The Uniqueness of Being Human: Notes on Alonzo King

The Uniqueness of Being Human: Notes on Alonzo King

Reposted from CIIS MFA blog:
By JENELLE CAMPION, student in the Creative Inquiry, Interdisciplinary Arts MFA program

On Saturday, Sept. 11, Saturday Night @ CIIS launched its fall presentation series with a talk by Alonzo King, artistic director of the LINES Ballet Company. I am in my first year of the MFA in Creative Inquiry, Interdisciplinary Arts program, working as a mixed media artist. In one creative inquiry class with Professor Randall Babtkis we were asked to describe our reaction to meeting Alonzo King and how that interaction influences our hopes for our MFA projects. This is what I wrote:

Notes and reflections on Alonzo King: 9/12/10

  • Remember the uniqueness of being human
  • Be interested and enthusiastic
  • Create a safe environment
  • Art is a synthesis of what is good and bad in the self
  • Beauty = Truth
  • Vulnerable = Generous
  • Love is above the Law
  • Don’t think about “self”
  • Mind is plastic and has no limitation
  • Nature = The Informant
  • Art transforms us into a finer human being
  • If you inhabit it, it will inform you

My hope for my MFA project begins with a desire to more fully integrate myself into a larger human community. I appreciated the freedom and fluidity of self that came across so easily when Alonzo talked about his work.  He seemed to exemplify the fact that being as authentic a human being as possible was a way to bridge the gap between impulse and the actualization of an idea, thereby creating a form for one’s art.

He stressed putting away the “self” and all judgments; to get out of your head and into your work. I find all of this very comforting—a reassurance to allow myself to keep playing with forms, as my impulse drives me. I want to allow that process to shape my understanding of my work as I strive to construct a vessel into which I can pour my many threads of experience and understanding and intuitive knowings.

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