Last winter, LINES Ballet dancer Josh Francique traveled to Hawaii with the company and LINES’ Artistic Director and Co-Founder, Robert Rosenwasser. The artists met with influential photographer Richard Misrach for an oceanside photoshoot, aiming to create art for the upcoming Spring Season in San Francisco. The images taken during that day will serve as the backdrop for Alonzo’s newest work, a collaboration that welcomes back Grammy Award-winning vocalist Lisa Fischer.
Photography: Alonzo King LINES Ballet | Dancer: Josh Francique | Title: Josh on cliffs, Spitting Caves 2022 [detail #3] | © Richard Misrach 2022
This spring won’t be Josh’s first time performing alongside Lisa. They shared the stage in Deep River during his inaugural season with LINES, where he awed audiences with a breathtakingly beautiful and spinally expressive solo. Next Saturday, the two artists join together again for our company’s annual Gala. Before the premiere, read Josh’s thoughts—ranging from a challenging hike in Hawaii, to what it was like working with Richard, to his growth over the last year in LINES Ballet.
Want to see Josh perform? Experience his brilliance on stage during our upcoming Spring Season at YBCA (April 16–23) or our annual Gala (April 15). Season tickets are available at cityboxoffice.com/lines, and Gala seats can be purchased at classy.org.
How was the trip to Hawaii with the company? Can you describe one of the most impactful moments for you?
The company’s journey to Hawaii was nothing less than breathtaking. I am personally obsessed with the warmest of climates, palm trees, and the salty smell of the sea. Amongst all the cherished memories while in Honolulu, the hour-plus long hike up the Kuliʻouʻou’s Forest Reserve takes the cake.
I consider myself to be in great shape, thanks to cross training. And, of course, dancing for seven hours five days a week will definitely do the trick. However, by no means will I claim to be a hiker, or to have had the stamina, on this hike in particular, to be considered one.
The experience was of course physically taxing, but it was mentally as well. There is something metaphorical to be said about a situation that challenges your willpower. The terrain before you is unknown, and you don’t know how much of your journey remains. But, you decide to resist the urge to give up, and push forward. This hike was a wrinkle in time that I still think about to this day.
When my friends and I reached the top of the mountain, I was consumed with true gratitude. I was beyond proud of myself for getting to the top. The bird’s eye view of the island was stunning—the way the blues of the sky met the blues of the sea, the greenery surrounding us, the way the waves crashed, and how the clouds hovered. All of it was taken in. It put things into perspective for me.
Overall, my entire Hawaii experience was beautifully lit, for lack of a better phrase. If anything, Hawaii was further confirmation that I will eventually be on an island, on a beach somewhere, in between views and sunbathing, not on a hike, but reminiscing about that one life-changing time when I was.
How was your experience working with photographer Richard Misrach?
Richard Misrach’s extensive knowledge of the land offered the most treasured shooting locations while his creative impulse kept us on our toes and allowed for further risk-taking. I personally enjoyed Richard’s enthusiasm to dive into the unknown with us dancers and to create what felt right in the moment. I hope we get to work with Richard again in Hawaii or elsewhere.
Photography: Alonzo King LINES Ballet | Dancers: Josh Francique | Title: Josh, On The Cliffs, Spitting Cave, (Reverse) 2022 | © Richard Misrach 2022
In what ways have you grown or changed since last spring when the company premiered Deep River with Ms. Lisa Fischer?
Since last spring, I’ve had a year to deepen and digest Alonzo’s philosophy and approach to movement. Inside all the discomfort of constantly being asked for “more”, I’d say I have grown in my clarity and storytelling abilities. Having the freedom to play with ideas and have a voice inside the work is an amazing privilege that makes dancing for LINES so special to me. As an artist, the work forever continues to better one’s craft; I am deeply humbled by how much I’ve grown in just a year in my artistic expression. I’m looking forward to all this home season has to offer.
What are you most excited about this Spring Season?
Last Spring Season, I had the amazing pleasure and honor to dance alongside the angelic Ms. Lisa Fisher for the first time, and I was seriously in a trance. Lisa has such a light to share like no other, both in the process of creation and performance. I can’t wait for her voice to shower our movement as we take the stage together again. I have no expectations of how everything will come together, but I do know it will be miraculously breathtaking.
Banner Photography: Alonzo King LINES Ballet | Dancers: Josh Francique and Madeline DeVries | © Jamie Lyons
LINES Ballet’s Spring Season
Absorb the stunning vocals of Grammy Award-winning singer Ms. Lisa Fischer as she performs live alongside Josh and our other company dancers. Alonzo King’s heart-stirring choreography will be backed by large-scale visuals from influential photographer Richard Misrach. Spring Season performances run April 16–23 at YBCA.
Photography: Alonzo King LINES Ballet | Dancers: Maya Harr, Josh Francique, and James Gowan | Title: Shadow Ballet #8 (Reverse), 2022 | © Richard Misrach 2022
LINES Ballet’s 2023 Gala
On April 15, our LINES family will come together for the annual Gala—an exquisite evening brimming with dance, beauty, and enduring friendship. Experience Alonzo King’s world premiere with collaborators Ms. Lisa Fischer and Richard Misrach, followed by a true-to-its-tradition elegant celebration infused with love.
Photography: Alonzo King LINES Ballet | Dancer: Maya Harr | © RJ Muna