See Limón

Photo by Gabriel Morales

The Joyce Theater

May 6 - 19

Founded in 1946 by José Limón and Doris Humphrey, the Limón Dance Company has been at the vanguard of American modern dance since its inception. The company continues to honor the legacy of its co-founder and celebrating its 75th Anniversary with two weeks of on-demand performances streamed as part of The Joyce Theater’s Spring Season May 6 -19. 

The program features Suite Donuts (2020), a contemporary new work by choreographer Chafin Seymour and two of Limón's masterpieces, The Moor’s Pavane (1949) and There is a Time (1956). The pairing of these works now seems fortuitous, recent events which have raised awareness of social consciousness and racial justice make this group of dances, all the more relevant today. 

"— something memorable and also widely needed in this turbulent, uncertain time in the world…. all emotionally resonant indeed.”  — Kathryn Boland, Dance Informa

Dancer in a white dress reaching out with her right arm

Excerpts from Suite Donuts, and José Limón's The Moor's Pavane, and There is a Time.

Tickets $25 per household: | 212-242-0800. 

Choreographed for the Limón Dance Company, Suite Donuts is a contemporary piece with an urban groove that was co-commissioned by the American Dance Festival with support from the Doris Duke/SHS Foundations Award for New Works. Mr. Seymour, a native New Yorker who now lives in California and teaches at San Jose State University, was set to premiere his work as part of  the Limón Company’s program at the 2020 American Dance Festival before the pandemic derailed the plan. His new endeavor is danced to an eclectic mix of music that ranges from classical (Erik Satie), to hip hop (Slum Village), to the contemporary works of composer Miguel Atwood Ferguson. 

“...the unique shaping and qualities of the movement [in “Suite Donuts”] and the dancers’ soothing harmony with one another, kept me captivated.”   — Kathryn Boland, Dance Informa

The Moor’s Pavane incorporates nobility, deceit, seduction, and innocence, in a way that could only be achieved in dance. Based on Shakespeare’s “Othello”, Limón created a work that addresses the power of rumor, lies, and racism —motifs that continue to resonate in today’s world. The stately and formal choreography provides a stark contrast to the emotional and passionate characters in this tragic story.

"Originally performed in 1949, one would find it hard to believe that this Shakspearian variation could continue to be relevant seventy years later. And yet, with tones of deception, chaos, mistrust and injustice, suddenly The Moor’s Pavane becomes eerily appropriate and suited to this year. Danced beautifully with emotional and individual choices made by the dancers, this work finds new and symbolic meaning as the year closes.” —Mia Silvestri, Eye on Dance

Limón’s widely acclaimed, There is a Time, is choreographed to a Pulitzer Prize winning score by composer Norman Dello Joio. The dance was inspired by a passage from “Ecclesiastes”: “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the sun,” Through dramatically affecting dancing, There is a Time conveys a powerful sense of unity and community. It evokes the breadth of the human experience and the cyclical nature of life. 

"In this season of worldwide pain, Limón’s work is balm and anchor. Limón’s work is heroic; the legacy of his movement and musicality continues to honor him.”   —Martha Sherman, Dance View Times


(Originally aired on December 19, 2020)

DanceViewTimes - Martha Sherman - Dec. 28, 2020

Eye on Dance - Mia Silvestri - Dec. 29 2020

Dance Informa - Kathryn Boland - Jan. 5, 2021