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BEST DANCE PERFORMANCE Minneapolis 2008 - Zenon Dance Company fall season

Zenon is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, a significant milestone for any dance company, but the troupe proved during its fall season at the Guthrie Theater that it has not just staying power but a fresh perspective, constantly renewed by its artists. The program sparkled with premieres and favorite repertory works, and the dancers responded with mature, nuanced, and fearless performances. Most breathtaking was Doug Varone's "Of the Earth Far Below," a complex and invigorating piece set to a rigorous Steve Reich score. Bebe Miller's classic "Sanctuary" showed off the comedic timing of the company's women, and Wynn Fricke's "Blessing of the Earth" was a visual stunner with the dancers bathed in golden light. Colleen Thomas's "Catching Her Tears (44° N, 93° W)" offered an edgy emotional journey, and Danny Buraczeski's "Elegant Echoes" closed the show with a Jelly Roll Morton-inspired smooth jazz romp. Of particular note is Christine Maginnis, who has been with Zenon for its entire 25 years. This is her last season, but she danced in every work, demonstrating awesome physical ability and creative versatility. Few newcomers can match her energy, and although she'll still perform locally, her presence in Zenon will be missed.

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