BWW Reviews: LIMON DANCE COMPANY Offers Something Old and Something New
A judicious mix of now-classic Limón works from the 1950s and 1960s along with pieces by current choreographers made for a superb evening of dance on Friday, May 3rd 2014 at the Joyce. For me, Limón's decades-old masterworks have stood the test of time. Not only that, but I applaud artistic director Carla Maxwell for choosing to keep them alive for today's dancegoers. As I always used to tell my ballet students, we can't hang our history on a wall in a museum. The only way to preserve our past is for each new generation of dancers to be adept at performing the entire range of what has gone before as well as what is being created in the present.
"Mazurkas", which premiered in 1958, was danced to live solo piano accompaniment by Vanessa Perez. She did an admirable job of playing the Chopin compositions. I was particularly taken by the group of three men performing to Opus 33, no 2, a selection used for Fokine's 1909 "Les Sylphides". What a joy to see those vigorous male dancers romping to music that usually brings to mind ethereal-looking ballerinas in long white tutus and on pointe!
Next up was a long and deftly danced solo for associate artistic director and principal dancer Roxanne D'Orleans Juste on the occasion of her 30th anniversary with the company. "She Who Carries the Sky", with choreography by Diane McIntyre to a musical pastiche, had its World Premiere on April 29th 2014. Juste is as agile and expressive as ever and she turned in a performance worthy of the enthusiastic applause she received. In particular, the way she manipulated a long scarf that variously became a head wrap, a shawl, a belt, and a flowing "river" of fabric was impressive.
The third piece also had it World Premiere of April 29th 2014. Sean Curran's "Nocturne for Ancestors" is set to music by Lucia Caruso and Pedro H. da Silva, commissioned for the dance, and a program note next to the choreography credit says "in collaboration with the dancers". This may have accounted for the sheer joy and enthusiasm with which all 13 members of the troupe executed the movements and patterns based on East Indian dance. The costumes by Amanda Shafran added to the ebullience with a riot of color.