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World premiere: Stephanie Batten Bland’s “Caught”
Zenon premiere: Danny Buraczeski’s “Ezekiel’s Wheel”
Reprise: luciana achugar’s “Molten Substance”
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA—The maverick Zenon Dance Company, a modern- and jazz-dance institution that continues to influence and enhance the Minnesota dance scene, announces its 31st Fall Season, November 22-December 1, 2013, at The Cowles Center in Minneapolis. The program features the:
• World premiere of Stephanie Batten Bland’s “Caught,” which includes an on-stage installation of hand-woven netting;
• Zenon’s premiere of Danny Buraczeski’s “Ezekiel’s Wheel,” inspired by the writings of James Baldwin, and;
• Reprise of luciana achugar’s “Molten Substance,” which the Star Tribune called “a rare and wonderful gift” to the company.
Zenon’s 31st Fall Season
When: 8 p.m. November 22-23, 29-30
7 p.m. November 24, December 1
Tickets: $34; 612-206-3600
“Caught,” by Paris and New York choreographer Stefanie Batten Bland, is highly physical, emotionally charged work that references environmental degradation and the struggle to survive. The work is performed largely inside an on-stage installation of hand-constructed netting. A 2010/12 Baryshnikov Arts Center/Jerome Robbins Foundation NEW Fellow and former dancer with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Bland combines European subtlety and American ardor to investigate physical notions of waste and environment in her work.
Danny Buraczeski’s 1999 “Ezekiel's Wheel” was last performed in the Twin Cities by his 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.”
achugar’s “Molten Substance” was a runaway hit with audiences during its Spring 2013 premiere. The women’s quartet, with live percussion score by J.T. Bates, “has a cathartic quality, but the two-time Bessie award-winning achugar also revealed a broader agenda, one seemingly inspired by a riot grrrl fed up after a long day of street harassment,” wrote the Star Tribune. “It was all tempered with a rebellious playfulness (yes, it is possible to put on tight jeans without using your hands). Hooray for this audacious, calculatingly inappropriate and consistently intelligent work about women taking back power.”
Stephanie Batten Bland
NewYork Resident magazine wrote that, ““When it comes to tackling demanding subject matter, there are few choreographers as intellectually ambitious as Stefanie Batten Bland.” Batten Bland studied dance at the Joffrey School and Alvin Ailey American Dance Center in New York. She also attended SUNY Purchase for dance and the New School for Social Research for post-colonial literature studies. In 1998 she became a soloist with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. She’s worked with Sean Curran, Pina Bausch Tanz Theater Wüppertal, Compagnie Linga, Pal Frenak, Ivory Coast choreographer Georges Momboye and Angelin Preljocaj. She created her company CSBB (Company Stefanie Batten Bland) in 2008, which creates distinct, multi-disciplinary inspiring dances for stage and film. She lives in Paris and New York.
luciana achugar is an Uruguayan choreographer based in Brooklyn. Her other work for Zenon Dance Company is “Structures of Feeling.” She moved to New York in 1995 after graduating from Cal Arts. In New York, she worked as a dancer with Jeremy Nelson, Wil Swanson, Maria Hassabi, Chameckilerner and John Jasperse. From 1999 to 2003, she worked in a close collaborative relationship with choreographer Levi Gonzalez. Since 2002 she has been doing her own independent work. achugar received a BESSIE Award as Creator/choreographer for her first full evening-length piece Exhausting Love at Danspace Project which premiered in November 2006.
A classic jazz stylist for over two decades, Danny Buraczeski's work has traced a clear and deep investigation of jazz—its sources and ongoing evolution—with keen attention paid to the rich lineage of individual performers and movement makers. Rhythm drives Buraczeski's choreographic explorations. Respect and enthusiasm for his musical collaborators is evident in the thorough research, extensive knowledge and advocacy for jazz makers and the vernacular sights, sounds and environments that are his wellspring.
After a career on Broadway appearing in such musicals as Mame with Angela Lansbury and The Act with Liza Minnelli, Danny formed the original New York City-based JAZZDANCE in 1979. Based in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul from 1992 to 2005, the company performed at leading concert halls and festivals in more than 35 states and in Europe and the Caribbean.
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 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, as well as rising stars Andrea Miller and Kyle Abraham. International choreographers who’ve worked with Zenon include Susanna Tambutti and Johannes Wieland.
From post-modern choreographers, Zenon has repertory works by Tere O’Connor, Morgan Thorson, luciana achugar, Jeanine Durning and Faye Driscoll. Zenon is also the 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 and Myron Johnson.
For more information on Zenon’s 31st Fall Season, contact Camille LeFevre at 651-646-2098; firstname.lastname@example.org.