José Arcadio Limón was born on the 12th January, 1908 in Culiacan, Mexico. At aged seven, to escape the Mexican Revolution, his family moved to Arizona, USA and later to California. Initially studying to be a painter at the University of California, Limón did not see his first dance concert until 1928. This performance had a profound effect on Limón and inspired him to pursue a career in dance. From the age of 22, Limón studied dance with Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman at the Humphrey-Weidman School, where he was said to be a hardworking student with plenty of talent. It did not take long for Limón to be invited to join the Humphrey-Weidman Company where he was quickly promoted to a principle dancer and toured with the company from 1930 through to 1940. Limón’s dance career was put on hold during 1943 when he was called for military duties during World War II. He was released for the Services in 1945, however, by this time Humphrey-Weidman Dance School and Company had shut down due to financial problems and the co-founders had gone their separate ways. This gave Limón the opportunity to start his own company, which he named The Limón Dance Company. With retired Artistic Director and Limón’s previous teacher, Doris Humphrey, as the company’s Artistic Director and Co-choreographer the Limón Dance Company was born and after only two years, the Company performed their first performance at The Belasco Theatre in New York. They were applauded for the efforts, praised for their performance and skill and the New York Times even reported that they believed Limón to be one of “the finest male dancer of his time”. During his time owning Limón Dance Company, José Limón choreographed some of the most recognisable masterpieces of the time, including his signature piece The Moor’s Pavane (1949) and Ode to the Dance (1954). The Limón Dance Company soon became a ‘landmark of American Dance’ and their dances were considered modern dance classics. In 1954...
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