Alonzo King Joins Rita Moreno and Kaija Saariaho To Receive Honorary Doctorates at Juilliard’s 114th Commencement Ceremony

Babatunji, Michael Montgomery, Shuaib Elhassan (l to r) Perform in “Pole Star” by Alonzo King (Photo by Manny Crisostomo)

(San Francisco) – Alonzo King LINES Ballet is pleased to announce that choreographer Alonzo King will receive an honorary doctorate from Juilliard, during the school’s 114th commencement ceremony, which takes place Friday, May 24, 2019, at 11am in Alice Tully Hall and will be live-streamed at Actress Rita Moreno and composer Kaija Saariaho will receive honorary doctorates as well.

Damian Woetzel will give his first commencement address since becoming Juilliard’s seventh president last July. Juilliard alumna and soprano Camille Zamora, the co-founder and co-executive director of Sing for Hope, a nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming lives through creativity, will deliver the commencement address.

“I’m deeply honored to receive this award from Julliard, an organization known for its tradition of educational excellence,” says King. “I am also honored to be in the company of such luminaries as Rita Moreno and Kaija Saariaho.”

About Alonzo King

Alonzo King has been called a visionary choreographer, who is altering the way we look at ballet. 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.

King has works in the repertories of the Royal Swedish Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, Ballet Béjart, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, Joffrey Ballet, Alvin Ailey, Hong Kong Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, San Francisco Ballet and many others. He has worked extensively in opera, television, and film.

Known for collaborations, seminal works include People of the Forest (2001), choreographed with Baka artists from Central Africa Republic and Long River High Sky (2007), with China’s Shaolin Monks. He has collaborated with actor Danny Glover, legendary jazz saxophonist Pharaoh Sanders, Hamza al Din, Pawel Szymanski, Jason Moran, Charles Lloyd, vocalist Lisa Fischer, architect Christopher Haas, and tabla master Zakir Hussain.

Alonzo King (Photo by Franck Thibault)

King is the Artistic Director of the international company Alonzo King LINES Ballet, and the Alonzo King LINES Ballet BFA at Dominican University of California, Training Program, Summer Program, and Dance Center, all based in San Francisco. Renowned for his skills as a teacher, King has been guest ballet master for dance companies around the globe, and in 2012, was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Corps de Ballet International Teacher Conference. King is a former commissioner for the city and county of San Francisco, and a writer and lecturer on the art of dance.

Alonzo King has been honored by the dance world’s most prestigious institutions for his impact on the cultural fabric of the company’s home in San Francisco, as well as nationally and internationally for over more than three decades. Named a Master of Choreography by the Kennedy Center in 2005, King is the recipient of the Doris Duke Foundation Artist Award, the NEA Choreographer’s Fellowship, the Jacob’s Pillow Creativity Award, the Irvine Fellowship in Dance, the US Artist Award in Dance, and the National Dance Project’s Residency and Touring Awards. King holds a Green Honors Chair Professorship from Texas Christian University, and an Honorary Doctorate from Dominican University of California and California Institute for the Arts. King is serving as Grace Cathedral’s Artist in Residence throughout 2019.

“Alonzo King is a rare bird in the current American dance landscape […] Lines Ballet dances to full houses everywhere. It is easy to understand why: exceptional dancers, purity of movement, musicality of forms” -Philippe Noisette, Les Echos, March 2018

About The Juilliard School

Founded in 1905, The Juilliard School is a world leader in performing arts education. Juilliard’s mission is to provide the highest caliber of artistic education for gifted musicians, dancers, and actors from around the world so that they may achieve their fullest potential as artists, leaders, and global citizens.



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