Alonzo King LINES Ballet proved an ambitious opening to the 2011-12 Temecula Presents Dance Series on Friday night at Old Town Temecula Community Theater.
The impressive 13-member San Francisco-based contemporary ballet company earned a standing ovation from the crowd for a production that ranged from free and flowing, to taut and frenetic.
Featuring two compelling performances, “Dust and Light,” 2009, and “Rasa,” 2007, the LINES Ballet captivated the audience from the outset with moves that were raw and brimming with naturalness and intimacy.
“Dust and Light,” shimmering against a silvery, luminescent background, conveyed a unique sense of individual expression, along with base human needs and desires. Dancers reached for, then repelled each other, calling for an embrace before turning away, lost in some faraway thought.
The moves were made all the more lovely as they were performed to classical, renaissance-themed sounds that included variations of Arcangelo Corelli’s Baroque and Francis Poulenc’s heavenly choral odes.
Meredith Webster’s sinewy poise partnered with Keelan Whitmore’s powerful sensuality proved a riveting combination whenever the two found themselves wrapped in a dance.
Warm and lively, bold and intense, “Rasa” followed with a performance that featured the kind of complex beats and syncopated rhythms that compel the body to feel, respond and move.
The music blended the percussion vitality of the Hindustani music of North India and the jazz-inspired feel of the contemporary.
Also compelling were Caroline Rocher and David Harvey in “Rasa,” who delivered a breathtaking, wildly hypnotic duet that found the two locked in a melodic battle between intense passion and vulnerability.
Friday’s show was dedicated to recently passed former Theater Manager Bruce A. Beers, whose love for and commitment to the dance genre was well-known among friends and theater patrons.
A second and final performance is planned for 8 p.m. on Oct. 29 at Old Town Temecula Community Theater, located at 42051 Main Street in Temecula.
Visit temeculatheater.org to learn more or to purchase tickets.
Kerri S. Mabee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me on Twitter @kerrimabee.