Modern Grace: Dance troupe brings Austin connection on first visit to town

The Zenon Dance Company will make its first stop in Austin at 7 p.m. on Friday at the Paramount Theatre. Photo provided

The Zenon Dance Company will make its first stop in Austin at 7 p.m. on Friday at the Paramount Theatre. Photo provided

The Austin community had better prepare for something it’s never seen before.

The Zenon Dance Company is bringing its well-reviewed dance show to the Historic Paramount Theatre 7 p.m. March 11 and it’s ready to put on a new style of art for the community to see. This will be the first time the Zenon Dance Company will perform in Austin.

Jennie Knoebel, executive director of the Austin Area Commission for the Arts, said that the dance group was brought in due to a grant that promotes dance as an art. Knoebel is looking forward to having Zenon at the Paramount.

“It’s a modern dance company. They perform a repertoire of dance pieces. They’ve even done a piece on baseball before,” Knoebel said. “I’m very excited to bring them into the community. It’s a great opportunity for us to present dance as an important art and show people something they probably haven’t seen before.”

Zenon has recently performed in France and Cuba and it is recognized for its diversity and physicality. The group is under the direction of Linda Andrews and it has received rave reviews from the New York Times, The St. Paul Pioneer Press and the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

While the town of Austin may be looking forward to checking out Zenon on the stage, Austin resident Dale Rosenthal may be more excited about the show than anyone else. Rosenthal has a grandson, Scott Mettille, performing with Zenon and Rosenthal has gone up to see the dance group in the Twin Cities before.

“We’ve been up there several times and I was so impressed,” Rosenthal said. “I asked him when they’re going to come to Austin and now they’re finally coming.”

Mettille, who grew up in Ames, Iowa, lives in Minneapolis and he is looking into becoming a dance instructor. For now, he trains with Zenon in the Crowles Theater and Rosenthal said Mettille enjoys his time with the group.

“They really enjoy it. Scott is considering becoming a dance teacher,” Rosenthal said.

Rosenthal said he has purchased 10 tickets so family can come to watch Mettille perform in Austin for the first time.

Zenon operates a dance school that welcomes all dancers, regardless of age or experience. It teaches dance at the beginner and elite level.

Besides performing overseas, Zenon has also performed at the Joyce Theatre, Jacob’s Pillow and college festivals in the U.S.

Children 18 and under may watch the show for free and the Zenon Dance Company is looking into the possibility of running a teaching session at I.J. Holton the week after the performance.

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