Limón Dance Company
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2016/2017 Tour Dates
Feb 10, 2017
Harris Fine Arts Center-BYU
70th Anniversary program
Feb 18, 2017
Miller Center for the Arts
March 24&25, 2017
70th Anniversary program
|Beverly Hills, CA|
May 1-7, 2017
The Joyce Theater
70th Anniversary program
|New York, NY|
Please check back soon for newly announced tour dates!
The Limon Dance Company’s Jose Limón International Dance Festival at the Joyce Theater was chosen as one of the “The Best Dance of 2015” list in The New York Times.
“The work opens at a run and doesn’t let up through its final moment, when the Traitor snaps a noose tight around his own neck. The dramatic compression is incredibly high, with physically and poetically potent images coming in a thick, inexorable flow. This is a dance made to last and to retain its power”
-Brian Seibert, NY Times
full article (PDF)
“The group, which had wonderful momentum, gives individuals something to rise from; the image of a single dancer ferried aloft, mournfully or heroically, emerges again and again.”
-Siobhan Burke, NY Times
full article (PDF)
“As long as we lie, hate, envy and betray, Jose Limon’s work will continue to fascinate.”
-Sarah Kaufman, Washington Post
”For drama, virtuosity, and grace, there’s no finer company”
-Deborah Jowitt, Village Voice
“(The Company) perform with a mixture of honest‐to‐goodness objectivity and what seems like a certain private pleasure.”
-Alstair Macaulay, NY Times
“Limón Dance Thrives, Decades After Its Founder’s Death”
-Marina Harss, New York Times
full article (PDF)
“The company still carries that indescribable magic that brought it to the forefront of American modern dance so many years ago.”
-Wendy Liberatore, Daily Gazette
“…the Limón Dance Company lives on, now nearly 70, and its members remain heroic defenders of their patrimony, the work of a man who was born in Mexico but became part of the core of modern dance in the United States.”
-Brian Seibert, NY Times
full article (PDF)
For the 2016/17 season, the company will continue to celebrate its 70th anniversary with a touring program that spans 70 years and includes Limón works The Winged, Concerto Grosso, The Exiles, Dialogues and The Moors Pavane – alongside works by contemporary choreographer Kate Weare and new Artistic Director Colin Connor.
When Limón choreographed Concerto Grosso (1945) to the music of Vivaldi, his musicality and sense of architecture were already being celebrated. Under the auspices of the Armed Services during the Second World War, Limón creates a world of peace, care, serenity and graciousness. At the time of this work’s premiere, NY Times stated Limón “took his place unquestionably as one of the important artists in contemporary dance.”
The Exiles (1950), danced to the haunting music of Schoenberg, is a duet that carries the story of the expulsion from Eden. It is the story of immigrants; of refugees; of leaving behind the familiar and venturing into the unknown. The Exiles is the story of a man and a woman with only each other to rely on.
A nearly lost work, Dialogues (1951) is a dramatic double duet based on two pivotal moments in Mexican history involving foreign invaders who seeks to dominate, and the Mexican who defends his soil and his integrity. It tells first of a confrontation in 1520, between a Mexican Emperor and a Spanish conquistador. The second half takes us to 1867 during the second Franco-Mexican War and depicts a battle of wills between an Austrian Archduke and the Mexican President.
The Winged (1966), set to music by Hank Johnson, is a full company work created late in Limón’s life that reaches beyond human society to the society of birds and their ability to meet not on solid ground but on the wing, in open air. Beyond a simple narrative, this work all speaks in layers, through its images of these animals’ rhythms and of how we humans mimic their behavior.
Colin Connor’s Corvidae (2001) is inspired by crows, who like artists, are untamable and have been seen as messengers throughout the ages. The dancers emerge out of the audience with a mysterious urgency, and their sweep and intensity build to an ending where they can no longer be contained.
In Kate Weare’s Night Light (2014), individuality, more than femaleness or maleness, is important, and each moment of human contact creates new questions. It carries the work of Limón forward with its clarity of form, musicality, sense of touch and visual architecture. But expresses life at a time where time seems less ordered and reliable, and relationships more fragile and less clearly defined.
The Limón Dance Company has been at the vanguard of dance since its inception in 1946, distinguishing itself as the first dance group to tour internationally under the auspices of the State Department and the first modern dance company to perform at Lincoln Center in New York, as well as performing twice at The White House. Thematically, founder José Limón possessed a social awareness that transcended distinct groups to address how we all search for commonality, earning him a special place in American culture. With their arresting visual clarity, theatricality, and rhythmic and musical life, his works continue to influence the evolution of the art form more than 40 years after his passing. The Company has developed a repertory of unparalleled breadth to complement the classics by its founders Humphrey and Limón. This oeuvre represents 44 choreographers and 45 new commissions/acquisitions by such luminaries as Lar Lubovitch, Doug Varone, Donald McKayle, Murray Louis, Susanne Linke, Meredith Monk, Jiří Kylián, and now Kate Weare. Through these collaborations with contemporary choreographers with humanistic sensibilities, powerful dances of the past and the present resonate together and energize audiences. The José Limón Dance Foundation, encompassing the Company and the educational and licensing Institute, was awarded a 2008 National Medal of the Arts, the nation’s highest honor for artistic excellence.
Colin Connor (Artistic Director), born in London, England, is the fifth Artistic Director in the Foundation’s 70 year history. Mr. Connor began dancing in Canada and was a soloist with the Limón Dance Company for eight years, guest performed with several other companies, and toured extensively with his own work. He has always been committed to the idea that dancers are creative artists and that dancing is the act of drawing from a large range of influences, musical, literary, sensory, social and scientific, to bring attention back to the visceral communicative power of the human body. Mr. Connor’s over fifty choreographic commissions span the worlds of contemporary, ballet and flamenco companies, and his works have been presented at numerous venues across the Americas and Europe. As an educator, Mr. Connor has been on the faculties of The Juilliard School, New York University, and the City College of New York. For fourteen years he was full-time faculty at the California Institute of the Arts where he served as Director of Student Professional Development.
Carla Maxwell (Legacy Director) joined the Limón Dance Company in 1965. She soon became a principal dancer under Limón’s direction and, in 1975, Assistant Artistic Director under Ruth Currier. Ms. Maxwell was appointed Artistic Director in 1978, and during her tenure, the Company emerged as one of the finest repertory dance ensembles in the world. She received the 1995 Dance Magazine Award and a 1998 New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) Award for finding a creative present in the context of a revered past, and thereby offering choreographic opportunity to multiple generations of artists; for inspired leadership and artistic accomplishment. Acclaimed as a brilliant dramatic dancer, she danced many major roles with the Company, including the title role in Carlota, Limón’s final ballet which he choreographed for her. Ms. Maxwell is responsible for many of the Company’s reconstructions of Limón dances, and as a choreographer, she has created works for the Company and regional companies throughout the U.S. She teaches internationally as both a representative of the Company and a guest artist-in-residence. Ms. Maxwell became Limón Dance Company’s Legacy Director in 2016.
JOSÉ LIMÓN DANCE FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES
NEW ARTISTIC DIRECTOR WILL BE COLIN CONNOR
New York, NY, January 22, 2016 –
The José Limón Dance Foundation announces that Colin Connor will be its new Artistic Director. A renowned contemporary choreographer and dance educator, Connor will succeed the legendary Carla Maxwell on July 1, 2016 to become only the fifth Artistic Director in the Company’s 70 year history and the first man to lead the Company since Limón himself.
For the last thirteen years, while maintaining his own choreographic career, Connor has been a full-time faculty member at the California Institute of the Arts, where he was Director of Student Professional Development and served various roles in the Institute’s governance. Connor had danced as a soloist for the Limón Company for eight years, in addition to guest performances with other companies and tours of his own work. Connor has also served on the faculties of The Juilliard School, New York University, and City College of New York.
Since his time as a Limón dancer, Connor had an ongoing fruitful relationship with the Limón Dance Company and Foundation. He was a choreographer in residence at the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography for a creative choreographic process with the Limón Dance Company and set Limon’s The Unsung on several occasions, including for Maggio Danza in Florence, Italy, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, and, most recently, the University of Arizona, whose performance was included in the recent Limón Festival at the Joyce Theater.
Connor facilitated the use of students from the California Institute of the Arts dancing with the Limón Dance Company in performances of Missa Brevis at the Music Center in Los Angeles. Several of his students at Cal Arts became members of the Limón Dance Company, including Katie Diamond, Jonathan Fredrickson, Ryan Mason and Robin Wilson. He has also been a regular master teacher at the Limón West Coast Summer Workshops and instrumental in its ongoing success and profitability for several years.
Connor says, “I am thrilled at the opportunity to be with Limón at this time to reinvigorate the way the Limón vision and perspective resonates, and to develop new projects to enliven a vital artistic and human tradition into the future.”
The Limón Foundation’s search for a new Artistic Director began in April 2015 and was guided by a committee of Directors and a team of independent artistic advisors. After rigorously vetting numerous applicants, the committee and the Limón Board decided on Mr. Connor. Former Chairman, and director of the search committee Robert A. Meister states “Colin’s talent, artistic vision and energy should invigorate Limón’s transition into the 21st Century.” Limón’s current Chairman Tomas J. Rossant comments “What a wonder that Colin has accepted to lead our artistic future. What a joy to initiate yet another transition for the most robust legacy modern dance company in this nation”
Carla Maxwell has been at the artistic helm since 1978. Her tireless dedication to the Limón legacy led the Company into its 70th Anniversary, directing and implementing the José Limón International Dance Festival in October 2015. Maxwell will now transition to a new role as Limón’s Legacy Director. Maxwell remarks that she is confident that “Colin will “ensure the life of Limón’s legacy for years to come and assert its relevance to future generations”.
Hailed as one of the world’s greatest dance companies, the Limón Dance Company has been at the vanguard of American Modern dance since its inception in 1946. Having pioneered the idea that it was possible to survive the death of its founder, the Limón Company set an example for the entire dance field. Now, over the last four decades since Limón’s passing, the Company has created a unique repertory that gives our audiences an overview of some of the best and most important choreography, new and old, in the dance world. The Company is the living legacy of the philosophy of theater developed by José Limón and his mentors, Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman, whose innovative works revolutionized the American dance. Now in its 70th year, the Company is renowned for its technical mastery and dramatic expression, and demonstrates both the timelessness of José Limón’s works and the humanistic vision that guides the repertory choices. The Company is one of the two components of the José Limón Dance Foundation, which also conducts educational programs and disseminates the Limón repertory through the Limón Institute. Most recently, the Foundation was awarded the National Medal of the Arts in 2008, the nation’s highest honor for artistic excellence.