past event

SOF Discussion Reception: The Power of Dance as an Artform

Featuring Alonzo King, visionary choreographer and founder of LINES Ballet.


Alonzo King is a visionary choreographer who has changed the way we look at dance.  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. His work is known worldwide for connecting audiences to a profound sense of shared humanity.

Heralded by William Forsythe as “one of the few, true Ballet Masters of our time,” 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, NCDT, 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 in 2012.  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 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 nationally by the dance world’s most prestigious institutions. Named 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, and the National Dance Project’s Residency and Touring Awards. In 2008 King received the SF Mayor’s Art Award  He also received Barney Choreographic Prize from White Bird Dance in April 2013, an Isadora Duncan award, 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”. 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 celebration 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.

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 California Institute of the Arts.

In addition to celebrating the company’s 35th anniversary this year, King will also be creating two world premiere pieces with collaborators Zakir Hussain in the spring and Kronos Quartet in the fall. This April King will be choreographing another premiere as one of the 12 choreographers selected by San Francisco Ballet to be part of their Unbound Festival showcasing the most innovative artists in dance.

Ms. Sako Fisher has worked as a foreign exchange dealer for Citibank and a grain merchant for Cargill. Her professional commitments, as well as her board memberships, reflect her interest in cultural bridges. Ms. Fisher is president of the San Francisco Symphony. She is a co-chair of the first ever Smithsonian Campaign, following her chairmanship of the Smithsonian National Board. She has a Presidential Appointment to the Kennedy Center. Ms. Fisher is on the Stanford Board of Trustees where she serves on the Advisory Council for the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and for the Department of Humanities and Sciences. She previously served Stanford on the Task Force on Undergraduate Education, the Bay Area Major Gifts Committee during The Stanford Challenge, and the Campaign for Undergraduate Education. She co-chaired her class’s 25th, 30th and 35th reunion campaigns. She is a past trustee of the Thacher School in Ojai, California, having served as chair of development there. She has also served as vice-chair of the board of the Exploratorium Museum and chaired nominating for that organization. At the beginning of her non-profit career she chaired the board of ODC/San Francisco twice, as well as led their first-ever capital campaign. She sits on the U.S. advisory board for the Union Centrale des Arts et Decoratifs in Paris. Her former commitments have included the Centre Pompidou, the American Hospital of Paris and its foundation, Alliance Francaise, Stern Grove and the Asian Art Museum Foundation. She was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French government. Ms. Fisher and her husband live in San Francisco and have three children and one dog.

Event information
Thu Mar 22, 2018
6:00pm - 7:30pm EDT
Private venue
San Francisco, CA