The Contemporary Dance Technique of José Limón

José Limón pic

José Limón

At the Linda Jamieson School of Dance, students Level 2 or higher in the pre-professional senior program may take contemporary dance classes. The Linda Jamieson School of Dance centers its contemporary training on the techniques of professional dancers such as José Limón.

In 1928 the Mexican-born José Limón moved to New York City, where he encountered the work of modern dance innovators Charles Weidman and Doris Humphrey. Limón went on to study with both artists and ultimately drew on these experiences to create a dance technique that emphasizes breath, weight, and fluidity of movement.

Limón technique requires the dancer to observe not only his or her body and its capabilities, but also how concepts like gravity and momentum work in ordinary activities. Limón and his mentors believed in using the body’s natural movement and its relationship to the forces of the Earth, and these manifest in the exploration of the extremes of movement.

Limón dancers immerse themselves in experiences of fall and recovery, suspension, rebound, and successive movement. The floor becomes a home base that the dancer emerges from and returns to in many different ways, exploring the potential of falling and rising. Breath informs each moment, and musicality helps to keep the work continuously connected with the human spirit.

The result of this work is a dance experience that connects the physical aspects of humanity with the emotional and spiritual. Feeling becomes of primary importance, and technical capacity is not an end in and of itself, but rather a means toward expression.


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