A Quarterly Video Series for LINES Ballet Donors


“LINES REWIND” is a quarterly series that shares exclusive footage from LINES Ballet’s archives with donors of $100+.

This collection of videos was published on August 4 and will remain available until our next edition in November 2021. For questions about donor benefits and LINES REWIND access, please contact development@linesballet.org.

LINES REWIND: Summer 2021 Edition

Inspired by LINES Ballet’s upcoming collaboration with the San Francisco Symphony, the Summer 2021 Edition of LINES REWIND shares a look back at three works choreographed to iconic music scores: Handel (2005), Concerto for Two Violins (2013), and Shostakovich (2014). While much of the Company’s repertoire has been crafted in collaboration with some of the world’s most innovative contemporary musicians, these ballets pay homage to composers of the past, each an exceptional movement study of musicality.

First premiered by the Swedish Royal Ballet in 2005, Handel was most recently performed by the LINES Ballet in 2018. Exploring the music of George Frideric Handel, Alonzo King creates entire and complex music of bodies, taking up the dramatic elegance of Baroque expression. Handel found that he could integrate the new homophonic style — with its clarity of melody, rising against the harmonic base — and the tradition of blended polyphony; the boldness of melody is never lost. This balance of thematic richness and simplicity that distinguishes Handel as a composer comes through in the clean, graceful lines of the Company dancers. King’s evocative choreography is deeply resonant with the nobility of the music.

Concerto for Two Violins is set to Bach’s Concerto in D Minor; a score utilized famously by George Balanchine for his 1941 work Concerto Barocco. Concerto for Two Violins is a sleek and sharp salute to ballet’s past while marking the continued evolution of neoclassicism. Balanchine’s training in music theory provided one visual conception of the score. As King investigates the densely layered contrapuntal voices for himself, we hear beloved melodies anew. San Francisco Chronicle dance critic Alan Ulrich wrote that the piece delivered what LINES Ballet audiences have come to expect: “dancing of immense pliancy and emotional resonance by a team of amazingly resilient performers who relish the challenges that King’s choreography throws their way.”

Rounding out the collection is Shostakovich, a palpable change in tone from Handel and Concerto. Like an arrow poised for flight, an undercurrent of restless agitation pervades this 2014 ballet set to four of Dmitri Shostakovich’s 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. Upon the creation of the work, King noted, “[Shostakovich] reminds me of so many artists who go through so much suffering and yet they continue to make beautiful, sometimes bright, works that have nothing to do with what they’re experiencing, and that is so encouraging. No matter what, do the work.”

Courtney Henry and Robb Beresford in Shostakovich, photo by Quinn B. Wharton


Handel (2005)

Choreography: Alonzo King
Music: George Frideric Handel with additional music by Leslie Stuck
Lighting Design: Axel Morgenthaler
Costume Design: Robert Rosenwasser
Dancers featured: Laurel Keen and John Michael Schert, with Prince Credell

Concerto for Two Violins (2013)

Choreography: Alonzo King
Lighting Design: Axel Morgenthaler
Set and Costume Design: Robert Rosenwasser
Music: Johann Sebastian Bach
Dancers featured: David Harvey, Michael Montgomery, Meredith Webster, and Kara Wilkes, with Robb Beresford, Courtney Henry, Ashley Jackson, Yujin Kim, and Jeffrey van Sciver

Concerto For Two Violins was made possible through the White Bird 2013 Barney Choreographic Prize, awarded to Alonzo King, and supported by the Dorothy Lemelson Trust and the White Bird/MKG Financial Group New Works Fund, Portland, Oregon. Concerto for Two Violins also received support from the Lisa and John Pritzker Family Fund.


Shostakovich (2014)

Choreography: Alonzo King
Music: Dmitri Shostakovich
Lighting Design: David Finn
Costume and Set Design: Robert Rosenwasser
Dancers featured: Babatunji, Robb Beresford, Adji Cissoko, Madeline DeVries, Shuaib Elhassan, Courtney Henry, Michael Montgomery, Laura O’Malley, Jeffrey van Sciver, Kara Wilkes

SHOSTAKOVICH was made possible, in part, by the Lisa and John Pritzker Family Fund.


This collection of videos was published on August 4 and will remain available until our next edition in November 2021. The video password was provided to qualifying donors via email. For questions about donor benefits and LINES REWIND access, please contact development@linesballet.org.

Babatunji | Handel | © Chris Hardy
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