Limon Dance Co. presents LIMON and Other New Works at CCNY
The enduring legacy of pioneering dancer-choreographer José Limón will be feted at Aaron Davis Hall as the Limón Dance Company brings two of his most acclaimed works to Harlem audiences for the first time on Tuesday, October 24. The program, presented by City College Center for the Arts (CCCA) and the José Limón Dance Foundation, will also present bold new works from three rising stars of the dance world. The evening's program also has the distinction of serving as the Company's first public performance in Harlem following their move to the Everett Center for the Performing Arts in the storied New York neighborhood two years ago.
A titan of modern dance, José Limón was recognized for both his visionary choreography and for helping audiences reimagine the role of male dancers through his visceral, powerful performances. Born in Mexico, Limón's career in dance began after he moved to New York City where he studied under the tutelage of Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman. Founding the Limón Dance Company in 1946, he went on to establish himself as a trailblazer, introducing new techniques and choreographing pieces that have gone on to become standards of American dance.
Two of his most celebrated works will be performed:
The Moor's Pavane (1949), a dance interpretation of William Shakespeare's Othello, is Limon's most frequently performed work and has been performed by American Ballet Theatre, the Paris Opera Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet, and other major international companies; and the masterful A Choreographic Offering (1964), (excerpt), set to J.S. Bach's "A Musical Offering," and the choreographer's tribute to his mentor Doris Humphrey. The work is based on movements from her dances, and contains variations, paraphrases, and motifs from 14 Humphrey works. Both works will be performed by members of the Limón Dance Company.
As part of their mission to present classic pieces by José Limón and also provide a platform for emerging talent, the Limón Dance Company will also present bold new dance works by Adam Barruch, Rosie Herrera, and Yin Yue.
"The José Limón Dance Foundation is honored to call Harlem its home and thrilled to have the City College Center for the Arts as a partner in this important community endeavor for years to com," remarked executive director Juan Jose Escalante.
CCCA Managing Director Gregory Shanck remarked: "The rich history and choreographic masterpieces created by Jose Limon make him an American treasure and we are so delighted to partner with The Jose Limon Dance Foundation to make this special performance possible."
City College Center for the Arts can be followed on Twitter at @ccnyarts. The José Limón Dance Foundation can be followed on Twitter and Instagram at @LimonDance. For more information on this program and other events at Aaron Davis Hall, please visit www.citycollegecenterforthearts.org.
About the Founder/choreographer:
José Limón (1908-1972) electrified the world with his dynamic masculine dancing and dramatic choreography. One of the 20th century's most important and influential dance makers, he spent his career pioneering a new art form and fighting for its recognition. Born in Culiacán, Mexico in 1908, he moved to California in 1915, and in 1928 came to New York where he saw his first dance program. Limón enrolled in Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman's dance school and performed in several of their works from 1930 to 1940. In 1946, with Doris Humphrey as Artistic Director, Limón formed his own company. Over the next 25 years, he established himself and his company as a major force of 20th century dance. Limón created a total of seventy-four works, including The Moor's Pavane, Concerto Grosso, and Missa Brevis.
About the Limón dance company:
The Limón Dance Company (LDC) 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 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 luminaries Lar Lubovitch, Doug Varone, Donald McKayle, Murray Louis, Susanne Linke, Meredith Monk, Jiri Kylian, and most recently, Kate Weare. The José Limón Dance Foundation, encompassing the Company and the educational Institute, was awarded a 2008 National Medal of the Arts, the nation's highest honor for artistic excellence. www.limon.org
About the City College Center for the Arts:
The City College Center for the Arts hosts an ambitious, year-round calendar of student and professional performances. The mission of the City College Center for the Arts is to provide a creative arts center and focal point for the City College of New York, building a sense of community within the College, elevating the profile of Aaron Davis Hall in the greater New York area, and connecting the College to the surrounding community through the arts.