Born in Mexico, Jose Limon moved to the U.S. in his youth, where he studied dance and developed his gifts as both a performer and a choreographer. He founded his company in 1946 with his mentor, the great Doris Humphrey, whom he made Artistic Director. Using principles derived from everyday life, Limon created a corporal language based on natural movement, gravity, and the use of breath, imbuing his choreography with an intelligence and grace that has made every piece a classic.
The potency of the Limon Company lies in its power and ownership of the stage, with choreography stating in minimal gestures life’s grand themes. Witness Limon’s “The Moor’s Pavane,” considered his greatest masterpiece, to experience the grandeur of utilizing simple gestures to tell the complex story of Shakespeare’s Othello. There is enormous aristocracy to Limon’s physical language, yet at the same time it is a language of the people. The natural elegance that emerges from his attention to how movement functions is seen in the freedom of the spine and how weight and counterweight affect the body as it moves through space.
Carla Maxwell, a former principal dancer with the company, has been Director since 1978, a few years after Limon’s death. Under her leadership the company continues to deliver original repertory, plus work by commissioned choreographers who uphold the classical modern tradition. To this day the Limon Company is considered one of the most important modern dance companies of the century and it is a privilege to be able to experience Limon’s legacy through the many lecture demonstrations and performances the company gives each year.
- Venues: The Limón Dance Company is regularly on tour throughout the country, often appearing at university performing-arts centers and major venues. In New York City, they can sometimes be seen at the Joyce Theater
- Public Transportation: Depends on venue
- Handicapped Accessibility: Depends on venue
- Performances/Programs: The current Limón repertory contains 14 dance pieces consisting of Jose Limón’s own choreography, created before he died in 1972, as well as commissioned works from other choreographers. Classics include Limón’s acclaimed The Moor’s Pavane, based on the story of Othello, and his monumental Misa Brevis, a tribute to human resilience in the face of destruction during World War II. The Limón Company travels to as many as four of five different locations each month and generally spends one-four days performing in each. View the upcoming performance schedule here
- Ticket Prices: Individual venues handle all ticket sales for performances. For most, tickets are in the $20–$25 range. Depending on the venue, the best tickets can run up to about $80
- Membership: The basic donor level’s donation is $5–$99. As a Friend of Limón, you receive e-communications about the company and special event invitations. Multiple membership levels exist beyond the basic Friends of Limón and include additional benefits. All contributions are matched dollar-for-dollar by Burning Media and the Francis Alexander Foundation.