Dominican University of California and California Institute of the Arts.
"Alonzo King is one of the few, true Ballet Masters of our times. His intimacy with Ballet's multiple histories has made his choreography rich with the complex refractions that demonstrate a full command of the art's intricacies..." William Forsythe, Frankfurt Ballet
"I watched him in our rehearsals and you see how meticulous and what a perfectionist he is - how clear he is on what he wanted. And the movement he elicited from the dancers - it was just so delicious, I had never seen them dance that way before." Judith Jamison, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
"It is an honor to work with Alonzo. His incredible understanding of the nuances of music make him a composer's choreographer. It is stunning to watch him print the flow of melody and rhythm on his dancers. I have rarely seen sounds coming alive with such clarity." Zakir Hussain
"He gives a new look to people and steps we thought we knew." Violette Verdy
"The most sophisticated modernism in classical dance. The number of ballet choreographers who live - and create - solely in the present are so few that one of his distinction must be accounted the artistic equivalent of a shooting star." Los Angeles Times