I reviewed Lines Ballet’s latest home season for today’s Chronicle:

“Alonzo King is not the kind of choreographer who can operate on autopilot with passable results. His concern is nothing less than the transcendent possibilities of the human heart, which his sleek, eminently rubber-jointed dancers explore in intensely allegorical, New Age-tinged encounters.

In a King pas de deux, the man doesn’t support the woman as she twirls through perfectly centered, regal pirouettes. Instead, he folds her limbs like elaborate origami, she presses her hands against his chest as though pleading for emotional distance, he bends her at the waist until she’s on all fours, she throws herself upon his back, spasming with vulnerability. When King is on, such a duet can leave you in awe of its profundity. When King is going through the motions, it can look like the world’s most pretentious game of Twister.

Both effects are on display now at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater, where King’s Lines Ballet opened its fall home season Friday with two recent pieces new to San Francisco. “Migration,” a commission for Germany’s Wolfsburg Festival, is a heavenward journey laced with virtuosic dancing and tender, touching moments — King at his best. “Sky Clad,” which uses live music by Hindustani vocalist Rita Sahai, is a soulless trudge through half an hour of vague exoticisms and empty symbolism. The contrast is fascinating.”

Click here for the full review.

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