The Personal Element
August 3, 2019
Originally created with Dancers from Alonzo King LINES Ballet and New York City Ballet for the Vail Dance Festival. Commissioned by Vail Dance Festival, Artistic Director Damian Woetzel.
November 5, 2021
The 2021 Pacific Northwest Ballet premiere of Alonzo King’s The Personal Element is sponsored by the Jane Lang Davis New Works, Bob Benson, and Glenn Kawasaki.
An evocative twenty-minute octet set to a sweeping piano score by Jason Moran, which allows the viewer to marvel at dance movement and choreography. With a bright yet uncomplicated set and elegant costuming, The Personal Element allows the focus to remain on the choreography and the expertise of the company. The interplay of Moran’s piano and the dancers’ movement is a poetic invitation, encouraging each individual viewer to make their own personal connection with the piece.
Note courtesy of Alonzo King LINES Ballet.
Meredith T. Webster grew up in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, studying under Jean Wolfmeyer and then attended the Harid Conservatory and Pacific Northwest Ballet School. She worked with Sonia Dawkins Prism and Donald Byrd’s Spectrum Dance Theatre in Seattle, and earned a B.S. in Sustainable Resource Sciences from the University of Washington before moving to San Francisco to work with Alonzo King LINES Ballet. In her nine seasons as a dancer with LINES, Webster originated many central roles, performed in international galas, and received a Princess Grace Award. In 2014 she became the Ballet Master for LINES, a role in which she served until early 2020. Meredith has also performed with Ledoh/Salt Farm in the butoh-inspired Incognito, worked with the Maureen Whiting Company, collaborated with David Harvey to create the site-specific Ladysmith Draw, and co-created Empress Archer, an evening-length duet produced by The Cambrians of Chicago. Webster has served as a faculty member for all of the LINES Ballet programs and as a guest teacher around the world, and she has contributed as a writer to Dance Spirit and Conversations. In 2019 she choreographed and starred in the short film Mirrors, written and directed by Mary Marxen, and she worked with Drew Jacoby and SF Danceworks on the film Evidence of it All, in which she performed the lead role, with voiceover by Rosamund Pike. During 2020, she participated in the Room to Room project in collaboration with Bruno Roque, and created the music video Numenon, the result of a choreographic residency at Dancers’ Workshop in Jackson, Wyoming. She currently sits on the Board of Directors for Maureen Whiting & Co and lives in Oakland, California.
Robert Rosenwasser is a co-founder of LINES Ballet. As Creative Director he oversees each project’s aesthetic and artistic direction at the LINES Ballet company, including conceptual design and production. Alongside his artistic work with LINES Ballet, as General Manager for 32 years, he built the Company’s touring program into one of the nation’s most expansive. In 2018 he became Executive Director. In addition to his work with LINES Ballet, he has designed for Ballet de Monte Carlo, Ballet Bejart, the Royal Swedish Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. He has also collaborated on book projects with artists and poets Richard Tuttle, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Kiki Smith, Cecilia Vicuna, and Barbara Guest. His work is found at the New York Museum of Modern Art in the Department of Books and Illustrated Prints, at the Whitney Museum, and the Spencer Collection of the New York Public Library. Mr. Rosenwasser grew up in New York, attending Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, Cooper Union, and California Institute of the Arts.
Jim French is a lighting designer working in a broad range of performing arts and live events. In dance, his credits are highlighted by nine seasons as resident designer for New York’s Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet. Other notable dance credits include pioneering aerial dance group Bandaloop, modern dance stalwarts Joe Goode Performance Group and Rioult Dance NY, and classical ballet’s Twyla Tharp, Amy Seiwert, and Ballet San Jose.
Jim is lighting supervisor at San Francisco Ballet, a house LD at SF Jazz, and volunteers his design services for Dancers Responding to AIDS, North Beach Citizens, and Bike East Bay.