Counterstream Radio
New Music Streaming 24/7
New Music Playlists
Browse Music, Video, Interviews and more.

‘The Propelled Heart’ World Premiere with Lisa Fischer

Alonzo King LINES Ballet unites with Grammy Award-winning vocalist Lisa Fischer and multi-instrumentalist JC Maillard in San Francisco

The Latest Update

The World Premiere

Posted on February 4, 2016 by Alonzo King LINES Ballet

View an excerpt from the world premiere of The Propelled Heart at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, with Alonzo King LINES Ballet and Lisa Fischer.

Dancers: Adji Cissoko and Brett Conway, Courtney Henry and Jeffrey Van Sciver
Featuring How Can I Ease the Pain by Lisa Fischer/  Narada Michael Walden

“LINES Ballet director Alonzo King inserts spectral threads into virtually every work he makes, so that the toil of the body is made synonymous with the hard work of the soul.”
– Ann Murphy, San Jose Mercury News (reviewing The Propelled Heart)

“With her prodigious range, power, and theatrical sensibility, accompanied by a rare sensitivity, Fischer beautifully illuminates King’s The Propelled Heart, a world premiere… Throughout its taxing requirements, the LINES dancers attain – if it isn’t too trivializing to say so – rock star status.”
– Janice Berman, San Francisco Classical Voice

“The company’s collaboration with singer Lisa Fischer and musician JC Maillard was, in short, spellbinding. Don’t mistake the word for promotional pablum. “
– Jaime Robles, Repeat Performances

More Updates ▼

The collaboration

Posted on February 1, 2016 by Alonzo King LINES Ballet

Witness the creative process between Alonzo King and Lisa Fischer, in the studio with LINES Ballet.


“Lisa Fischer is a brilliant artist with a fully throbbing heart and expansive mind. She is an inspiration of sound, body, and mind” – Alonzo King, Artistic Director

The world premiere of The Propelled Heart unites Alonzo King LINES Ballet with Grammy Award-winning vocalist Lisa Fischer for the 2015 Fall Home Season. Called “a phenomenal powerhouse” by the New York Times, Fischer has shared the stage with musical luminaries of nearly every genre. In addition to performing with Mick Jagger, Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, Beyoncé, and Sting, she was recently featured in the Academy Award-winning documentary Twenty Feet from Stardom. With a voice resplendent in its strength and range, she is a soloist who bears the gifts of two decades’ experience as a backup singer. Fischer shares with the LINES dancers her unfailing generosity as they pay tribute together to the power of song.

Lisa Fischer will be accompanied by French multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, composer, and arranger  JC Maillard for eight live performances with Alonzo King LINES Ballet.


The world premiere will be the result of in-studio collaboration by Lisa Fischer, JC Maillard, Alonzo King, and the Company.

Fischer and Maillard are creating approximately forty minutes of original compositions, plus brand-new arrangements of existing songs, including Fischer’s 1991 Grammy Award-winning hit ‘How Do I Ease the Pain’ and Duke Ellington’s take on the sacred ‘Almighty God’.

Fischer and Maillard first joined the Company in the studio in August 2015. After conversations with Artistic Director Alonzo King, they began to develop new music inspired by the vision of King, and the style of the Company. Improvisation and experiments with sound and movement have continued, and will culminate in November’s live performances.

With Fischer as vocalist, Maillard will perform on the sazbass (an 8 steel-stringed electroacoustic instrument inspired by the traditional Turkish “saz” and Greek “bouzouki”, created and designed upon Maillard’s request  by French luthier Herve Prudent), keyboard, guitar, and live music sequencer. Additional vocals will be provided by the dancers throughout the work.


Alonzo King LINES Ballet is unique among American ballet companies, with a celebrated choreographer who actively develops original new works with other artists from diverse disciplines and cultures. This project directly aligns with the organization’s artistic vision of renewing – and transcending – traditional ballet, with a cross-genre collaboration.

The project is intended to reach new audiences of music lovers who might not otherwise attend the ballet. To that end, LINES Ballet has developed promotional partnerships with music organizations in the community such as the SFJazz Center and Yoshi’s Jazz Club.

LINES Ballet performances generally fill the theater to 85-99% capacity resulting in a total local audience of approximately 4,500. This work would also become part of LINES Ballet’s touring repertoire which reaches national/ international audiences of 20,000 to 50,000 annually.


Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater, San Francisco, CA

Friday, November 6, 8pm
Saturday, November 7, 8pm
Sunday, November 8, 5pm
Wednesday, November 11, 7:30pm*
Thursday, November 12, 7:30 pm*
Friday, November 13, 8pm
Saturday, November 14, 8pm
Sunday, November 15, 5pm

*Post-performance talk with Alonzo King and Lisa Fischer

Project Media

Rasa – Alonzo King LINES Ballet
Like this? Login or register to make a playlist of your favorites pieces.

Alonzo King LINES Ballet performs Rasa, with live tabla music by Zakir Hussain and Kala Ramnath.

The original score by tabla virtuoso Hussain, was called “an intriguing wonder” by the New York Times. Rasa is both a continuation of a deep Indian tradition–the interdependence of dance and tabla music as art forms–and an expression of the contemporary global vision of both Hussain and LINES Ballet.

Recorded in Fall 2014 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.

20 Feet From Stardom [excerpt] – Lisa Fischer
Like this? Login or register to make a playlist of your favorites pieces.
Features: Lisa Fischer

An except featuring Lisa Fischer from the Academy Award-winning documentary film 20 Feet from Stardom (2013), which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was released on June 21, 2013. The documentary highlights often unheralded minority women backup singers by archiving their oral histories and experiences within the American music industry.

Start and End Dates



San Francisco, California

2 updates
Last update on February 4, 2016

Project Created By

San Francisco, California
Alonzo King LINES Ballet is a celebrated contemporary ballet company that has been guided since 1982 by the unique artistic vision of Alonzo King. Collaborating with noted composers, musicians, and visual artists from around the world, Alonzo King creates works that draw on a diverse set of deeply rooted cultural traditions, imbuing classical ballet with new expressive potential.…

In Collaboration With

New York, New York


Leave a Reply