(NEWARK, NJ) -- Hailed as "rich in feeling and form… fresh with possibilities (The New York Times)," the internationally acclaimed Limón Dance Company led by Artistic Director Dante Puleio, returns to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) for a one-nightly performance, Saturday, February 17, 2024 at 7:30pm. This NJPAC performance celebrates the New Jersey debut of the company's ensemble of young and emerging dancers, Limón2.
Known for its dramatic expression, technical mastery and expansive, yet nuanced movement, the Company will perform iconic Limón works including the 65-year-old Missa Brevis featuring a newly constructed backdrop honoring Ming Cho Lee who created the original design. Limón called this work his "prayer for peace." Zoltán Kodály, the Hungarian composer, wrote the music in Tempore Belli under great hardship during the siege of Budapest. Missa Brevis is a Mass in Time of War. Its first performance was given in the cellar of a bombed-out church.
Limón's stirring choreography depicts an indomitable humanity amidst the legacy and destruction of war. It is a memento to cities destroyed during World War II and to those unconquerable qualities in human beings that compel the spirit to rise up in hope and to survive.
Another program highlight is the New Jersey premiere of Migrant Mother by Raúl Tamez. Tamez is the first Mexican choreographer to create a work on the Company since Jose Limón. He won a 2022 Bessie Award for Outstanding Choreography for Migrant Mother, a tributary piece to the immense grief and emotional pain that migrant mothers endure. From technically complex choreography, using space and bodies to sculpt eye-catching negative and positive space, to the blended use of modern-day sound bites with music, this is a deeply somatic experience.
The evening will open with an excerpt of Limón’s A Choreographic Offering. In this full Company work José Limón celebrates Doris Humphrey, honoring her craftsmanship as one of the founders of modern dance. It was inspired by variations, paraphrases, and motifs from 14 seminal works where breathing rhythms, and tilting arching phrases are set into huge wheeling circles, parades, spirals and criss-crossing ﬂights. A Choreographic Oﬀering is a bright, exciting memorial, created by an artist who never forgot the debt to his teacher.
Tickets range from $59-$69 and are available for purchase online or by calling NJPAC at 1.888.GO.NJPAC / 1.888.466.5722. New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) is located at 1 Center Street in Newark, New Jersey.
This event is part of NJPAC’s M&T Bank Dance Series.
Limón Dance Company (LDC) has been at the vanguard of dance since its inception in 1946. The first dance group to tour internationally under the auspices of the State Department, and first modern dance company to perform at Lincoln Center in New York, it has performed twice at The White House. The José Limón Dance Foundation, with Company and Institute, is the recipient of a 2008 National Medal of the Arts. José Limón has a special place in American culture for a social awareness that transcended distinct groups to address how we all search for commonality. It is with this ethos that we continue to commission works by critically acclaimed and emerging international voices 50 years after Limón’s passing. His works continue to influence the evolution of the art form with their arresting visual clarity, theatricality, and rhythmic and musical life.
JOSÉ LIMÓN (Founder/Choreographer, 1908-1972) electrified the world with his dynamic masculine dancing and dramatic choreography. One of the 20th century’s most important and influential dance makers, he spent his career pioneering a new art form and fighting for its recognition. Born in Culiacán, Mexico, in 1908, he moved to California in 1915, and in 1928 came to New York where he saw his first dance program. Limón enrolled in Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman’s dance school and performed in several of their works from 1930 to 1940. In 1946, with Doris Humphrey as Artistic Director, Limón formed his own company. Over the next 25 years, he established himself and his company as a major force of 20th century dance. Limón created a total of 74 works, including The Moor’s Pavane, Concerto Grosso, and Missa Brevis.
New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located in downtown Newark, New Jersey, is among the largest performing arts centers in the United States. It is the artistic, cultural, educational and civic center of New Jersey — where great performances and events enhance and transform lives every day. As New Jersey’s anchor cultural institution, NJPAC brings diverse communities together, providing access to all and showcasing the State’s and the world’s best artists, while acting as a leading catalyst in the revitalization of its home city. Through its extensive Arts Education programs, NJPAC is shaping the next generation of artists and arts enthusiasts. NJPAC has attracted more than 11 million visitors (including more than two million children) since opening its doors in 1997, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents.
M&T Bank Corporation is a financial holding company headquartered in Buffalo, New York. M&T’s principal banking subsidiary, M&T Bank, operates banking offices in New York, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. Trust-related services are provided by M&T’s Wilmington Trust-affiliated companies and by M&T Bank. © 2019 M&T Bank. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.