Limon Dance Company is the nations oldest modern-dance company. Jose Limon established Limon in 1946. In the beginning the company only survived by word of mouth but eventually grew to be one of the Nations best and well-known Modern Dance Companys. The Limon Dance Company survived with many of its original dances intact, these dances preserve the legacy of mid-century choreographers and showed the Companys talent. The three pieces that the Limon Company performed were Champion, The Winged, and The Moors Pavane.
The first piece performed was Sophie Maslows Champion. (First performed in 1948. ) Champion was based on a short story by Ring Lander, and showed how violent the fighter life was in the ring and at home. The dance was done in rounds. The first round the boxer beat up his mother, the second round he beat up his girlfriend. This story was told through strong masculine movements by the male dances. At one point the male dancers were in a gym working out. Each dancer imitated different methods of training.
Push-ups, sit-ups, sparring, and punching drills were all used in setting the scene of that part of the dance. Dancers used straight strong, but gracefully movements to convey the meaning of what was happening on stage. Limon did a good job of choreographing the fight scenes in Champion. All the fight scenes had energy and really made it look like they were in a boxing match. The Champion seemed to show an overall theme of violence in the piece. The Winged was the next piece in the program performed by the Limon Company.
This piece was different from all the rest it seemed to turn the dancers into birds or some sort of animals and was difficult in my view to understand. Many of the dances used fast repetitive hand motions to simulate flying and seemed to move across the stage in sharp flowing motions like that of birds. The Moors Pavane was apiece based loosely on William Shakespeares Othello. Using 16th century music by Henry Purcell, and costumes that resembled period clothing Pavane looked like a dance that would be performed in a kings court.
This ballet used strong, stark movements that showed the emotions of the actors. The males all used forcefully straight movements to show meaning and emotion in their dancing, while women displayed smooth delicate movements. All actors used push and pull, and equal weight in there dancing and this technique made the dance more interesting to observe. I also especially liked the use of a square to show unity between the actors and I liked the way the piece ended and began in a similar way it gave the piece closure.