Home & + | Search
Featured Categories: Special Focus | Performance Reviews | Previews | DanceSpots | Arts and Education | Press Releases
Join ExploreDance.com's email list | Mission Statement | Copyright notice | The Store | Calendar | User survey | Advertise
Click here to take the ExploreDance.com user survey.
Your anonymous feedback will help us continue to bring you coverage of more dance.
SPOTLIGHT:
PERFORMANCE REVIEWS
ExploreDance.com is sponsored by
ExploreDance.com Kickstarter Campaign

The ExploreDance.com Kickstarter campaign is live! Please consider backing our campaign to help us expand our coverage of dance.
www.kickstarter.com/projects/1306220552/exploredancecom
ExploreDance.com (Magazine)
Web
Other Search Options
Bonnie Rosenstock
Dance New York
Music and Dance Reviews
Performance Programs
Performance Reviews
Dance-theater
Modern/Contemporary
Post-Modern
The Joyce Theater
USA
United States
New York City
New York
New York, NY
ExploreDance.com is sponsored by
******* ** **
exploredance.com

Limón Dance Company Still Growing After All These Years

by Bonnie Rosenstock
May 14, 2017
The Joyce Theater
175 Eighth Avenue (at the corner of 19th Street)
New York, NY 10011
212-242-0800
Like many a dance company that carries the name of its extraordinary creator (think Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey), the daunting task for successors is to preserve the choreographic legacy while also remaining relevant and building new audiences. In that category count the Limón Dance Company, founded by modern dance pioneer José Limón (1908-1972). From May 2 to 7, the Company presented two programs of classic Limón works, staged by former Company principal dancers, as well as a new piece by its artistic director Colin Connor, in his fledgling season, and contemporary choreographer Kate Weare. The program on May 6 at The Joyce Theater of the old (newly staged) and the new, for the most part was a successful mix.

“Concerto Grosso” (1945), staged and directed by Risa Steinberg, was classic Limón technique: fall and recovery, weight and weightlessness and glorious arms curved into shapes that interact with space (“effort shapes”), here a lot of vertical and side high fifth position. “Vivaldi’s Concerto #11 in D Minor, Opus 3” was mostly allegro, with some adagio. The trio had a strong connection whether dancing solo, duet or all together. The piece had the feel of classical ballet, albeit done barefoot, with flow and elegance.

One wonders how the six dancers survived the fast-paced “Corvidae” (2016), choreographed by Connor, a former Limón dancer. Inspired by the ferocity of crows and ravens, the thrill ride had my heart racing, driven by Phillip Glass’s pulsating “Violin Concerto #1, 1st Movement.” The group work was powerful, while the breakaway solos and duets were masterful.

For “The Exiles” (1950) Connor commissioned a new score by Serbian-born composer Aleksandra Vrebalov, performed live by six vocalists accompanying the recording, which was only presented in Program A. (Program B retained the original music, Arnold Schoenberg’s “Chamber Symphony No. 2, Opus 38.”) Since I don’t know the original music, I can’t comment on how this “modernized” or improved the piece. I only know that I wasn’t taken with it. The original choreography, which Connor staged, was a tour de force for David Glista and Savannah Spratt. It is the story of Adam and Eve’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden, which has gained extra traction and meaning today, where immigrants and refugees have had to flee their homeland because of war and persecution. It is a somber piece, with the duo holding onto one another and dancing to fear, uncertainty, remembrance of happier times lost and hope.

Limón dedicated “Suite from a Choreographic Offering” (1964), staging and direction by Kurt Douglas, to Doris Humphrey. Limón studied under Humphrey and Charles Weidman when he moved to New York from Mexico at age 20. When he formed his Company in 1946, he asked Humphrey to be its artistic director. It is based on variations, paraphrases and motifs from her dances. The Company executed Limón side balancing and airy leaps with ease. The dancers’ entrances and exits in various patterns were exciting choreography, aided by J.S. Bach’s lively “A Musical Offering.” The fierce fouettés by various Company members at the finale were a delight of flight.

So it was with a bit of a jolt that Kate Weare’s “Night Light” (2016), with music from album: “Victoire-Cathedral City,” was the closer after the upbeat “Suite.” The choreography for the Company began with heavy footing, stomping, downward movements and crashing sounds, almost in juxtaposition to Limón’s lyricism. However, after that settled down, there was a lot to recommend it—the patterns of lines, moving together, clever comings and goings and gorgeous pairings that afforded the remarkable, hard-working Company members a chance to shine.
Limon Dance Company's Bradley Beakes and Elise Drew in Kate Weare’s 'Night Light.'

Limon Dance Company's Bradley Beakes and Elise Drew in Kate Weare’s "Night Light."

Photo © & courtesy of Christopher Duggan


Limon Dance Company's Mark Willis and Kristen Foote in Kate Weare’s 'Night Light.'

Limon Dance Company's Mark Willis and Kristen Foote in Kate Weare’s "Night Light."

Photo © & courtesy of Christopher Duggan


Limon Dance Company in Colin Connor's 'Corvidae.'

Limon Dance Company in Colin Connor's "Corvidae."

Photo © & courtesy of Christopher Duggan


Limon Dance Company in Colin Connor's 'Corvidae.'

Limon Dance Company in Colin Connor's "Corvidae."

Photo © & courtesy of Christopher Duggan

ExploreDance.com is sponsored by
* **** ****


ExploreDance.com
ExploreDance.com is sponsored by
******* ******
exploredance.com


home || view our calendar || the store || copyright information || join our mailing list || mission statement
Search for articles by
Performance Reviews, Places to Dance, Fashion, Photography, Auditions, Politics, Health