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LINES Ballet in Updated Scheherazade at Yerba Buena Center


Alonzo King's Scheherazade

Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet has gained notice the world over for its genre-bending, innovative contributions to 21st-century ballet. The company straddles the evanescent line between ballet and other, more modern forms of dance with alacrity.

In 2009, King was commissioned by Monaco Dance Forum to create a modern version of Scheherazade to inaugurate the Centenary of the storied Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo (ground zero for dance, music and design innovation in its day). Accordingly, even the music was to be updated. Rimski-Korsakov‘s thrilling score was “re-interpreted” by Zakir Hussain to include instrumentation from the Tales of 1,001 Nights era — in addition to violin, harp and cello, the score was written for the Persian rubab and nay, the Uzbek doira, and the Indian tabla.

The resulting Scheherazade is an illuminating, entirely new work with brilliant, shimmering backdrop by Robert Rosenwasser and choreography that borders on the joyous.

Dubbed ” an intriguing wonder” by the New York Times, the production is on view this weekend (through April 22) at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

Also on the program is Migration, with score by Pharaoh Sanders, Miguel Frasconi and Leslie Stuck. Migration celebrates the complexity  and continuing evolution of the human form, while exploring themes of trust and tension.