Highlights for National Hispanic Heritage Month: Week 3

José Arcadio Limón (1908 – 1972) was a pioneering modern dancer and choreographer born in Mexico. Limón moved to New York City in 1928 where he studied and performed with Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman. Ten years after he began dancing, Limón premiered his first major choreographic work Danzas Mexicanos. He was drafted in 1943 and served several years in the United States Army Special Services. When the war ended, Limón founded The José Limón Dance Company in 1946 with Doris Humphrey as artistic director. In 1947, The José Limón Dance Company had its debut performance at New York’s Belasco Theater. The New York Times hailed as Limón “the finest male dancer of his time” and favorably reviewed the choreographic works of both Limón and Humphrey. Some of the classic works Limón created are There is a Time, The Moor’s Pavane, Psalm, Misso Brevis, and A Choreographic Offering.

Limón died of cancer in 1972, but his company continued, becoming the first modern dance company to survive its founder’s death. Now led by Carla Maxwell, who worked closely with Limón before becoming artistic director in 1978, the company celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2006. The company expanded its reach during the 1980’s and 1990’s. In 1985, the Limón Institute was formed as a component of the José Limón Dance Foundation to oversee the licensing of Limón dances and to offer classes in Limón Technique. In 1994, the company established a formal presence in San Jose, California, performing annually and conducting education and outreach activities. When on tour, the company conducts programs including master classes teaching Limón style and repertory, workshops, lectures and pre and post performance talks that educate participants in Limón history and tradition. The achievements of the Limón Dance Foundation include inaugurating the U.S. State Department’s International Exchange Program with a tour to South America in 1954. The company became the first dance company to perform at Lincoln Center, in Philharmonic Hall. In 2008, the José Limón Foundation received the National Medal of Arts, and was recognized for its innovative contributions to American modern dance for over half a century.

Jose Limon Celebration Day
Monday, September 27, 2010
Experience the life of one of America’s greatest choreographers, Mexican-born José Arcadio Limón . The day includes an interactive telling of Limon’s life story developed specifically for young audiences, a repeated biographical film showing, and participating workshops that highlight his unique dance vocabulary and techniques.
Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, 2-5 p.m., free

Reading Carlos Monsiváis in New York
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Carlos Monsiváis was one of Mexico’s most important public intellectuals. For more than 40 years, he served as an indispensable chronicler of Mexican arts, culture and politics. When he died on June 19, 2010, he left an enormous legacy as a writer, critic and patron of popular arts. This homage to Monsiváis will feature a round table discussion with Rafael Barajas “El Fisgón” (Cartoonist for La Jornada), Jean Franco (Professor Emeritus, Columbia University), Rubén Gallo (Professor, Princeton University), Carmen Boullosa (New York-based Mexican Writer). This event will be in Spanish and followed by a reception. This presentation is co-sponsored by Fordham University’s Latin American and Latino Studies Institute (LALSI).
Fordham University, Lincoln Center Campus, 113 W 60th St, 7 p.m., free admission, email mahieux@fordham.edu

Tambuco Percussion Ensemble
Thursday, September 30, 2010
This avant-garde drumming group, and a three-time Grammy nominee, Tambuco is renowned for its wide-ranging repertoire and creative interpretations, spanning structuralist percussion music, drumming, and avant-garde sound interpretation. Formed in 1993 by four musicians, Tambuco has recorded and performed with the Kronos Quartet, Michael Nyman, Orquesta Filarmónica de la Ciudad de México, and many others.
Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 94th, 7:30 p.m., $15-34

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