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Limon Dance Company

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It seems this company has always been inclusive. When Jose Limon started it some 50 years ago he made his former teacher, Doris Humphrey, artistic director, a post she held until her death in 1958. Limon generously produced the works of company members, and after he died, in 1972, the troupe added to his repertoire works by such modern greats as Meredith Monk, Anna Sokolow, and Garth Fagan. Of course, this is what it takes to outlast a founder--and the Limon company has now survived his death by almost 25 years. The core program in the troupe's two Northwestern University concerts will include Suite From a Choreographic Offering (1964) and Limon's famous The Moor's Pavane (1949), a quartet that embodies the contrast between the noble Othello and the wily Iago (Lucas Hoving, who first danced the part). Two works by Limon's contemporary Daniel Nagrin will also be presented: Spanish Dance (1948) looks and sounds remarkably fresh, with its piano score by Genevieve Pitot and its flexed wrists, dragged feet, and sudden jumps into a cross-legged position, while Strange Hero, from the same year, looks remarkably dated--all film noir attitude, right down to the cigarette and smoking gun--but remains current in its social commentary. New works by African-Americans round out the concerts. Friday's program will include a piece by Nagrin's former professional partner Donald McKayle: Sombra y Sol, set to music by Aaron Copland, is based on the life and work of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. On Saturday the troupe will perform new works by Ralph Lemon, who recently disbanded his own company despite its artistic success. His Pale Grass and Blue, and Then Red is set to a jazz score by Anthony Davis. Something's screwy when a choreographer as talented as Lemon can't maintain--or doesn't want to maintain--his own troupe, but at least the Limon company is keeping up its commitment to original choreographers. Friday and Saturday at 8 in Cahn Auditorium of Northwestern University, 600 Emerson in Evanston; $9-$20 (groups of 15 or more, $7-$16). Call 847-491-7282 for tickets and information, 847-509-0726 for group sales.

--Laura Molzahn

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): uncredited photo.

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