José Limón was a pioneering modern dancer and choreographer, representing a milestone in the history of modern dance. He was also the most important successor among all the students of the modern dance master Doris Humphrey. As one key representative of the third generation of American modern dance, he independently created "Limón technique", which is as important as "Graham technique" and "Cunningham technique" and has become one of the three major training systems of American modern dance technique. It also has a profound impact on the development of world dance. Jennifer Muller who had performed in National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) was one of his students. In addition, Lin Huaimin, the founder of Taiwan's "Cloud Gate Dance Theater" was also deeply influenced by him.
The four scenes of performance in NCPA will be the last stop of José Limón Dance Company world tour for commemorating the centenary of José Limón's birth. ABT had a performance tour in Hong Kong in the year 1963. And this Beijing premiere will be a good chance for many Chinese dance enthusiasts to realize their long-cherished wish. After meticulous planning, NCPA and the company determined two theme performances entitled Limón Classics and A New Horizon. They are both a review and an exhibition of the art essence of the great dance master. At the same time, representative works of José Limón's three successors, who all have been influential figures in contemporary international dance arena, will also be collected in the theme performances.
During the performing process, Chinese audiences will also get the opportunity to appreciate some famous works they have not seen before, especially the classic work Missa, which ABT haven't performed for a long time. Missa, choreographed by José Limón himself, was a result of his reflection on the impacts that World War II produced on human society. So it is of great realistic significance and value for us to examine the ever-changing society of our times. Accompanied by the living chorus composed by Hungarian composer Zoltán Kodály, the dance is going to bring unusual audio-visual shock to the audience.
To make Chinese audience have an in-depth understanding of the master's life and works, José Limón Dance Foundation, according to NCPA's request, made a 10-minute documentary video especially for China. The video will be played just before the start of each performance, which not only displays the art and philosophy of the great modern dancer but also presents the history and future of the modern dance.