Limón: Moving into the Future
2003 / 27 min / Colour Mini DV
“The American dance is not merely a style or idiom. It is a potent idea, and when its contemporary personalities retire, the idea will persist.” – José Limón, 1946
How does a dance company survive beyond its founder and main choreographer? José Limón is considered one of the major, founding voices of American modern dance, yet the Limón Dance Company has now been in existence longer without his personal leadership than with it. Limón: Moving into the Future follows the present company through rehearsals, reconstructions, new creations and performances while former company members pass their legacy on to current dancers.
The documentary shows the challenges the company faces in maintaining their choreographic legacy while taking the next step into the future. The Limón Company is a prime example of how a dance company can survive and move beyond the death of its founder and main choreographer. The weight and depth of Limón’s work can be seen not only in the passion of the actual dances but also in the attitudes and commitment of those who perform them. The documentary shows the three faces of the Limón Company: past, present and future.
Former company members from the 1940s and 50s coach current dancers in There is a Time and discuss the magnitude and timelessness of Limón’s choreographic legacy. Original cast member Betty Jones reconstructs the Doris Humphrey piece, Invention, while new choreographers, Donald McKayle and Billy Siegenfeld, create new works in the studio.
Juxtaposing archival with contemporary rehearsal and performance footage, the film follows the company to the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival showing the final result of months of work. Led and narrated by artistic director Carla Maxwell, multiple dancers, past and present, are followed in their journey to exemplify the dance legacy of José Limón.
Produced in association with the José Limón Dance Foundation
Funding provided by
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
The Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation
Festivals & Screenings
UCI DANCE FILM FESTIVAL
PBS – REEL NEW YORK
Public Television Broadcast
DANCE CAMERA WEST
Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, USA
NAPOLIDANZA – IL COREOGRAFO ELETTRONICO
Shortlisted for Best Dance Film Award
DANCE ON CAMERA FESTIVAL
New York, USA
HOLLAND DANCE FESTIVAL
The Hague, Holland
DANCE SCREEN FESTIVAL – IMZ
Monaco, Monte Carlo
Featuring Carla Maxwell, Donald McKayle, Betty Jones, Billy Siegenfeld and members of the Limón Dance Company
Collaborator: Mathieu Borysevicz
Broadcast on the PBS series Reel New York in 2004