“A gesture, be it a leap, turn, run, fall, or walk, is only as beautiful, as powerful, as eloquent as its inner source. . . Purify, magnify, and make noble that source. You stand naked and revealed. Who are you? What are you? Who, what do you want to be? What is your spiritual caliber?”
The Limón technique is based upon the movement style and philosophy of theater developed by modern dance pioneers, Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman. In the early 1930s, both Weidman and Humphrey developed a dance vocabulary that worked in opposition to the strict rules of classical ballet. Their intention was twofold: to demonstrate human emotions in a less stylized manner than ballet; and to incorporate in their work the natural movement patterns of the body and its relation to gravity. Limón further developed their ideas for his own work and technique.
The Limón technique is divided among various physical extremes: fall and recovery, rebound, weight, suspension, succession and isolation. These ideas can be illustrated in the way a dancer uses the floor as a place from which to rise, return to and then rise from again. The way a dancer explores the range of movement between the one extreme of freedom from gravity and the other of falling into it; for example, the moment of suspension just as the body is at the top of a leap, and the moment the body had fallen completely back to the earth. There are many words and ideas that are immediately associated with the Limón technique, i.e. its humanism, its use of breath, musicality, lyricism and its dramatic qualities; however, the overwhelming consensus is that through the movement is always demonstrated some physical expression of the human spirit.