News from the Jose Limon company, Moor’s Pavane


yes news from one of my favorite dance companies and dancer. Clay Taliaferro who is  an old time friend of mine from the company. I watched him perform the ‘The Moor’s Pavane’ many many times while we were with the company along with Carla Maxwell the current artistic director. So their ‘Pavane’ is burned into my brain, the turn of the wrist or an arabesque making it very hard for me to watch others dancers perform this dance. yes i’ve watched others perform this Pavane and have tried to love their version of the Pavane because it’s really Jose’s dance, which  i’ve never seen him perform it other than on film. but for me it’s always clay, carla, jennifer and lewis who i compare others to.

Isn’t memory a funny thing, just when you think you’ve got it nailed down off it goes?

i did see Erik Bruhn dance the Pavane at St Johns cathedral in NYC, what a lovely setting, years later i gave my program away to a friend of mine whom it ment so much to.

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In the last newsletter we told you that four companies licensed The Moor’s Pavane, one of José Limón’s most famous pieces, to be performed at the same time: American Ballet Theater in New York City; SjDANCEco in San Jose, CA; The Staatsballett in Munich, Germany; and Ballet Nice Méditerranée in Nice, France.

Clay Taliaferro worked to restage the ballet on American Ballet Theater, which was performed on October 17 at Lincoln Center. “In preparation for the remount of ‘The Moor’s Pavane’ I research the work using personal notes I’ve taken over the years of having been directed as a dancer, talk with former dancers of the roles being taught, watch videos of former rehearsals and performances, and physically revisit the movement in question”, says Taliaferro when asked how he goes about translating Limón’s choreography. Clay also advises that dancers should never “mark” the movement while learning it, and that the “new” dancer should know something about José Limón and the work that is being learned.

Taliaferro also spoke about some of the challenges he faced as a dancer. He said, “the single most important challenge for me in taking on the role of Moor (beyond all its technical, stylistic needs) was to maintain the work’s integrity in the mining and refining process of finding myself in the role, and to take care not to imitate José Limón in the role”.

News, performances and projects
What’s going on?

Dec 2012

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Othello Project

Limón Dance Company and Teatro Stage Fest launched the Othello Project in October, a program focusing on two classic masterpieces; Shakespeare’s play Othello and José Limón’s classic modern   dance The Moor’s Pavane.

The intention of the program, supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, is to introduce high school students to the creative tools choreographers and playwrights use to tell a story and to show   how a great work of art can remain relevant through the ages when the source material still speaks       of the human experience.

As the project continues look out for photos and videos!

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