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Juan José Escalante
Press Releases

Jose Limon Dance Foundation Announces Search for New Artistic Director

by Juan José Escalante
April 28, 2015
Heralding a new chapter in its sixty-nine year history, the José Limón Dance Foundation is announcing an international search for a new Artistic Director of the Limón Dance Company to follow Carla Maxwell.

The Foundation is now seeking applications for this position and hopes to appoint someone during the 2015-2016 Season. Ms. Maxwell will transition to a new role as Legacy Director of the Foundation and will continue to lead the Company during the search. Ms. Maxwell says "As we approach our 70th anniversary, I am very excited that we are embarking on a long-term strategy to ensure the life of Limón's legacy for the next 70 years, and assert its relevance to future generations."

The selection process will be guided by a committee of Directors led by former Chairman of the Board Robert A. Meister, in consultation with a committee of artistic advisors. Meister states, "José Limón is recognized as one of our country's irreplaceable dance treasures, and we are immeasurably grateful that Carla will remain active helping the José Limón Dance Foundation fulfill his ideals." As Chairman of the Board Tomas Rossant notes, "Carla's continued association will help the company remain true to Limón's artistic and humanistic vision."

Hailed as one of the world's greatest dance companies, the Limón Dance Company has been at the vanguard of American Modern dance since its inception in 1946. Having pioneered the idea that it was possible to survive the death of its founder, the Limón Company set an example for the entire dance field. Now, over the last four decades since Limon's passing, the Company has created a unique repertory that gives our audiences an overview of some of the best and most important choreography, new and old, in the dance world. The Company is the living legacy of the philosophy of theater developed by José Limón and his mentors, Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman, whose innovative works revolutionized the American dance.

Now in its 69th year, the Company is renowned for its technical mastery and dramatic expression, and demonstrates both the timelessness of José Limón's works and the humanistic vision that guides the repertory choices. The Company is one of the two components of the José Limón Dance Foundation, which also conducts educational programs and disseminates the Limón repertory through the Limón Institute.

Most recently, the Foundation was awarded a National Medal of the arts in 2008, the nation's highest honor for artistic excellence.


José Limón (Founder/Choreographer, 1908–1972) electrified with his dynamic, masculine dancing and dramatic choreography. Limón was born in Culiacan, Mexico, on January 12, 1908, and moved to California in 1915. In 1928, he came to New York and saw his first dance program: "What I saw simply and irrevocably changed my life. I saw the dance as a vision of ineffable power. A man could, with dignity and towering majesty, dance….as Michelangelo's visions dance and as the music of Bach dances." He enrolled in the dance school of Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman and, from 1930 to 1940, performed in works created by his teachers, in 1946, with Doris Humphrey as artistic director, Limón formed his own company. Over the following 25 years, he built it into one of America's most important modern dance institutions.

Doris Humphrey (Founder/Choreographer, 1895–1958) is recognized as one of the founders of American modern dance. Her legacy is a distinctive movement approach based on the body's relationship to gravity and the use of weight and her choreographic contribution include many works considered modern dance classics. She performed for the Humphrey-Weidman Company between 1928 and 1944, a collaboration that produced great dances as well as some outstanding performers, José Limón among them. When physical disability ended her career as a dancer, she became the artistic director for José Limón and his company, creating new works for him as well as choreographing for The Juilliard Dance Theater.

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