Michael and Maddie on their experience at the Aspen Ideas Festival

This year, Alonzo King and LINES Ballet had the honor of presenting at the acclaimed Aspen Ideas Festival. The main event included a lecture/demonstration for Spotlight Health by Alonzo King with dancers Michael Montgomery, Yujin Kim, Maddie DeVries and James McGowan, introduced by Damian Woeztel (of NYCB, now president of Juilliard). It was an incredible experience to be in conversation with such brilliant thinkers and to be able to enjoy the festival and it’s picturesque surroundings. We asked dancers, Michael and Maddie, to reflect on their experiences. Read on to hear what they had to say…

Michael Montgomery

This summer has been a wonderful mix of surprises, gratefulness, deja vu, and glimpses of what the future could hold. In Aspen, we got to spend time on a beautiful campus and meet with spirits that are working toward the future, primarily through health. This conference was not only intellectual, but had an energy of acceptance and a thirst for knowledge. I felt so lucky to be there, and representing the LINES Ballet family. When Alonzo spoke people were so moved, and even more, they were transformed from seeing him and his work. I am so inspired by my fearless leader. This trip was an amazing summer interlude, and I cannot wait to get back to the family to begin this new season!

Maddie DeVries

Aspen was amazing! I came to learn that aspen trees are all connected by their roots. So all aspens in a field or on the mountain in groupings are all basically connected and a family! I was so overjoyed to have the opportunity to perform in Aspen. And it was such a cool reminder that though only 4 of the dancers attended, we are all always connected to our LINES family.

The air was pristine and I needed to breathe in as much as I could! Even though the oxygen was slim, it was the most alive I’ve felt being on top of the mountain and jumping into clear crystal glacier lakes. Being surrounded by brilliant minds at the festival was of course another added element of amazement.

See Alonzo’s full presentation at Aspen here:

Cover photo and Maddie’s photo courtesy of Maria Elena Caprio; all other festival/performance photos and Michael’s photos courtesy of Dan Bayer and the Aspen Institute