Jose Limon (1908-1972) was a Mexican-American choreographer who continues to be regarded as one of the modern dance world's seminal creative artists, known for his intense dramatic presence and the theatricality and musicality of his dances. Here for the first time on video are three of his most famous works with the original casts, filmed in their entirety for the Canadian Broadcasting Company in the 1950s.
The Moors Pavane (1949) is generally considered to be one of the great masterworks in the modern repertory. In the form of a Renaissance dance, Limon destills the legend of Othello into a taut, one-act human drama with music by Henry Pucell. Joining Limon are his close collaborators Lucas Hoving, Pauline Koner and Betty Jones. Telecast date: March 6, 1955.
The Traitor (1954) was Limon's response to the McCarthy hearings and the climate of betrayal that haunted the arts and entertainment fields during this period. Against a music score of violence, passion and tenderness (by Gunther Schuller), the tragedy of Judas is portrayed as if it were taking place in modern times. Telecast date: October 23, 1955.
The Emperor Jones (1956) is based upon the play by Eugene O'Neill wherein a fugitive from a chain gang sets himself up as the ruler of an island domain. He becomes a tyrant, and his mistreated subjects eventually rebel and hunt him down. For this dance, Limon commissioned a musical score from Heitor Villa-Lobos. Telecast date: March 13, 1957.