Limon4Kids

“To the young I say: Do not for an instant abandon that most indispensable asset of artist, your courage.”
José Limón

Limon4Kids Logo

5_roundedLimón4Kids is an arts and education program that introduces contemporary dance and modern dance pioneer, José Limón, to grades 2 through 12 in New York City schools located in largely Hispanic neighborhoods. The program focuses on the goals of dance-making, dance technique, dance literacy, and performing within the realm of the Limón-Humphrey technique and philosophy.

The Limón4Kids program is now six years old and has quickly developed from serving just 150 students to more than 600 students per year. Schools in Harlem, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, and Rockland county have benefited from this dynamic program which is free of cost to all the participants the Limón4Kids program.

Limón’s personal story as a Mexican-American immigrant will introduce the students to such concepts as heritage, community and identity. The movement classes will be used as a tool to help students develop movement language skills and discuss social issues that may be relevant to their own life journey. The Limón4Kids students will learn famous and culturally rooted works of Limón to gain knowledge of the Limón movement phliosophy and dance as an art form. After learning sections of Limón’s choreography, students will be asked to create their own dance taking into account narrative and core movement phrases.  At the conclusion of the school residency, students will take part in an assemble performance for their classmates, teachers, and parents of the participating school. The students also watch the Limón Dance Company perform.  Support for the pilot program was generously provided by the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation, Mex- Am Foundation and the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Click here to watch the video!

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2015 Limón4Kids Teaching Artists

Roxane D'Orleans JusteRoxane D’Orléans Juste, Director of Limón4Kids, a native of Montreal, Canada, has been a member of the Limón Dance Company since 1983 and is also the Associate Artistic Director. 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.
Mica head shot - BWMica 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 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.
Kurt Douglas Headshot #2Kurt Douglas received his BFA in Dance from The Boston Conservatory, where he was the recipient of the Ruth Solomon Ambrose Scholarship Award. He performed with the Boston Dance Theatre and The Boston Conservatory Dance Theatre in works by, Paul Taylor, Martha Graham, and Lar Lubovitch. Kurt then Joined The Limon Dance Company in 2001. He has also been a Guest Artist with The Thang Dao Dance Company, Ballet Hispanico, and The Sean Curran Dance Company. Kurt has also produced and conducted Limon Dance workshops Boston, New York, Oregon, Dallas, and Bristol, England.  Most recently Kurt earned his Master’s of Fine Arts degree in dance from Hollins University in association with The American Dance Festival, Frankfurt Conservatory of Performing Arts and the Forsythe Company in Frankfurt, Germany.
Belinda_McGuire_Headshot_Frontcrop for websiteBelinda McGuire, originally from Toronto, graduated from the Juilliard School.  She danced with many choreographers, including Gallim Dance and Doug Varone and Dancers, and was a member of The José Limón Dance Company until 2013.  She teaches as a guest artist in New York City at Dance New Amsterdam and The Limón Institute, and in Toronto at CCDT, Cawthra Park SS and York University.  Her choreography has been presented at the Yucatan in Mexico, Ottawa and Toronto in Canada and in New York City.  She is a recipient of the 2008 Bessie Schönberg Residency at the Yard, and was recognized by the 2007 Susan Braun Award of The Dance Films Association.
DanielDaniel Fetecua Soto, a native of Bogotá, Colombia, has performed with DFUN (Danzas Folcloricas Universidad Nacional) and PSOAS Contemporary Dance Company in Colombia. He holds a BFA from Folkwang-hochschule, Germany, and has appeared as a guest artist in Pina Bausch’s masterpieces, Rite of Spring and Tannhaeuser. Mr. Fetecua has also worked with La Fura dels Baus, Kuo Chu Wu and won a Salsa Award in the European Salsa Championship in 2004. His company, Pajarillo Pintao, founded in 2003, is currently touring in Germany and Italy. Mr. Fetecua wishes to thank dance professors and mentors, Libby Nye and Lutz Förster.
Durell 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.
Sameena--2Sameena Mitta is a graduate of the “professional ballet training programme” of The School of Dance in Ottawa, where in 1998 she was honoured as the recipient of the Celia Franca Scholarship. She then pursued her studies in contemporary dance, mainly in the Limon style. In 1999 she was awarded with distinction, the Associate Diploma of the Cecchetti Society. Sameena has spent over 15 years teaching and working as a freelance modern dancer performing for numerous choreographers and schools in Canada and abroad. In 2008, she successfully completed the Master’s program in Dance-Creation at UQAM focusing on Movement Therapy for survivors of domestic violence. The following year she traveled to Japan to teach and to create her first independent dance film. Upon completion of the 2011 Teaching Contemporary Limón course in England, she then joined Jenniferchindance on a Central American tour, teaching and performing contemporary Limón work. Sameena has been choreographing for several years and has presented her work in North America, India, Japan and Europe. She has been teaching dance to at-risk youth in Toronto through her own program called, MADHops. When not in the dance studio, Sameena enjoys learning to play new musical instruments.

Thank You letters from past participants

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Photos by Nan Melville

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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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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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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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