One of the most rewarding aspects of the LINES Ballet Summer Program is the valuable opportunity to work with acclaimed dance artists and established choreographers. During the program, students are cast in a work and participate in a condensed artistic process much like they would in a professional company. We caught up with 3 of our current choreographers to learn more about their time with the Summer Program students…read on for their insights!


Maurya Kerr

Maurya Kerr headshot

Describe the general concept you are interested in exploring with the Summer Program students. Is there a specific idea you’re exploring or unique process or challenge you’re trying to create for the dancers?

This is the first time I’ve choreographed for Session Two (in the past I’ve always created for Session One), and the maturity of this older group is allowing me to stay in a much more authentic choreographic process for myself and exist in longterm unknowing. The condensed reality of creating a piece in 4 1/2 weeks generally negates any sense of ‘longterm,’ but I’m aiming within our process together to experience slowness and presence, collaborate more, impose less, and be wildly mutable.

What do you hope that the students will gain during their time at the Summer Program?

My continual hope is that students here expand in their courage, compassion, generosity, curiosity, and thoughtfulness, because the world desperately needs its young people vast, luminous, and speaking truths. And if their technique improves also, what a bonus.

Maurya Kerr is a choreographer, educator, performer, and the artistic director of tinypistol, where her choreographic work has been honored by numerous awards, grants, and commissions. She was a member of Alonzo King LINES Ballet for twelve years, and is on faculty with the LINES Ballet Education Programs. She is an ODC artist-in-residence (2015-18), and recently completed her MFA through Hollins University.


Keelan Whitmore

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Describe the general concept you are interested in exploring with the Summer Program students. Is there a specific idea you’re exploring or unique process or challenge you’re trying to create for the dancers?

This piece is dependent on a collaborative effort. The dancers are given tasks that are geared to challenge them individually. They all become carpenters in the house that we are building.

What has your experience been like working with the Summer Program students? Is there any singular moment that has stood out to you thus far?

These students have been so receptive to the information I’ve given them. They then take that information home with them and take ownership of their responsibility. This is so nice to observe.

What do you hope that the students will gain during their time at the Summer Program?

My hope is that they come to a place in their dancing and in their lives where they find joy in giving their all.

Keelan Whitmore, from Rockford, Illinois, trained at the Rockford Dance Company, the Joffrey Ballet School/New School University, and graduated from Michigan’s Interlochen Arts Academy. As a member for five seasons of Kansas City Ballet, Whitmore performed works by choreographers including George Balanchine, Nacho Duato, Jerome Robbins and Twyla Tharp. In 2006, Whitmore became a member of the Suzanne Farrell Ballet. His choreography has been showcased in workshop and gala performances, presented by Kansas City Ballet, Virginia School of the Arts, the LINES Ballet Training Program and Regional Dance America, which presented Whitmore with its National Choreography Recognition Award in 2005. That same year, he co-founded Kansas City–based multi-disciplinary ensemble Quixotic Fusion. Whitmore danced with LINES Ballet from 2006-2013. He is currently a soloist with TanzTheater Muenster in Germany.


Arturo Fernandez

Headshot - Arturo Fernandez by Quinn B. Wharton

Describe the general concept you are interested in exploring with the Summer Program students. Is there a specific idea you’re exploring or unique process or challenge you’re trying to create for the dancers?

I’m interested this time in having the cast create a lot of the material for what they perform, on their own. I’ve given them some phrases from which to choose material and encouraged them not to go the easy route. I’m really interested in them challenging themselves to create out of their comfort zone. In this way, they get more self-taught experiences rather than me telling them whats “right” or “wrong”, and I’m able to push them a little further out of their comfort zone. The piece will have a lot of solos that they’ve created and some group sections that I’ve created for them.

What has your experience been like working with the Summer Program students? Is there any singular moment that has stood out to you thus far?

This year I’ve gotten to work with the younger kids more closely which I really wasn’t looking forward to. It turns out that I love it more than I thought I would. They are more engaged and willing to put their trust in me and listen to all of my years of experience to guide them to grow not only as dancers but also as human beings in the world. It’s been quite wonderful for me as I find myself growing as well.

What do you hope that the students will gain during their time at the Summer Program?

Self confidence, fearlessness and how to give and take from experiences in their lives and not just in the dance studio.

Arturo Fernandez is a native of Oakland, CA, and began dance training at the School of Performing Arts of USIU in San Diego. After only 2 years of intensive study he joined San Diego Ballet in 1976. Other companies he’s performed with are California Ballet, Arizona Ballet, New Jersey Ballet, Ballets Trocadero de Monte Carlo and Pittsburgh Ballet Theater. After moving back to California, he joined Oakland Ballet for a short time and ODC/San Francisco (11 years) and there served as the assistant to the choreographers from 1988 until Spring of 1991. Arturo has choreographed for the James Sewell Ballet, Inland Pacific Ballet, and Alonzo King LINES Ballet, among others. From 1992-2017, he was the Ballet Master for Alonzo King LINES Ballet, as well as assisting Alonzo King in the creation of new work. For more than 2 decades he has been an integral part of the Alonzo King LINES Dance Center, the LINES Training Program and the LINES BFA program.


See their works come to fruition on stage!

LBSP 2017 Session Two, photo by Andy Mogg (1)LINES Ballet Summer Program: Session Two Showcase

Saturday, August 12, 2017 at 8pm
The Cowell Theater at Fort Mason Center

Presenting works by Katie Faulkner, Arturo Fernandez, David Harvey, Maurya Kerr, Dexandro Montalvo, Carmen Rozestraten, and Keelan Whitmore performed by LINES Ballet Summer Program’s 2017 Session Two students.

PURCHASE TICKETS


Cover photo and studio photos by Lilly Payne; Maurya headshot by Andrew Weeks; Keelan dance shot by Marty Sohl; Arturo headshot by Cody Chen; showcase photo by Andy Mogg

Written by Alonzo King LINES Ballet

Alonzo King LINES Ballet is comprised of an internationally renowned contemporary ballet company, three education programs that serve pre-professional dancers, and a dance center that provides adult drop-in classes for all levels. The LINES Ballet mission is to nurture dynamic artistry and the development of authentic creative expression in dance, through collaboration, performance, and education.

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