Dancer Michael Montgomery can’t say enough about Alonzo King LINES Ballet, especially its choreographer.
“We’re working with an artistic director that doesn’t really put us in a box,” Montgomery said Tuesday. “Alonzo tells us a lot about breaking down our own ego and working from a place that’s truly organic, which is really refreshing.”
Others around the world are finding San Francisco’s 13-member contemporary ballet group intriguing, as well. Lead by King, the group has appeared at such festivals as Montpellier Danse, the Edinburgh Festival, the Wolfsburg Festival and the Holland Dance Festival.
King’s ballets are often collaborations between notable composers, artists and musicians, including, in the past, jazz saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, Indian tabla player Zakir Hussain, and actor Danny Glover to name a few.
The group brings its performance of “Dust and Light” (2009) and “Rasa” (2007) ballets, choreographed by King, to Old Town Temecula Community Theater this Friday and Saturday.
Both “Dust and Light” — a “softer, more ethereal kind of pieces, is what others have described,” Montgomery said — and the big finale of “Rasa” that plays with rhythm do not utilize large sets or prop pieces. Only lights, a backdrop and the dancers will occupy the stage.
But above all that, Montgomery doesn’t want to say any more about the dances.
Alonzo King LINES Ballet
What: San Francisco-based contemporary ballet company performing as part of the theater’s 2011/12 ‘Temecula Presents’ series
When: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Where: Old Town Temecula Community Theater, 42051 Main St., Old Town Temecula
Tickets: $25 adults, $20 seniors, $15 for students/children, available online, by phone or at box office
“I think for me what’s fun is just showing up to LINES with no expectations, just ’cause there’s so much that’s given,” he said. “But I definitely can say they will enjoy it.”
Both ballets mean something a little extra to Montgomery. The dancer — who graduated with a LINES/Dominican Bachelor of Fine Arts from the collaborate program between LINES and the Dominican University of California — has been performing with LINES for two seasons.
“They’re the two ballets that I had learned when I first joined the company,” Montgomery said. “So for that reason, they’re special just because they’re my first memory of working with the company.”
If Montgomery has his way, he’ll never leave LINES.
“This is my dream company,” he said. “I think I’ll be here for many, many more years to come.”
It shows in how Montgomery describes King’s work, using adjectives like “brilliant,” “smart,” and “refined.”
He said he admires King’s “thoughts on perfection and how it’s this skewed image of ourselves that we try to achieve when really we have everything fully existing within us.”
And not only is there emphasis on growing ballet, but also utilizing the performance to say something more, Montgomery said.
“Alonzo is trying to push the forefronts of ballet,” he said. “We’re trying to not only make an impact in the world of dance, but I think he’s trying to help change the world through his philosophy and through his work.”