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Meet The Artists

Biography

José Limón

choreography / The José Limón Dance Foundation / The Moor’s Pavane

(1908-1972)

José Limón was born in Mexico, but spent his dance career in the United States. He planned to become a painter, but after seeing the German dancer Harald Kreutzberg perform, he decided to dedicate his life to dance.

Limón studied with Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman, and was a dancer in their company from 1930 until 1940. After fighting in World War II, Limón established his own dance company, the Limón Dance Company, in 1946. He asked Humphrey to serve as its artistic director. The Moor's Pavane (1949) was arguably Limón's most important choreographic work.

Limón taught at The Juilliard School in New York beginning in 1951. His company was the first modern dance troupe invited by the United States government to partake in the State Department's Cultural Exchange Program in 1954. As a result, Limón and his dancers toured to South and Central America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Several of the 74 works Limón choreographed during his lifetime remain in the repertoires of important dance companies in North America and Europe, including the National Ballet of Canada.

Websites:

Limón Dance Company, Institute and Foundation

Learn more:

Limón, José. José Limón: An Unfinished Memoir. Ed. Lynn Garafola. Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press; Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 1999.