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A choreographer's Brief But Spectacular take on life and movement


Notice: Transcripts are machine and human generated and lightly edited for accuracy. They may contain errors.

Judy Woodruff: Alonzo King is a visionary choreographer who is altering the way we look at dance.

Born in Georgia to civil rights activist parents, King found his own form of expression through the language of movement, and ultimately went on to found Alonzo King LINES Ballet, a San Francisco-based dance company.

Tonight, he gives his Brief But Spectacular take on life and movement.

It is part of our arts and culture series, Canvas.

Alonzo King: I see everything as movement. I think movement and sound is everywhere.

If you think of the Big Bang Theory, what came first, motion, vibration, sound? They're the same.

My parents were civil rights leaders in Albany. My father was president of the Albany Movement. He was very close friends with Malcolm X. They traveled together. The impact that my parents had on me was watching people who actually lived what they preached. And that was intimidating and inspiring.

As a kid, my father introduced me to yoga. That had a huge impact on me. It is also curious, the idea of the East-West merger. And in terms of civil rights, it was Martin Luther King and that relationship with Gandhi and nonviolence, and that power of love was much more powerful than enmity or violence.

And so that taught me later about the balancing act that's needed between left brain and right brain.

Do I think all children have a relationship with movement? There's something about the children that catches the whirls -- W-H-I-R-L-S -- of motion that are happening. You always see children, whether they have even seen one or not, they play airplane. They go on the axis. They go out on the circle.

And so there's these currents that exist internally and externally. When you plunge into the heart of movement, the outer world dims, because you're so in the moment and everything else becomes peripheral.

When you think about dance, often, too often, people think of it as not being a language, but it is a language. Music is thought made audible. Dance is thought made visible. And so music and movement or sound and vibration, they are the same.

My name is Alonzo King, and this is my Brief But Spectacular take on life and movement.

Judy Woodruff: A nice thing to hear at the end of this day.

And you can see all of our Brief But Spectacular episodes at

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