Founders

“There is a dance for every single human experience.”
José Limón

When José Limón formed his company in 1946, he made the unusual decision to ask another person—his teacher and mentor Doris Humphrey—to act as Artistic Director. Their partnership endured until her death in 1958, creating a unique modern dance repertory company and an approach to movement that has shaped subsequent generations of dancers and artists.

Jose Limon, photo by Daniel Lewis taken in Salt Lake CityJosé Limón (1908-1972) was a crucial figure in the development of modern dance: his powerful dancing shifted perceptions of the male dancer, while his choreography continues to bring a dramatic vision of dance to audiences around the world. Born in Mexico, Limón moved to New York City in 1928 after a year at UCLA as an art major. It was here that he saw his first dance program:

“What I saw simply and irrevocably changed my life. I saw the dance as a vision of ineffable power. A man could, with dignity and towering majesty, dance… dance as Michelangelo’s visions dance and as the music of Bach dances.”

In 1946, after studying and performing for 10 years with Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman, he established his own company with Humphrey as Artistic Director. During her tenure, Humphrey choreographed many pieces for the Limón Dance Company, and it was under her experienced directorial eye that Limón created his signature dance, The Moor’s Pavane (1949). Limón’s choreographic works were quickly recognized as masterpieces and the Company itself became a landmark of American dance. Many of his dances—There is a Time, Missa Brevis, Psalm, The Winged—are considered classics of modern dance.

Limón was a consistently productive choreographer until his death in 1972—he choreographed at least one new piece each year—and he was also an influential teacher and advocate for modern dance. He was in residence each summer at the American Dance Festival, a key faculty member in The Juilliard School’s Dance Division beginning in 1953, and the director of Lincoln Center’s American Dance Theatre from 1964-65. Limón received two Dance Magazine Awards, the Capezio Award and honorary doctorates from four universities in recognition of his achievements. He was the subject of a major retrospective exhibition at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, The Dance Heroes of José Limón (Fall 1996), and in 1997 he was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs, NY. His autobiographical writings, An Unfinished Memoir, were edited by Lynn Garafola and published in 1999 by Wesleyan University Press.

DHDoris Humphrey (1895 – 1958) is one of the founders of American modern dance. She created a distinctive approach to movement based on the body’s relationship to gravity and the use of weight, and her choreographic works are considered classics of modern dance.

Born in Oak Park, Illinois, Humphrey was an avid dance student from a young age, and she opened her own dance studio after graduating from high school. She moved to Los Angeles in 1917 to join the Denishawn School and Company, where she performed and taught until 1928, when she and Charles Weidman left to form their own group in New York. Between 1928 and 1944, she choreographed and performed for the Humphrey-Weidman Company, an artistic collaboration that produced ground-breaking dances as well as outstanding performers, José Limón among them. When physical disability ended her career as a dancer, she became the artistic director and mentor for Limón and his company, creating classic works such as Lament for Ignacio Sanchez Mejias (1946), Day on Earth (1947), Invention (1949), and Night Spell (1951). Her final artistic contribution, The Art of Making Dances, was published in 1959 and remains an essential text on choreographic principles.

Sue Bernhard

SueBernhardSue Bernhard’s dances have been shown in the USA, Canada, and Poland. She is on the faculty of The Juilliard School and SUNY Purchase, and has taught at numerous colleges and studios. She has created pieces for Convergence Dance Co., CCDT, Long Island University, North Carolina School of the Arts, Meredith College, and others. With award-winning videographer Penny Ward, Sue has created several video/dance collaborations. Their work, “Boundaries and Exposures,” was featured at the International Conference on Dance and Technology. Sue is Artistic Director of DanceWorks. She performed internationally with the Limón Dance Company, and for ten years with Annabelle Gamson/Dance Solos.

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Alan Danielson

Alan Danielson_resize for websiteAlan Danielson – 1954-2014 (School Director) taught and directed classes at the Limón Institute from 1991 to 2014. His company, Dance by Alan Danielson, performed throughout the North and South America and Europe, and his choreography was commissioned by many professional and student companies. As an internationally acclaimed Master Teacher of Dance and Music, Alan was on faculty at New York University and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center. A professional musician before he began dancing, he worked as a composer, conductor and dance accompanist. He also taught Music for Dancers, Accompaniment for Musicians, and Teaching Methodology. alandanielson.com

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Mark Willis

Mark Willis headshot for websiteMark Willis is a graduate of Montclair State University where he received his BFA in Dance. While attending Montclair State, he performed the works of choreographers such as José Limón, Bill T. Jones, May O’Donnell, Earl Mosley, and worked with interactive filmmaker and collection artist, Grahame Weinbren, using movement in a collaboration film project. In 2013, Mark was the recipient of the Spirit of Dance Award given by the Department of Theatre and Dance. Mark has danced and performed with Douglass Dunn and Dancers, ARCOS Dance, and Yoo and Dancers. He is currently a member of White Wave/Young Soon Kim Dance Company and Christina Noel and The Creature.

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Aaron Selissen

Aaron Selissen is originally from Green Bay, WI. He received his BFA in Dance Performance from Butler University. In 2002, he joined David Hochoy’s Dance Kaleidoscope of Indianapolis. During his time with Dance Kaleidoscope, he enjoyed annual residencies at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. In 2005, Mr. Selissen moved to NYC and was invited to dance with the Martha Graham Ensemble. He later joined the Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company, Janis Brenner and Dancers, and Isabel Gotzkowsky and Friends. In 2008, he co-founded BARKIN/SELISSEN PROJECT, a collaborative endeavor, with partner Kyla Barkin. Selissen’s choreography has been presented at such venues as the Staller Center for the Arts Main Stage at Stony Brook University, Jacob’s Pillow, Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater, The Flea Theater, Cunningham Theater, Sam Houston State University, Grand Space in Brooklyn, Flushing Town Hall, John Ryan Theater, City Center Studios, Manhattan Movement Arts Center, and more. He is also a yoga teacher/fitness professional.  www.barkinselissenproject.com.

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Francisco Ruvalcaba

Francisco Ruvalcaba, a native of San Diego, CA, has toured with the Lincoln Center Institute, El Festival Nacional é Internacional de Danza en México, and the Innsbrook Festival of Ancient Music. A graduate of The Juilliard School, Ruvalcaba performed the works of José Limón, Paul Taylor, Mark Morris, Jirí Kylián, Benjamin Harkarvy and Agnes De Mille. He joined the Company in 1996.

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Ricardo Mateo Rique-Sanchez

Ricardo Mateo for website

Ricardo Mateo Rique-Sanchez is a Wasilla, Alaska native raised in St. Louis, Missouri. He started dancing at the age of 16 at Central VPA High School he graduated in 2008. He got his BFA in Dance from Stephens College in Columbia, MO in 2011. He worked with Troika Entertainment as the Dance Captain on The National Tour of West Side Story. He is beyond grateful to be a part of the Limón Dance Company.

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Brenna Monroe-Cook

Brenna Monroe-Cook-Headshot squareBrenna Monroe-Cook is originally from Oak Park, Illinois.  Her dance training began at the Academy of Movement and Music and the Ruth Page Foundation. She received her BFA from The Juilliard School under the direction of Benjamin Harkavy.  Ms. Monroe-Cook was a dancer with the Limón Dance Company from 2003-2007.  She then earned her MFA from the University of Washington in Seattle and was a faculty member at Cornish College, Dance Fremont, Pacific Northwest Ballet School, and the University of Washington. Ms. Monroe-Cook works internationally teaching ballet and Limón technique, and staging Limón repertoire.  She is certified as both a Pilates and GYROKINESIS® instructor.  She rejoined the Limón Dance Company in 2013.

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Ryoko Kudo

Ryoko by Roel Seeber for websiteRyoko Kudo is a Japanese New Yorker, dance artist and passionate teacher of movement.  She joined the Limón Dance Company in 2001 and has been a guest artist since 2009. She received her BFA from The Boston Conservatory and has worked with the Graham Ensemble, Rae Ballard, Sophie Maslow, Thang Dao, Wallie Wolfgruber, Daniel Fetecua among others. She ventures skyward as an aerialist with Airealistic and is also a certified Pilates instructor. As an instructor/reconstructor of Limón repertories, Ryoko teaches in the states and abroad.

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Logan Frances Kruger

Logan head shot NEWLogan Frances Kruger was born and raised in Atlanta, GA. She trained with Annette Lewis and Pamala Jones-Malavé, among many others. Kruger was a full time member of Good Moves, a children’s modern dance repertory company, directed by Annette Lewis, from 1993-2003. She went on to receive her BFA in dance from The Juilliard School, under the direction of Larry Rhodes. Professionally, Kruger has collaborated extensively with Michelle Mola, including her work with The Troupe, a band of dancers co-directed by Mola and Zack Winokur. Additionally, she has performed and toured with various companies and choreographers, such as Adam H. Weinert, Shen Wei Dance Arts and Jonah Bokaer. Kruger joined the Limón Dance Company in 2009.

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Ross Katen

web-RossKaten-SamanthaLSiegel-NEW for websiteRoss Katen is originally from Oregon, Ross trained at Westside Dance Academy, The Portland Ballet, and Arts & Communication Magnet Academy.  Additionally Ross has studied at The Juilliard School, Nashville Ballet, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, and at the Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance.  Ross graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2013 with a BFA in Dance.  After graduating Ross joined the Limón Dance Company in 2013. He is also a member of Chris Masters Dance and a founding member of Chihiro Shimizu and Artists and Chuck Wilt’s Una Projects. Other credits include work by Alex Ketley, Mark Morris, Donald McKayle, John Magnus, Iain Rowe, and Chase Brock.

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Kristen Foote

Kristen head shot NEW small for websiteKristen Foote hails from Toronto, Canada where she trained with CCDT. She joined the Limón Company in 2000 and was highlighted by Dance Magazine in 2005 as a “Top 25 to Watch” and one of 2010’s “Most Amazing Performers”. She was a Radio City Rockette, performed with Mark Morris Dance Group, Pajarillo Pinta’o and Dance Heginbotham. Foote is proudly supported by The Bay & Paul Foundations and the Enoch Foundation.

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Daniel Fetecua Soto

DanielDaniel Fetecua Soto, a  native of Bogotà, Colombia holds a BFA from Folkwang-Hochschule, Germany, and has appeared as guest artist in Pina Bausch’s masterpieces, Rite of Spring and Tannhäuser. Fetecua has also worked with La Fura Dels Baus, Kuo Chu Wu, and won a salsa award in the European Salsa Championship in 2004. He is founder and artistic director of Pajarillo Pinta’o, a dance company that combines Colombian Folklore and Modern Dance, based in New York and Germany. He is currently guest choreographer and board member of ID Studio Theater, a not-for-profit organization led by German Jaramillo. In spring 2008 he was commissioned to create a new piece by Dancing in the Streets with funding from Harlem Stage. Fetecua has been a member of the Limón Dance Company since 2006. He would like to dedicate his dancing to the dear memory of his brother Oscar, his father Israel, and his mother Maria Eugenia.

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Elise Drew

Elise Drew for websiteElise Drew Leon is originally from Oxford, CT and received her early training with the Brass City Ballet School before graduating from the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program in Dance.  She has performed with Camille A. Brown and Dancers, Luna Negra Dance Theater, Pajarillo Pinta’o, TAKE Dance Company, the Santa Fe Opera, and Seán Curran Company.  Ms. Drew joined the Limón Dance Company in 2010 and received a 2014 Princess Grace Dance Honorarium.

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Roxane D’Orléans Juste

Roxane D'Orleans JusteRoxane D’Orléans Juste (Associate Artistic Director), a native of Montreal, Canada, has been a member of the Limón Dance Company since 1983. She has also performed with the Eleo Pomare Dance Company and Annabelle Gamson Dance Solos. Ms. D’Orléans Juste’s choreography has been presented by Toronto Danceworks, Shoenberg Dancycle, Dia Center for the Arts, L’Agora de la Danse, The Yard, and the Museé du Quebec. She was honored with the Canadian Dance Award, Le Prix Jacqueline Lemieux (1980), and is the recipient of several grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Foundation for Creation in Fine Arts. An active master teacher, she also stages José Limón’s choreography for companies and ensembles around the world.

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Kurt Douglas

Kurt Douglas Headshot #2

Kurt Douglas received his BFA in dance from the Boston Conservatory, and his MFA from Hollins University.  Kurt Joined the Limon Dance Company and in 2001 and has also danced with the Thang Dao Dance Company, Ballet Hispanico, Sean Curran Company, Buglisi Dance Theatre, and the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company. Kurt has produced and conducted Limon Dance workshops and master classes throughout many institutions in the United States, Australia, South America, Mexico, France, and England.

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Durell Comedy

Durell ComedyDurell R. Comedy, a native of Prince Georges County MD, began dancing at the age of 6 with Spirit Wings Dance Company. He graduated from the Visual & Performing Arts program of Suitland High School in 2004 and from George Mason University (magna cum laude), receiving his BFA Degree in Dance Performance in 2008. Since then, he has worked and performed with artists such as the Mark Morris Dance Group, The Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Troy Powell, Matthew Rushing, CorbinDances, Roger C. Jeffrey|Subtle Changes & Kyle Abraham|Abraham.In.Motion. Described as a “scrupulous dancer with a serious jump” by the New York Times, Mr. Comedy was a soloist dancer with the Baltimore Opera Company in their production of Aida, a Principal Dancer in Washington National Opera’s production of Show Boat. A former fellowship student at the Ailey School, Mr. Comedy joined the Limón Dance Company in 2009.

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Mica Bernas

Mica head shot for websiteMica Bernas, originally from Manila, Philippines, received her training at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Dance School studying ballet, modern and other techniques. She later on became a soloist of Ballet Philippines, performing major roles in productions and worked with acclaimed Filipino choreographers like Agnes Locsin, Denisa Reyes, Tony Fabella, Alden Lugnasin, Novy Bereber. Since moving  to New York in 2006, Mica has worked with Carolyn Dorfman Dance, Connecticut Ballet, H.T. Chen & Dancers, White Wave Dance, Armitage Gone Dance, and Gallim Dance. She also worked with Ginette Laurin, Artistic Director of O Vertigo as part of Springboard Danse Montreal in 2014. Mica is currently on faculty at  BIMA at Brandeis University.

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Kathryn Alter

Kathryn for websiteKathryn Alter hails from Juneau, Alaska. After attending Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, she went on to graduate from SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance with the highest honors in 2001. In 2003, Alter joined the Limón Dance Company. She is also a founding member of the Riedel Dance Theater and has enjoyed projects with Alan Danielson and Kazuko Hirabayashi Dance Theater. Alter is a faculty member of the Limón Institute, and has been a guest teacher across the U.S. and Mexico. Her latest choreographic project was at Stephens College in May.

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