Chronology of José Limón and the José Limón Dance Foundation
1908: José Arcadio Limón is born in Culiacan, Mexico, on January 12th.
1915: Limón’s family moves to the United States; first to Arizona, and then to California.
1928: Limón moves to New York City.
1929: Limón sees his first dance performance and is so inspired, he switches his career interest from visual arts and enrolls in the Humphrey-Weidman School.
1937: Limón creates his first major choreographic work, Danzas Mexicanas, while in residency at Mills College as part of the Bennington Festival.
1941: Limón marries Pauline Lawrence, a former member of Humphrey-Weidman Company, who become his artistic partner, as well as fulfilling roles of pianist, costume designer, lighting director and personal representative of Limón and his Company.
1943: Limón is drafted into the U.S. Army and choreographs several works for the Special Services. He is discharged in 1945.
1946: Limón forms his own dance company with Doris Humphrey, his mentor and teacher, as Artistic Director and co-choreographer.
1947: The José Limón Dance Company has its debut performance at New York’s Belasco Theater. The New York Times hails Limón as “the finest male dancer of his time” and favorably reviews the choreographic works of both Limón and Humphrey.
1948: The Company appears at the first Connecticut College American Dance Festival, where it remains in residence each summer until 1973.
1949: Limón creates and premieres The Moor’s Pavane, a masterwork that remains one of the most widely performed modern dances in the world.
1950: Limón receives his first Dance Magazine Award, for The Moor’s Pavane and his second one in 1957.
1951: Limón begins his association with the Juilliard School in New York, where he will teach and choreograph until his death.
1954: The Company inaugurates the U.S. State Department’s International Exchange Program with a tour to South America.
1958: Doris Humphrey dies on December 29th, marking the end of a remarkable 30-year creative partnership with Limón.
1963: The Company is the first dance company to perform at Lincoln Center, in Philharmonic Hall.
1964: Limón receives a Capezio Dance Award, and is appointed Artistic Director of Lincoln Center’s American Dance Theater, a publicly supported modern dance repertory company.
1967: The original cast of The Moor’s Pavane is invited to perform at the White House for the Johnson Administration.
1968: The José Limón Dance Foundation is incorporated, establishing a non-profit organization that is dedicated to Limón’s work in the dance field.
1972: The Company presents its final season under Limón’s direction and premieres his final work, Carlota. He dies of cancer on December 2nd.
1978: Carla Maxwell is appointed Artistic Director of the José Limón Dance Foundation, and the Company presents its NYC season at City Center—Roots of American Dance—which establishes it as a dance company with a repertory from a range of choreographers.
1982: The Company’s NYC performances are part of the Joyce Theater’s inaugural season.
1985: The Limón Institute is formed as a component of the José Limón Dance Foundation to oversee the licensing of Limón dances and offer classes in Limón Technique and the archives.
1986: The Company drops “José” from its title, re-naming itself the Limón Dance Company to emphasize its status as a repertory company.
1991: Alan Danielson began teaching classes at the Limón Studio.
1996: The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts presents The Dance Heroes of José Limón, a retrospective exhibition on Limón’s life and work. The exhibition is permanently installed in the National Dance Museum in Saratoga Springs, NY, and Limón is inducted into the Hall of Fame.
1997: The Company celebrates its 50th Anniversary and performs in Sarajevo.
1998: Artistic Director Carla Maxwell is honored with a Bessie, New York’s performance Award; Executive Director Mark Jones receives the Arts & Business Council’s Arts Managers Excellence Award.
1999: Limón’s autobiographical writings are edited by Lynn Garafola and published as An Unfinished Memoir by Wesleyan University Press.
2000: Limón is named one of “America’s Irreplaceable Dance Treasures” by the Dance Heritage Coalition.
2002: The Company premieres Carla Maxwell’s re-creation of Limón’s Psalm at the Cultural Olympiad in Salt Lake City, UT. Company dancer Nina Watt receives a Bessie award.
2003: Professional Studies Program accredited by the National Association of School Dance
2005: Limón Dance Company’s Kristen Foote named in Dance Magazine’s Top 25 To Watch.
2006: The Company celebrates its 60th Anniversary and Carla Maxwell’s 40 years with the Company. Company dancer Kurt Douglas named in Dance Magazine’s Top 25 To Watch; Artistic Associate Roxane D’Orleans Juste receives Bessie Award.
2008: The José Limón Dance Foundation is awarded the National Medal of the Arts presented by president George W Bush. José Limón’s Centennial Celebration begins.
2010: The Limón 4Kids program is established and directed by Associate Artistic Director Roxane D’Orléans Juste.