Alonzo King LINES Ballet is so thrilled to welcome Brett Conway back to the stage with us. We had a chance to talk to him about his return, how he’s changed and what he’s most excited about in this upcoming performance. Check out what he had to share!
What is your experience with LINES Ballet?
When I joined LINES back in 2002, I was fresh out of school and very eager and curious as to how I would develop and what experiences awaited me as I leaped into a professional dance career. I didn’t know much about the company or Alonzo but shortly after I joined LINES and had the chance to work with Alonzo alongside some of his most seasoned dancers, I knew I landed in a very special place.
Over the eight years I danced with LINES, I really feel I developed the foundation of my dancing through Alonzo’s work and guidance. He opened my eyes to look at ballet in a new way and explore the universal ideas behind the form. The freedom that Alonzo gives to his dancers in his work is the most rewarding and challenging. I think for younger dancers its almost overwhelming and they aren’t used to that responsibility to bring more of their thoughts and exploration to a phrase of movement. But exploring this early on in my career allowed me to work in a collaborative way and have a sense of contribution to the work and further developing my artistry and creativity.
What inspired you to return to LINES Ballet?
After a very fulfilling experience dancing with Nederlands Dans Theater for the past five years, it just felt time to move on. I wanted to move back to San Francisco and still continue to dance. I knew I had developed new layers to my dancing with my experience at NDT and was curious to know what it would be like to work with Alonzo again.
How has this time with the company changed or shifted from the first or has it remained the same?
Returning back to LINES has felt a bit surreal. Its been comforting to see quite a few familiar faces around the Dance Center which seems like nothing has changed. But then I go to rehearsal and the whole company is full of young fresh faces. Up until now, I have always been one of the younger dancers in a company but a new generation is coming up. I find myself in a different role now. I feel I have a responsibility to give back by example and encourage and hopefully inspire the younger generation. What better place to do this than the very place that gave me so much starting out as a young dancer.
What you are most looking forward to in the world premiere with Lisa?
I’m looking forward to hearing Lisa sing! Wow, she’s just amazing! Its been such a great experience having her in the studio and feeling her power, control and vulnerability through every note. It’s very inspiring to listen to Lisa and I can’t help but want to dance like how she sings. She’s an extraordinary artists and feel so grateful for this experience to work with her.
See Brett perform with the company and Lisa Fischer in “Propelled Heart”, Nov 6-15 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts! Tickets: http://www.ybca.org/alonzo-king-lines-2015
Photos by Quinn B. Wharton