One dynamic company: three decades of modern and jazz dance performed with passion, perfection and panache.
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 and Seán Curran. The Zenon dancers are renowned for their tremendous stylistic diversity, technical virtuosity and artistic integrity. They’re 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 1983, a visionary young dancer combined her two fledgling dance companies, Rezone Dancers (modern) and Just Jazz Dancers (jazz), into one troupe: Zenon Dance Company. The buzz generated by Linda Z. Andrews’ eight-member company has continued ever since. For 30 years, Zenon has been the standard-bearer of artistic excellence, technical rigor and choreographic diversity in the Twin Cities, continuing setting and raising the bar for performance. In doing so, Zenon has attracted and retained loyal, enthusiastic audiences. One of the few companies in the United States to perform jazz and modern dance, Zenon is renowned for its dynamic, eclectic repertoire. Andrews built Zenon’s repertoire by offering emerging and established choreographers—more than 50 regional, national and international dancemakers to date—the opportunity to work with a professional company in generating new work. Through these commissions, Andrews has introduced new choreographers to Twin Cities audiences while advancing these dancemakers’ careers.
Andrews’ life-long commitment to children and education led to the development of Zenon Dance Outreach. Through the outreach program Zenon has brought high-quality dance education to young people in schools and communities throughout the Midwest who would not otherwise be exposed to dance. The company has worked within the deaf and hard-of-hearing community, as well as with at-risk youth, including teenage mothers and children with behavioral disorders. In the past five years alone, Zenon Dance Outreach has occurred in more than 65 public, private, open and magnet schools, and in neighborhood and community centers throughout the Midwest.
In 1979, Andrews started the Ozone Dance School in Minneapolis, which is now the Zenon Dance School. From the company’s foundation in modern and jazz dance, the school has grown into the premier venue for learning ballet, tap, hip hop, yoga, African, bellydance, ballroom, breakdancing and contact improvisation. Through the years, many of the Zenon dancers have taught at the school alongside 40 other Twin Cities dancers, teachers and choreographers, as well as special guest artists. The youth program, for students 3-14, offers modern, creative movement, ballet, breakdance, hip hop and jazz. The adult program for avocation and professional dancers offers 45 to 50 classes per session in wide range of dance styles.