Alonzo King LINES Ballet
Premiered April 2015
Called “riveting” by the San Francisco Chronicle, Biophony is Alonzo King’s newest work in collaboration with natural soundscape artist Bernie Krause and composer Richard Blackford. For more than forty years, Krause has traveled the globe with microphones tuned to the earth and its creatures. His vast archive catalogs the collective sound of entire ecosystems – what Krause terms biophony. From the rainforests of Borneo to a waterhole in Kenya, from the Alaskan tundra to a meadow high in the Sierra Nevada mountains, his recordings carry imprints of habitat in peril.
On stage these soundscapes reveal an intricate living orchestra cradling nature in suspension. The dancers’ senses are heightened amid calls of killer whales and tree frogs; their sweat seems to mingle with the mud, salt, and dust of their new sonic environments. They dance without ego, immersed in their song, unaware of being watched. We see classical technique refracted, distilled to an elemental purity that reminds us of our fellowship with all creatures; we see shoulder blades recast as vestigial wings. Biophony takes place not at the threshold of the civilized and primal, but at the rejoining of two worlds never meant to be apart.