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miliosr

Limon Dance Company

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A few odds and ends:

 

The Juilliard School awarded former Limon company artistic director and current legacy director Carla Maxwell an honorary doctorate. (Juilliard is her alma mater.)

 

Former company associate director Roxane D'Orleans Juste in in Venezuela (!!!) staging Missa Brevis with two Venezuelan dance companies in honor of the 450th anniversary of the founding of Caracas.

 

Longtime company dance Kristen Foote performed with Solange at her recent performance at the Guggenheim.

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Not the Jose Limon Dance Company, but Virginia Johnson spoke at the Celebration of Life for Kabby Mitchell III today in Seattle, and she brought DTH company member Da'Von Doane, who danced Jose Limon's solo "Chaconne" to music by JS Bach.

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3 hours ago, Helene said:

Not the Jose Limon Dance Company, but Virginia Johnson spoke at the Celebration of Life for Kabby Mitchell III today in Seattle, and she brought DTH company member Da'Von Doane, who danced Jose Limon's solo "Chaconne" to music by JS Bach.

 

And he did a wonderful job.  I find it ironic though, that increasingly the Limon repertory is finding a home in ballet companies, since he himself, along with his mentor Doris Humphrey, was so doubtful about ballet as an American dance form.

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7 hours ago, sandik said:

I find it ironic though, that increasingly the Limon repertory is finding a home in ballet companies, since he himself, along with his mentor Doris Humphrey, was so doubtful about ballet as an American dance form.

I don't think that Humphrey and Limon were doubtful about ballet the way that, say, Isadora Duncan was doubtful about it. What I think they would have looked askance at is how the modern dance techniques (Cunningham, Graham, Humphrey-Limon) have taken on a syncretic character over time. Jennifer Muller, who was a leading dancer in Limon's company during the 60s (before she and Louis Falco left to form the original Falco company), has said that the "pure" Limon technique is no longer taught; which I took to mean that the technique has taken on balletic accretions.

All that being said, I'm not surprised that ballet dancers are performing Chaconne, The Moor's Pavane and Mazurkas regularly. While the works aren't grounded in ballet technique, the nature of the movement is intelligible to ballet dancers and certainly Limon's musical choices -- Bach, Purcell and Chopin -- make the works accessible to ballet dancers and audiences. 

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Humphrey's concerns about ballet were more intellectual than emotional like Duncan's.  She certainly had whatever ballet training was available, first as a young woman in Oak Park, and then through the Denishawn school, but although she herself had a very lyrical style, she was not much of a fan.  I think the harmony we see now between these two disciplines is more a function of their fundamental qualities than it is about their creator's personal preferences.

 

Your point about Muller's comments (that "pure" Limon technique is not a part of curricula today) is as true as it is sad.  I think you lose something special about the works when the edges get rubbed off, so to speak.

 

 

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On ‎7‎/‎10‎/‎2017 at 0:25 PM, sandik said:

Your point about Muller's comments (that "pure" Limon technique is not a part of curricula today) is as true as it is sad.  I think you lose something special about the works when the edges get rubbed off, so to speak.

Even if you could recapture the "pure" technique (which, in any event, Limon himself always resisted codifying), the result still might not look the same with the repertory given how stretched bodies are these days.

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6 hours ago, miliosr said:

Even if you could recapture the "pure" technique (which, in any event, Limon himself always resisted codifying), the result still might not look the same with the repertory given how stretched bodies are these days.

 

True that -- the young man dancing the Chaconne this Sunday had lovely facility, which meant that the sense of struggle that always seemed a central core of Limon's work, wasn't as foregrounded.

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Croce from the turn-of-the-decade (70s-to-80s):

"Indifference to technique has played a part, along with the tremendous rise in popularity of ballet, in stamping out those technical and stylistic distinctions among companies which used to be the glory of American modern dance."

 

and

 

"In the companies that adhere to the older traditions, one sees either a modified style or a mottled one, with stylistic assertion, counterassertion, and patches of deadness all contending."

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From the latest Limon Foundation newsletter:

 

"In his second year as Artistic Director, Colin Connor continues to expand the Company’s already eclectic repertory by commissioning works from talented rising choreographers and giving them the opportunity to create work on the renowned Limón Dance Company. Connor chose Adam Barruch, Rosie Herrera, and Yin Yue for their strong evocative movement and their dynamic use of rhythm, gesture, and music. Their unique contemporary visions and commitment to socially conscious dance will carry our tradition forward, ensuring thought-provoking, powerful works that will resonate alongside the Limón classics."

 

Colin Connor is also choreographing a new work for the company's women. Based on Facebook and Instagram posts, the Limon repertory for 2017-18 looks like it will include The Moor's Pavane, Suite from A Choreographic Offering and The Unsung.

 

It does look like the old policy of first Ruth Currier and then Carla Maxwell of programming classics from the modern dance and even ballet repertories has gone by the wayside. That's a shame as the company had made very productive use of such revivals as Kurt Jooos' The Green Table, Lar Lubovitch's Concerto Six Twenty Two, Anna Sokolow's Rooms, Antony Tudor's Dark Elegies and the solos of Daniel Nagrin.

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On 9/21/2017 at 2:55 PM, miliosr said:

It does look like the old policy of first Ruth Currier and then Carla Maxwell of programming classics from the modern dance and even ballet repertories has gone by the wayside. That's a shame as the company had made very productive use of such revivals as Kurt Jooos' The Green Table, Lar Lubovitch's Concerto Six Twenty Two, Anna Sokolow's Rooms, Antony Tudor's Dark Elegies and the solos of Daniel Nagrin.

 

I agree that this is a pretty clear shift, but looking at your list here I'm struck with how few of these works are performed anywhere.  Lubovitch still maintains his own company, and ABT claims allegiance to Tudor, but the other works are pretty much orphans.

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