What do Cuba, France and Cloquet have in common? How about a 2016 tour stop and performance by the world-class Zenon Dance Company of Minneapolis!
Just back from their January 2016 international tour to Havana, Cuba, where the company performed at the historic Teatro Marti to sold-out audiences and standing ovations, Zenon is coming to Cloquet.
Zenon Dance Company, the professional modern and jazz dance repertory company renowned for its artistic virtuosity, emotional intelligence and inspired excellence, tops off a three-day dance residency at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College with an evening length performance of modern and jazz dance at the Cloquet Senior High School Auditorium on Friday, March 4, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. Admission is free and open to everyone.
Zenon has toured to areas as far flung as Aruba, Guam, Russia, Saipan, Switzerland and Budapest. And now, Cloquet gets added to that list…for a second time. The critically acclaimed group previously performed here during a 2012 mini-tour to Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College and the Cloquet area.
The Zenon dancers are also a national favorite among critics and audiences for their fearless physicality and emotional intelligence. Repertory works showcase the dancers’ flexible embrace of contemporary dance, and offer presenters a signature evening by a peerless troupe described as “the dance company that can do it all” and “in a league of its own” by the Star Tribune.
In Cloquet, Zenon Dance Company will perform three vibrant works by:
– Twin Cities’ choreographer and audience-favorite Wynn Fricke’s “The Mourning Tree,” hailed as “an intuitive movement language of shifting weights and kinesthetic response creates a spellbinding harmony.”
– Cuban choreographer Osnel Delgado’s wildly popular 2014 “Coming Home” described as “the sweet spot where sport and artistry meet.” (from a Minneapolis Star Tribune review)
– Daniel Buraczeski’s masterwork “Ezekiel’s Wheel,” inspired by the writings of James Baldwin, and set to a score for percussion and voice composed by Philip Hamilton with Peter Jones.
Zenon Dance Company, one of the nation’s only professional modern and jazz dance repertory troupes, continues to build its eclectic repertory by commissioning significant works from such acclaimed American choreographers such as Bill T. Jones, Doug Varone, Bebe Miller, Tere O’Connor, Danny Buraczeski and Seán Curran. The Zenon dancers are renowned for their tremendous stylistic diversity, technical virtuosity and artistic integrity.
Zenon’s Residency work in Cloquet during March 2-4 includes a 5:00 p.m. Wednesday workshop class at Cloquet Senior High School for students in the theater program and spring play cast. This activity introduces students to Zenon’s modern and jazz esthetic and allows Zenon to teach a creative movement/modern dance workshop. On Wednesday evening at 6:30 p.m., Zenon will conduct a “Movement for Actors” workshop for at the Encore Performing Arts Center & Gallery with the volunteer community actors of the County Seat Theater.
On Thursday at the college, Zenon will conduct a yoga/movement workshop with college students led by Zenon’s professional dancers at noon in the gym. At 1:00 p.m., Zenon will conduct another movement and activity session that is open to everyone in the gym. Access to the artists of Zenon for questions and answers about careers as professional dancers will be available throughout all of the sessions.
The residency concludes with the 7:00 p.m. evening performance at the Cloquet Senior High School Auditorium on Friday, March 4. Admission is free and open to everyone.
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. A local group of individuals coordinated the Zenon residency, including Warren Peterson of the Cloquet Public Schools, Joel Soukkala of the County Seat Theater, and Tom Urbanski of Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College.
Additional background information about Zenon Dance Company and staff follows:
About Zenon’s Choreographers:
Danny Buraczeski: recently returned to Minneapolis to set his masterwork, the 1999 “Ezekiel’s Wheel,” on Zenon. The piece was last performed in the Twin Cities by Buraczeski’s former company JAZZDANCE. The piece pays tribute to American writer James Baldwin with an inspiring and dynamic exploration of the struggle, tolerance, and hope of the Civil Rights movement. It includes spoken text by the late writer and is set to a powerful score by jazz-soul composer-vocalist Philip Hamilton. In the work, The New York Times wrote, “Mr. Buraczeski draws on the full jazz-dance vocabulary, from struts and prowls as soft as a cat’s purr to sharp-edged thrusts, leans and turns. In the process, he suggests how much more can be done with the idiom than is usually attempted.”
Osnel Delgado: Cuban choreographer Osnel Delgado is a McKnight International Artist. The McKnight International Artist Fellowship, administered by Northrop, invites one international choreographer each year to spend time in residence in Minnesota, collaborating with Minnesota dance artists and showcasing new work. International Artist Fellowships are offered by invitation only. In 2014, the McKnight Fellowship Program selected Zenon Dance Company to work with Delgado, who will create his first U.S. work on the company—“Coming Home.” Osnel Delgado has received major Cuban awards including the Premio a Mejor Coreografia del Concurso Solamente Solos (Award for Best Solo Choreography), and a Special Mention award at the VII Iberomerican “Alicia Alonso” Choreography competition in Madrid. He was a member of Danza Contemporanea de Cuba from 2003 to 2011 and founded MalPaso Dance Company in 2012, where he currently serves as choreographer and artistic director.
Wynn Fricke: Twin Cities’ choreographer Wynn Fricke has created nine works for Zenon, many with live music—most recently “The Mourning Tree,” set to music by Mila Vocal Ensemble. Fricke has been called a “choreographic shaman” who creates “timeless works that comment on the human condition with muscular choreography and primordial power” (Star Tribune). She’s collaborated with Zenon over the decades, creating works “of tremendous soul, integrity and physical prowess” (Star Tribune). Wynn was also a company member with Zenon for 10 years.
Linda Z. Andrews, founding artistic director, studied at the Martha Graham School, Alvin Ailey Dance Center, Julliard School, and with Alvin Nikolais, Lynn Simonson and Merce Cunningham before moving to Minneapolis. She formed Ozone Dance School in 1979, which today is the Zenon Dance School, a nationally recognized training center for vocational and professional dancers. In 1983, she formed the professional Zenon Dance Company from her two dance groups: Rezone Dancers (modern) and Just Jazz Dancers (jazz). Since its first performance in 1983, Zenon Dance Company has become one of the nation’s premier contemporary dance repertory companies.
Through the years, Zenon has performed a unique function in the region and throughout the United States: Andrews has created an extensive modern, jazz and post-modern dance repertory by commissioning new works from more than 60 of the world’s most intriguing emerging choreographers.
The repertory includes works by such now-iconic choreographers as Bill T. Jones, David Dorfman, Doug Varone, Bebe Miller, Joe Goode, Tere O’Connor, Sean Curran, Wil Swanson, and Bill Young, Andrea Miller and Kyle Abraham. International choreographers who’ve worked with Zenon include Susanna Tambutti, Johannes Wieland, and Osnel Delgado.
From post-modern choreographers, Zenon has repertory works by Tere O’Connor, Morgan Thorson, luciana achugar, Netta Yerushalmy, Jeanine Durning, Faye Driscoll, Vanessa Anspaugh, Chris Schlichting, Joanna Kotze, Colleen Thomas, Daniel Charon and Stefanie Batten Bland. Zenon is also an important repository of jazz choreographer Danny Buraczeski’s works, which the company performs with regularity. In 1989, Buraczeski moved his New York company JAZZDANCE to Minneapolis to merge with Zenon, a fruitful relationship for many years. Andrews has also supported local choreographers throughout three decades, commissioning works from Wynn Fricke, Cathy Young, Robin Stiehm, Linda Shapiro, Uri Sands, Joe Chvala, Myron Johnson, Mariusz Olszewski, Daniel Stark and Chris Schlichting.
For more information on Zenon Dance Company and School, Inc. visit: www.zenondance.org.