The Limón Dance Company brings the immediacy of our common experience onto the stage, exuberantly and intensely, with musical and fully lived dancing. We speak, urgently and joyfully, of our lives now: how we face the world and how we sense that world around us, how we can be with others, how we can destroy the bonds between us, and how we can create community. The classic Limón works, like Shakespeare’s, are as perceptive today as when they were made, and the dancers use them to talk of today’s individual struggles and triumphs, and of racism, domestic abuse and our joyful ability to create community. Our new works, by a diverse range of independent contemporary choreographers, are contagious responses to how we live now: with the dancers showing their exciting versatility and infuse us with our surrounding natural world and the intensity and fragility of how we relate to each other now.
The Company is the living legacy of dance theater developed by José Limón and his mentors, Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman, whose innovative works revolutionized American dance. In 1972 the Company set an example for the entire dance field as the first to survive the death of its founder. Now, enjoying a renaissance 47 years after Limón’s death, the Company is being hailed for making the classics alive for today, for the musical, technical, and expressive virtuosity of the dancing, and for the richness of programs charged by the juxtaposition of José Limón’s timeless works and radical new creations that find new expression for the Company’s socially aware and fiercely physical perspective.
Founded in 1946 by José Limón and Doris Humphrey, the Company was led by Carla Maxwell, who worked closely with Limón and was able to keep the Company thriving for 35 years. In 2016 Colin Connor assumed artistic leadership as the 5th Artistic Director in the Foundation’s history. The Company has built a repertory of unparalleled breadth, including works by Anna Sokolow, Murray Louis, Doug Varone, Jirí Kylián, Meredith Monk, and many others.
The Limón Dance Company was the first group to tour under the auspices of the American Cultural Exchange Program (1954), the first dance troupe to perform at Lincoln Center (1963), and has had the honor of appearing twice at The White House (1967 and 1995). In 2008, the José Limón Dance Foundation was awarded a National Medal of Arts, the nation’s highest honor for artistic excellence.