A Choreographic Offering

Energetic with great feeling abound through time in these clips from Jose Limon’s ballet, A Choreographic Offering, created in 1964. The music is Johann Sebastion Bach. The ballet was created as a tribute to his mentor, Doris Humphry. The piece is based on his adaptation of movement’s, variations, paraphrases and motifs from Humphry’s own dances.

Jose Limon was one of the great pioneers of Modern Dance. He was born in Mexico and moved with his family to the United States/California when he was 15. He started dancing in his High School and in 1922, when he was 20 years old, he moved to New York where he studied with Doris Humphry and Charles Weidman. In 1946 he formed his own dance company, the Limon Dance Company, that is still performing today.

Jose Limon created a huge volume of work both in abstract and narrative genres. He based his work on expressing through movement and not focusing on the beauty of movement. He was also interested in using movement in a natural way and to express pure humanity in his ballets. Out of his interests and work with movement he formed a dance technique and style that is still taught today; the Limon Technique.

Jose Limon based his style and technique on certain principles that emphasize the rhythm of fall and recovery, suspense and release through movement and the interplay between weight and weightlessness of movement. He also emphasized the use of breath to create movement because it enabled the body/movement to flow more easily and for it to originate more organically from the centre of the body. This organic approach makes movement more easily adaptable to different choreographic styles and is widely used in contemporary dance today.

The dancing in this video is a wonderful example of Jose Limon’s use of technique in his choreography and in the spontaneous and generous flow of the dancer’s movement. The dancing travels and swirls through space; it is light and joyous with beautiful forms and motifs.

The dancing is wonderful, it is so clean, with a purity it its spontaneity, form and flow. A joy to watch

Please enjoy this trip down memory lane! And SHARE with friends!

 
 

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