Choreographer Alonzo King on the risks and rewards of collaboration

The new issue of frog design's design mind magazine is out. The theme is "Motion," and it features a great interview with famed ballet choreographer Alonzo King, who discusses the risks and rewards of collaboration with San Francisco Chronicle dance colum

Marty Sohl / Courtesy of Alonzo King's LINES Ballet of San Francisco

The new issue of our design mind magazine is out. The theme is "Motion," and it features a great interview with famed ballet choreographer Alonzo King, who discusses the risks and rewards of collaboration with San Francisco Chronicle dance columnist Rachel Howard:

"Collaboration is always risky. You don't have total control. Also, with choreography you have such a short amount of time to do it. If you're writing a book you've got years; a film, you can shop it around; Broadway, take it out six weeks for previews. With most choreographers, you've got to create the thing now. So I like to pretend I have absolutely no deadline. So we can play [with] every possibility of stupid mistakes, which are fertile, before you close the box and say, 'This is how it has to be.' There has to be a floating balance. And that's the reality of life.

In design, you'll hear people say, 'Yes, I'm going to do a series of chairs and they're going to be Shaker-inspired.' You'll hear people talking about appearances. But Shaker came out of what? A belief system. When Shakers are talking about efficiency, they're talking about a lean life with no fat, you know? When they're talking about economy of craft, they're talking about humility. This is a belief system. And true stuff has to come from inside out. That's where real design comes from. It has to be based on truth. Has to have a sense of wonder. You must bring something to it that no one else has because of who you are. What's interesting about you is you. Now, do people get rewarded for being someone else? Yes. Do people pay for a good knockoff or copy? Yes. But each one of us is an enigma. And we've got to figure out that enigma of our own lives before we close our eyes to the world."

Read the full interview

 

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