San Francisco's Alonzo King LINES Ballet continues making moves amid pandemic

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The art of movement has a way of keeping people going in the literal sense and beyond. Alonzo King LINES Ballet has been dedicated to dance since 1982 and it doesn't plan to stop during the pandemic.

"All of our performances were cut, everything," Alonzo King, founder and artistic director of the company, said. "In fact, the company was performing in Italy where all the news was coming from at the epicenter of the biggest outbreak. We had to get out of Italy in two days, go to perform in France and then get home. Everybody was safe. Thank God no one was infected."

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LINES Ballet has lost 75% of its revenue. Like many others, the company made the virtual pivot to continue teaching.

"All of our teaching, all of our community classes, everything has gone online because that was it," King continues. "It was a bit halt, but the halt did not stop us from finding ways to keep producing work and being creative."

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LINES Ballet is preparing for a residency inside a COVID-19 artistic bubble in Arizona. The company received a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

"They gave us a $350,000 grant to in their words, 'continue to do what you do," King said.

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"We're going to be going to Wickenburg," King went on. "There will be a doctor there doing testing all the time. There's going to be a film crew so we can make work and also sell work. It was one of the initiatives of the Mellon Foundation that we can try to monetize the work that we're building."

King told ABC7 News the work created in Arizona will explore universal truths relevant to today's society.

"We in all of our making and doing, we forget what we're making and what we're doing is being done by the heart and the mind," King replied. "The heart and the mind have to be nourished."


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