miliosr

Limon Centennial

38 posts in this topic

Hey, if Tudor deserves a centennial thread then so does Limon! :clapping:

I'll update this thread periodically as I become aware of non-Limon Dance Company Limon-related performances (got that?). (When I get a chance, I'll also add performances that occurred in the first quarter of 2008.)

February

New York Theatre Ballet

NYC, Florence Gould Hall

February 8-9

Mixed bill with Mazurkas (1958)

Boston Conservatory

February 21-24

Mixed bill with Missa Brevis (1958)

Sandra Organ Dance Company

Houston, Barnevelder Movement/Arts Complex

February 22-29

Mixed bill with There is a Time (1956)

March

Dancefusion

Philadelphia, Iron Gate Theater

March 7-8

Mixed bill with Barren Sceptre (1960 - reconstruction)

Juilliard School

NYC

March 26-30

Mixed bill with There Is a Time (1956)

April

New York Theatre Ballet

NYC, Florence Gould Hall

April 4, 11-12

Mixed bill with Mazurkas (1958)

Limon Conference @ Drexel University

April 6-7

Performances on the 7th @ Mandell Theater w/ Dancefusion and students from Bryn Mawr and Drexel

There Is a Time (1956) (excerpts)

Barren Sceptre (1960) (complete - reconstruction)

A Choreographic Offering (1964) (excerpts)

Psalm (1967) (excerpts?)

The Waldstein Sonata (1971/76) (excerpts)

Momentum Dance Company

Miami Beach Dance Festival

April 6, 12

Mixed bill with The Exiles (1950)

Phoenix Dance Theatre

London, Sadler's Wells

April 28-29

Mixed bill with Chaconne (1942) and The Moor's Pavane (1949)

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He most certainly does!!

I was thinking "modern", but considering how many ballet companies have mounted "Moor's Pavane", he certainly deserves a thread on Ballettalk!

I've always thought Limon the most aesthetically balletic of the moderns... all that circular playing with gravity... while Cunningham and Balanchine (in his Agon, 4Ts mode) may have some similarities, Limon's swings & curves, suspension & releases seem like they'd marry to ballet beautifully.

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Lubovitch works that way, too -- broad, curving movement.

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You would be amazed at how "classical" something like A Choreographic Offering is. Certainly, it is far closer in "feel" to the classical ballet than it is to a lot of the modern/postmodern dance that was created around the same time. But then I've always thought that Limon, at the time of his death, had more in common with the ballet (in terms of use of music, belief in craft and insistence on some kind of underlying technique) than he did with some strains of the modern dance.

If I'm not mistaken, Lubovitch studied with Limon. Given his relationship with Limon, it puzzles me why he would take the commission for Othello when Limon had already made his masterpiece based on the same subject matter -- The Moor's Pavane.

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Lubovitch came at the subject matter from a totally different direction from Limon. LL's was literal and narrative, JL's abstract. Also, LL choreographed to a commissioned score. Aside from the shared source, the two works have nothing in common, unlike, say, Balanchine's vs. Ashton's treatment of A Midsummer Night's Dream to Mendelssohn.

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I've always thought Limon the most aesthetically balletic of the moderns... all that circular playing with gravity... while Cunningham and Balanchine (in his Agon, 4Ts mode) may have some similarities, Limon's swings & curves, suspension & releases seem like they'd marry to ballet beautifully.
You would be amazed at how "classical" something like A Choreographic Offering is. Certainly, it is far closer in "feel" to the classical ballet than it is to a lot of the modern/postmodern dance that was created around the same time. But then I've always thought that Limon, at the time of his death, had more in common with the ballet (in terms of use of music, belief in craft and insistence on some kind of underlying technique) than he did with some strains of the modern dance.

Very interesting points. Moor's Pavane is the only Limon work I remember in any detail at all. I notice that a dvd that includes the 1955 televised performance is being advertised on Amazon. (Cllick the Amazon box above; search "Moor's Pavane").

It would be fascinating to hear more about balletic elements (or not) in Limon. Also: What kind of future do you think Limon's works will have? Will they be restricted to a specialist audience? Would they -- or some of them -- fit well into the repertories, and with the dancers, of today's ballet companies?

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I guess I find Lubovitch's decision less comprehensible in a "competitive" sense than an artistic one. Regardless of how he tried to differentiate his version of Othello from Limon's, the comparison was always going to be there. And that's a playing field where Lubovitch was always going to be at a sharp disadvantage.

Regarding the future of Limon's works, I would say that the picture is a lot brighter now than it was at the time of his death. When Limon died, there was no mention of the works themselves (or who owned them) in his will, there was no underlying administrative organization or fundraising capacity, and he and his works were seen as out-of-step with the prevailing Balanchinean/Judsonite modes. Cue to 36 years later and you have a stable, functioning company bearing his name which performs his works all over the world. (Which is more than can be said for Antony Tudor -- although New York Theatre Ballet seems to be trying to fill that role [at least incipiently.])

As to which companies (other than the flagship company) should perform his works, I would say that certain works would be better suited to a modern/postmodern/contemporary group and certain works would be better suited to a ballet company. In the latter group, I would put Chaconne (1942), The Moor's Pavane (1949), Mazurkas (1958) and A Choreographic Offering (1964). (Keep in mind that I haven't seen everything -- but I'm working on it!)

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There was a beautiful film shown at the Dance On Camera festival a few years ago... "Limon: A Life Beyond Words," ... just dug a bit and here's a link to the movie's site: http://www.limon.tv/ Alas, the video clip doesn't show much dancing, but I remember there is some beautiful footage in the film.

The site mentions that University & Museum viewings are free... otherwise one can buy the DVD for $50. More pricey than a Hollywood Blockbuster, but they can use economics of scale to bring their price down... something the independent filmmaker doesn't have access to... that $50 would be well spent.

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Very interesting points. Moor's Pavane is the only Limon work I remember in any detail at all. I notice that a dvd that includes the 1955 televised performance is being advertised on Amazon. (Cllick the Amazon box above; search "Moor's Pavane").

Oh, I really recommend this one, especially for Pauline Koner's performance of the Friend's Wife in Moor's Pavane. Her byplay with the handkerchief is wonderful -- she really has the distinction between quick and just fast as she snaps it up -- she's like a fox.

... Also: What kind of future do you think Limon's works will have? Will they be restricted to a specialist audience? Would they -- or some of them -- fit well into the repertories, and with the dancers, of today's ballet companies?

As someone else mentions here, the process of securing the rights to the work and establishing a caretaker for that repertory has been a long and complex one. I certainly agree that the style is comprehensible to ballet trained dancers (though I've seen productions of MP that were much too lightweight) and certainly the narrative quality is very accessible. Coming off a recent Pacific Northwest Ballet program with Forsythe's table dance I see nothing in the Limon rep that might be off-putting to a ballet audience.

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On May 10th in Hartford at the Bushnell, the Ted Hershey Dance Marathon 10th Anniversar concert will present the Limon Company

http://www.tedhershey.com/program/

Choreographers include:

Michael Uthoff: Guest Artist Director and Advisor for the 10th Anniversary, and former director of Hartford Ballet. Danced by members of the Hartford Community chosen by audition.

-Duet from Romeo and Juliet originally created for Ted Hershey

-Mock Turtle from Alice in Wonderland

-Ode to Jose

Antony Tudor: One of the great choreographers of the 20th Century who was highly revered by Ted Hershey. His work will be performed by Juilliard Students to honor the Centennial of his birth.

-Dark Elegies

Jose Limon and Limon Company: The José Limón company, which is celebrating the Centennial of Limón's birth, will be performing

-Excerpts from There is a Time

Ted Hershey

-Between Us Glimmering, originally commissioned by the Hartford Ballet in memory of Rob Kowalski

-Village Suite, choreographed with Laura Glenn

-One, created by Ted for Laura and performed at the Bushnell by WORKS alumna Lisa Matais

Pilobolus:, DVD screening of excerpt of work performed by Hartford Ballet while on tour in China featuring Ted Hershey.

-Land's Edge, with Ted Hershey as "The Fool".

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While were on the subject of what the Limon Dance Company is doing in the month of May, the mailers I've received from them state that the company will be reconstructing Anna Sokolow's Rooms throughout the month. This isn't the first time they've performed a Sokolow work and a certain "cousinage" appears to have developed over time between the Limon followers and the Sokolow followers. And who says there's no such thing as a successful modern dance repertory company?

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While were on the subject of what the Limon Dance Company is doing in the month of May, the mailers I've received from them state that the company will be reconstructing Anna Sokolow's Rooms throughout the month. This isn't the first time they've performed a Sokolow work and a certain "cousinage" appears to have developed over time between the Limon followers and the Sokolow followers. And who says there's no such thing as a successful modern dance repertory company?

Would there be a problem with different styles of modern dance... jack-of-all-trades, master of none? Still, I'd like to see it... the masterpieces out there that die when their parent dies sadden me... who might perform outside of their ghost companies? Beyond college students, I mean? We need a few good modern dance rep companies... can't they include dancers with strengths in different styles, just as a ballet company often has dancers with strengths in different types of ballet?

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I would argue that the Ailey and Limon companies have proven that the modern dance can foster true, multiple choreographer repertory companies without having to employ specialists in every modern technique (Cunningham, Graham, Horton, Humphrey-Limon). Given that a sound modern training in 2008 will encompass the different modern techniques (as well as ballet technique), a modern dancer in the Ailey or Limon companies should be able to work from a sound technical basis to handle most non-ballet dances. Where it gets interesting is with the notion of style. The Limon company performing Sokolow may end up with more of an alternative reading of the piece than a defining reading (much the way the Paris Opera Ballet's performance of Jewels is fascinating but probably will never become the "definitive" reading.)

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Well, I guess so... I have trouble getting around the choreographer's name as the company name, I guess.. but I suppose that's just my problem.... I didn't have any trouble with The Joffrey doing other work than Robert Joffrey's, after all... Somehow, though I was thinking more along the lines of Ririe-Woodbury, whom I've heard of but never seen, or when Baryshnikov did those Judson reconstructions.... I'll have to re-think Ailey & Limon, I guess. I remember seeing the Graham company do Stroman and really disliking it; it seemed like ill chosen repertory for Graham dancers... although I was sitting next to a former Graham dancer who quite liked it and presumably knew more about what suits Graham dancers!

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If you live in the LA area, it looks like the Limon company will be performing all over LA in October. Details are at their Web site.

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I dance with one of the companies that is listed for 'There is a Time.' We are performing it three more times this month (as part of mixed bill programs). May I list them here?

I would PM you but I don't have that capability-- I'm a new member.

Happy to see this thread-- this is my first time dancing any Limon works, and I love it!

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I dance with one of the companies that is listed for 'There is a Time.' We are performing it three more times this month (as part of mixed bill programs). May I list them here?

Please do!

Welcome to BalletTalk, kittykassie!

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Thanks!

LIBERA, Ad Deum Dance Company

Houston, Barnevelder Movement/Arts Complex

May 17th (8pm) and 18th (3pm)

Mixed bill with There is a Time (1956) performed by guest artists of the Sandra Organ Dance Company

Best in Ten, Sandra Organ Dance Company

Houston, Miller Outdoor Theater (FREE admission)

Saturday, May 31st (8pm)

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Well, I guess so... I have trouble getting around the choreographer's name as the company name, I guess.. but I suppose that's just my problem.... I didn't have any trouble with The Joffrey doing other work than Robert Joffrey's, after all... Somehow, though I was thinking more along the lines of Ririe-Woodbury, whom I've heard of but never seen, or when Baryshnikov did those Judson reconstructions.... I'll have to re-think Ailey & Limon, I guess. I remember seeing the Graham company do Stroman and really disliking it; it seemed like ill chosen repertory for Graham dancers... although I was sitting next to a former Graham dancer who quite liked it and presumably knew more about what suits Graham dancers!

Well, both the Ailey and the Limon companies have always performed work by other choreographers. Indeed, when Limon first split off, Doris Humphrey was listed as the artistic director, and they premiered several of her important works (though, to be fair, she wasn't in a position to maintain her own group at the time). In both cases, though, there were significant ties between the artists with the name over the door, and the other choreographers whose work was presented.

The best example I have currently is Repertory Dance Theater -- indeed, they were first founded (with Ford money) for the purpose of being a poly-choreographer rep company. I haven't seen them in several years, but when I did, they were doing an excellent job with multiple styles. Theirs was the first Limon I saw, the first Sokolow, and some of the first Humphrey. They also did a great 'history of modern dance' program with Duncan, Shawn and St Denis excerpts.

I know that the Graham company was hesitant to license the work to anyone else for many years, but that has shifted recently, with several reconstructions in colleges. And I agree that we need more than academic performances for this repertory, but I'm not sure who that will be.

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The best example I have currently is Repertory Dance Theater.

I have never seen them (only been to Utah once), but I keep hearing wonderful things abut them from people all over the country. I'd love to see them perform one of these days (the closest I've come is wearing their costumes-- we rented 'There is a Time' costumes from them. :P ).

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So, I received my latest Limon Company E-news bulletin describing where the company will be performing their reconstruction of Anna Sokolow's Rooms this Summer/Fall:

SUNY Brockport, July 24/25 - informal preview performances

Luckman Fine Arts Center, LA, October 18 - official premiere

Joyce Theater season, December 2-7 - NY premiere

I think this is an admirable reconstruction and is something I would very much like to see. But here's what perplexes me. Why, during Limon's centennial, is the centerpiece going to be a work by Sokolow? Why not wait until 2009??

I'll try to hold comment until I see what the Fall touring/Joyce rep will be. I'll be baffled, though, if we don't get to see rarely performed Limon dances (like Carlota) or anything by Doris Humphrey but do get to see Rooms.

And the Joyce season looks short.

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I'm updating this thread to reflect performances of Limon's work during the second half of the year:

July

Jacob's Pillow - 07/02

5:00pm - Tudor and Limon at 100 (panel discussion)

6:30pm - New York Theatre Ballet (Mazurkas w/ Tudor's Jardin aux Lilas and Little Improvisations)

Fall

Luna Negra Dance Theater will be touring "There Is a Time"

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If you're going to be in New Zealand in September, the Christchurch Body Festival of Dance and Physical Theatre will be devoting a day to Limon, under the direction of former Limon company member Louis Solino. Titled Jose Limon: A Celebration, the event will include performances of Air For the G String (Humphrey), The Moor's Pavane (excerpted) and Chaconne.

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sjDANCEco will be performing Limon's Waldstein Sonata October 16-18.

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Probably the last update of Limon-related goings-on for the year . . .

The University of Kansas dance company will perform La Malinche on November 20-21.

Doug Elkins is preparing, "a retelling of Shakespeare's Othello using Motown music." Structured after Limon's masterpiece The Moor's Pavane, the working title is Moortown. (Didn't the Trocks perform a Moor's Pavane travesty once upon a time?)

The mothership company will be conducting a "tour" of Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx beginning November 4th and ending the first week in December at the Joyce. The repertory will include three works by Limon (Suite from a Choreographic Offering, The Traitor and The Moor's Pavane), a revival of Anna Sokolow's Rooms and a new work by former company member Clay Taliaferro. (There will also be a gala night featuring excerpts from Limon works plus a performance of Mary Anthony's Lady Macbeth.)

I am curious as to how the Joyce engagement is selling. I took a look at the Queens engagement and that appears to be selling poorly (noticeably worse than Paul Taylor's engagement at the same theater, which is not close to selling out either.)

Lastly, Kurt Douglas has left Limon after seven years to join Lar Lubovitch's company. I found this out when I went to see the Lubovitch company here in Madison and there he was on-stage. (Hated all three Lubovitch pieces by the way.)

See you all in the New Year after I see the Limon Company perform in Minneapolis in March!

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