(1908-1972) was a crucial figure in the development of modern dance: his powerful dancing shifted perceptions of the male dancer, while his choreography continues to bring a dramatic vision of dance to audiences around the world. Born in Mexico, Limón moved to New York City in 1928 after a year at UCLA as an art major. It was here that he saw his first dance program:
“What I saw simply and irrevocably changed my life. I saw the dance as a vision of ineffable power. A man could, with dignity and towering majesty, dance… dance as Michelangelo’s visions dance and as the music of Bach dances.”
In 1946, after studying and performing for 10 years with Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman, he established his own company with Humphrey as Artistic Director. During her tenure, Humphrey choreographed many pieces for the Limón Dance Company, and it was under her experienced directorial eye that Limón created his signature dance, The Moor’s Pavane (1949). Limón’s choreographic works were quickly recognized as masterpieces and the Company itself became a landmark of American dance. Many of his dances—There is a Time, Missa Brevis, Psalm, The Winged—are considered classics of modern dance.
Limón was a consistently productive choreographer until his death in 1972—he choreographed at least one new piece each year—and he was also an influential teacher and advocate for modern dance. He was in residence each summer at the American Dance Festival, a key faculty member in The Juilliard School’s Dance Division beginning in 1953, and the director of Lincoln Center’s American Dance Theatre from 1964-65. Limón received two Dance Magazine Awards, the Capezio Award and honorary doctorates from four universities in recognition of his achievements. He was the subject of a major retrospective exhibition at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, The Dance Heroes of José Limón (Fall 1996), and in 1997 he was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs, NY. His autobiographical writings, An Unfinished Memoir, were edited by Lynn Garafola and published in 1999 by Wesleyan University Press.
(1895 – 1958) is one of the founders of American modern dance. She created a distinctive approach to movement based on the body’s relationship to gravity and the use of weight, and her choreographic works are considered classics of modern dance.
Born in Oak Park, Illinois, Humphrey was an avid dance student from a young age, and she opened her own dance studio after graduating from high school. She moved to Los Angeles in 1917 to join the Denishawn School and Company, where she performed and taught until 1928, when she and Charles Weidman left to form their own group in New York. Between 1928 and 1944, she choreographed and performed for the Humphrey-Weidman Company, an artistic collaboration that produced ground-breaking dances as well as outstanding performers, José Limón among them. When physical disability ended her career as a dancer, she became the artistic director and mentor for Limón and his company, creating classic works such as Lament for Ignacio Sanchez Mejias (1946), Day on Earth (1947), Invention (1949), and Night Spell (1951). Her final artistic contribution, The Art of Making Dances, was published in 1959 and remains an essential text on choreographic principles.
is an internationally-known choreographer, performer, teacher, administrator, and movement analyst. More than 200 of Evans' works have been performed by professional and pre-professional ballet, modern dance, and tap companies through the United States and in Canada, Mexico, Europe and New Zealand. He was a leading dancer and major choreographer with Utah Repertory Dance Theatre (1968-74). In 1970, he founded the Bill Evans Solo Dance Repertory. He is currently the Artistic Director for the Bill Evans Dance Company (founded in 1975) and the Bill Evans Rhythm Tap Ensemble (founded in 1992). He is Emeritus Professor of Dance at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, where he served as a full-time faculty member from 1988-2004. Bill Evans has made thousands of appearances will ballet, modern dance and tap companies, and as a solo concert artist. As a choreographer, Evans is known for his diversity, range of expression and rhythmic inventiveness. One of his foremost achievements has been the creation of a modern dance technique that emphasizes total mind-body integration and that has influenced numerous dancers and dance teachers since 1976.
is a dancer, choreographer, and former dance professor at Princeton University. Cohen came to New York from her native country, Israel, in 1963 to study at the Julliard School and perform with the Anna Sokolow Dance Company. She was also a founding member of Dance Theater Workshop, where she worked as a choreographer and dancer from the mid-sixties to the early seventies.
In 1971, she initiated her pioneering and highly acclaimed solo dance repertory program, which toured throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Israel for twelve years under the auspices of the National Endowment for the Arts Residency Touring Dance Program. The repertory included commissioned works, reconstructions, and her own original choreography comprising twenty-eight solos by twenty-three choreographers. In 1983, she founded Ze’eva Cohen and Dancers, a company for which she developed a diverse group repertory, performing in New York and on national tours. Cohen has also choreographed works for the Boston Ballet, Munich Tanzproject, Batsheva Dance Company, Inbal Dance Theater of Israel, The Alvin Ailey Repertory Dance Company, and many other national dance companies. Since 1996, she has been choreographing, producing, and performing Negotiations and, later, Female Mythologies, programs dealing with cultural, political, and social issues, focusing on women’s myths and lives.