Alonzo King has been called “a visionary choreographer, who is altering the way we look and think about movement." King calls his works ‘thought structures’. created by the manipulation of energies that exist in matter through laws, which govern the shapes and movement directions of everything that exists. Named as a choreographer with ”astonishing originality” by the New York Times, Alonzo King LINES Ballet has been guided by his unique artistic vision since 1982.
King has works in the repertories of the Royal Swedish Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, Ballet Bejart, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, Joffrey Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Hong Kong Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and many others. He has collaborated with distinguished visual artists, musicians and composers across the globe including Pharaoh Sanders, James Campbell, Hamza El Din, Pawel Szymanski, Jason Moran, Charles Lloyd and Zakir Hussain.
Renowned for his skill as a teacher, King was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Corps de Ballet International Teacher Conference in 2012. An internationally acclaimed guest ballet master, his training philosophy undergirds the educational programming at the Alonzo King LINES Dance Center of San Francisco, which includes the pre-professional Training Program, Summer Program, and BFA Program at the Dominican University of California.
King’s work has been recognized for its impact on the cultural fabric of the company’s home in San Francisco, as well as internationally by the dance world’s most prestigious institutions. Named Choreographer of the Year by Danza & Danza in Italy and a Master of Choreography by the Kennedy Center in 2005, King is the recipient of the NEA Choreographer’s Fellowship, the Jacob’s Pillow Creativity Award, the Irvine Fellowship in Dance, the US Artist Award in Dance, NY Bessie Award, and the National Dance Project’s Residency and Touring Awards. In 2014, King was appointed to the advisory council of the newly established Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University; in 2015 he received the Doris Duke Artist Award in recognition of his ongoing contributions to the advancement of contemporary dance. Joining historic icons in the field, King was named one of America’s “Irreplaceable Dance Treasures” by the Dance Heritage Coalition in 2015. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom presented the 2nd Annual Mayor’s Art Award to Alonzo King in October 2008. He also received the Barney Choreographic Prize from White Bird Dance in April 2013, numerous Isadora Duncan awards, the San Francisco Foundation’s 2007 Community Leadership Award, the Hero Award from Union Bank, the Lehman Award, and the Excellence Award from KGO. In October 2012, the San Francisco Museum & Historical Society named Alonzo King a "San Francisco Treasure."
He is a former commissioner for the city and county of San Francisco, and a writer and lecturer on the art of dance; his contributions appear in the books Masters of Movement: Portraits of American Choreographers and in Dance Masters: Interviews with Legends of Dance. In 2005 he was awarded an honorary Doctorate by Dominican University of California, the Green Honors Chair Professorship from Texas Christian University as well as an honorary Doctorate from CalArts.