Limón, José

Limón, José

Limón, José (José Arcadio Limón) (hōsāˈ lĭmōnˈ, lē–), 1908–72, American modern dancer, choreographer, and teacher known for powerfully masculine dancing and dramatic choreography. He was born in Culiacán, Mexico, and his family settled in the United States in 1915. He moved (1928) to New York City to study art, but was smitten by dance and began studying with Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman. Limón's talent was immediately evident and he was soon performing (1930–40) his mentors' works. After serving in World War II, he founded (1946) his own company with Humphrey as artistic director. The influential Limón began choreographing in 1931, continuing until the year of his death. One of his most celebrated works is The Moor's Pavane (1949), a haunting dance based on Shakespeare's Othello. His many other dances include La Malinche (1949), There Is a Time (1956), and The Unsung (1970). In 1950 his company became the first major U.S. modern dance group to perform in Europe; four years later it traveled to South America, and subsequently it toured worldwide. Today the José Limón Dance Foundation maintains an active dance company as well as facilities for teaching, licensing, and other activities.


See his An Unfinished Memoir (1999); D. Lewis, The Illustrated Dance Technique of José Limón (1984); B. Pollack, Dance Is a Moment: A Portrait of José Limón (1993).

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Limon, José

(1908–72) modern dancer, choreographer; born in Culiacan, Mexico. At age 20, after abandoning a career as a painter, he began studying with Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman, and he performed with their company until 1940. He formed his own company in 1945, with Humphrey as artistic director, and earned a reputation as the finest male dancer of his time.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.