Jose Limon

MODERN DANCE PIONEER

Background

José Arcadio Limón (January 12, 1908 – December 2, 1972) was a pioneer in the field of modern dance and choreography. In 1928, at age 20, he moved to New York City where he studied under Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman. In 1946, Limón founded the José Limón Dance Company.

About his work of modern dance

The major techniques, most of which he learnt from his mentor, were fall, using weight, recovery and rebound, suspension, and isolations. All of these techniques involved separating one part of the body from the rest and making it do something different from the other part, yet making it stay connected.

In class exercises of Limón’s modern dance differed from that of ballet. Some of the positions and movements were similar, but without the barre. They also included many more “awkward” positions. Slouching, and bending parts of the body followed by making it straight and upright.