World-renowned for its dramatic expression, technical mastery, and expansive yet nuanced movement, José Limón Dance Company continues Limón’s timeless work and vision. The company draws from its vast repertory to perform two of its finest works, Limón’s There is a Time (1956) and Anna Sokolow’s Rooms (1955). In There is a Time, a large circle fills the stage and moves majestically as if to evoke the interminable passage of time while making allusion to biblical text (“to every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven”). Revived for the Sokolow Centennial, Rooms is considered the masterpiece of Anna Sokolow, a choreographer capable of condensing the feeling of an entire generation into one extraordinary sculptural image. Rooms, backed by the first commissioned jazz written for a modern dance piece, evokes the solitude of the human condition and alienated urban youth with stunning insight and precision. 

José Limón Dance Company is part of the American Masterpieces series, which is a major initiative by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to acquaint audiences with the best of the American cultural and artistic legacy by reviving influential works that celebrate the rich evolution of each art form they represent. José Limón (1908-1972) was the foremost male dancer of his generation and one of the master choreographers who shaped American modern dance. The company is the living legacy of the movement technique and theater philosophy developed by José Limón and his mentors, Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman. The Limón Technique is known worldwide as a cornerstone of American dance. The company is now in its 64th year, making it the longest continuously operating repertory contemporary dance company in America. 

With its socially relevant subject matter and use of jazz music, Anna Sokolow’s Rooms was first regarded as revolutionary and controversial. At the premiere, in fact, it was reported the piece affected viewers so strongly and provoked so much conversation at the intermission that it was difficult to get the audience to return to their seats for the remainder of the evening.