Alonzo King

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. Named as a choreographer with “astonishing originality” by the New York Times, Alonzo King LINES Ballet has been guided by his unique artistic vision since 1982.

King has works in the repertories of the Royal Swedish Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, Ballet Bejart, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, Joffrey Ballet, Alvin Ailey, Hong Kong Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and many others. He has collaborated with distinguished visual artists, musicians, and composers across the globe including legendary jazz saxophonist Pharaoh Sanders, Hamza al Din, Pawel Szymanski, Jason Moran, Charles Lloyd, Mezzo soprano Maya Lahyani, architect Chris Haas, and tabla master Zakir Hussain.

King was honored with a Dance Magazine Award in 2020. In 2019, he received an Honorary Doctorate from The Juilliard School in recognition of his significant contribution to the field of dance. Renowned for his skill as a teacher, King was also honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Corps de Ballet International Teacher Conference in 2012. An Internationally acclaimed guest ballet master, his training philosophy undergrids the educational programming at the Alonzo King LINES Dance Center of San Francisco, which includes the pre-professional Training Program, Summer Program, and the BFA Program at Dominican University of California.


“My parents were willing to die for what they believed in. Their commitment to truth was my tuning fork. What you speak you must live, or else do not speak it. That became my template for how to both behave and create in the world.”

– Alonzo King

Many members of Alonzo’s family were prominent figures in the civil rights movement, including his father, Slater King, who served as the president of the Albany Movement. Visit our blog, LINESConnected, to read about their pioneering efforts.


“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

“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


Doris Duke Foundation
Artist Award | 2015

Dance Heritage Coalition
“Irreplaceable Dance Treasure” List | 2015

President’s Award
Dance Masters of America | 2013

Barney Choreographic Prize
White Bird Dance | 2013

San Francisco Treasure Award
San Francisco Museum & Historical Society | 2012

Lifetime Achievement Award
Corps de Ballet International Teacher Conference | 2012

Jacob’s Pillow
Creativity Award | 2008

San Francisco Mayor’s Award | 2008

Italian Danza & Danza
Best Choreography Award | 2008

San Francisco Foundation
Community Leadership Award | 2007

US Artists Fellowship | 2006

New York Bessie Award
Choreographer/Creator | 2005

Kennedy Center
Master of Choreography | 2005


Isadora Duncan Award

NEA Choreographer’s Fellowship

Irvine Dance Fellowship

Union Bank Hero Award

Los Angeles Lehman Award

KGO Excellence Award

USA Prudential Fellowship

Commissioner, City and County of San Francisco

Honorary Doctorate, Dominican University of California

Honorary Doctorate, California Institute of the Arts

Green Honors Chair Professorship, Texas Christian University

Alonzo King | © Franck Thibault
Zachary Tang and Victor Mateos Arellano | Alonzo King LINES Ballet | © RJ Muna
Zachary Tang and Keelan Whitmore | Alonzo King LINES Ballet | © RJ Muna
Alonzo King and Laurel Keen | © RJ Muna