In celebration of their 75th anniversary, Artistic Director Dante Puleio leads the company in a program that reveals aspects of José Limón’s life and honors his Mexican-American legacy. The evening includes the Northrop Centennial Commission, Migrant Mother, by Raúl Tamez; the reimagination of Limón’s first major solo and partially lost work, Danzas Mexicanas; and co-founder Doris Humphreys' timeless Air for the G String. The Limón modern dance classic Psalm (featuring student performers from UMN’s Dance Department) will include the original score not heard by audiences in decades.


“Limón’s heroic style felt fresh with possibilities.” —The New York Times

“As long as we lie, hate, envy and betray, José Limón’s work will continue to fascinate.” —The Washington Post

“The exquisite choreography and the dancers' technical brilliance confers a complete depiction of Limón’s depth of humanity.” —Eye on Dance


Learn More - Explore These Themes

The content below derives from the Northrop Across Campus Program that supports Northrop's mission towards intersections between performing arts and education for the benefit of all participants now and for generations to come.

Find ways to make thematic connections to these suggested topics:

  • Dance: Modern, Contemporary, Multi-Genre
  • Dance History
  • American Studies
  • Spanish, Chicano, and Latino Studies
  • History: Mexico, Central/Latin America
  • Anthropology
  • Jewish History & Culture

Start a conversation about the performance, or encourage reflection, using these questions as inspiration.

In a rehearsal session, José Limón was asked, “What is the function of the audience in Modern Dance?” to which he replied, “we like very much to have the audience receive a challenge, to meet us halfway if possible, to say here’s an idea, will you rise to it? Will you participate?” 

  • Do you believe an audience member has responsibilities when viewing art? What might those responsibilities be? 
  • How might an audience member, who has no background or training in a specific art form, participate in what they see on stage? 

Limón also mentioned that, “we like the audience to experience a new, a fresh feeling of an old emotion.”

  • What makes art impactful? Are you more drawn to the emotional tone behind the art, or are you more interested in understanding the story behind the art?
  • How has art challenged you or changed your perspective? 

Dante Puleio is the sixth Artistic Director in the company’s 75-year history. He is committed to contextualizing mid-20th century dance for contemporary artists and audiences by celebrating José Limón's historical legacy, and reimagining Limón's intention and vision to reflect the rapidly shifting 21st century landscape. The program will include new and reimagined works exploring themes of heritage, colonization, and artistic inspiration.

  • How can a person stewarding past work maintain the relevancy of a theme, and stay true to the original intention of the creation?
  • Do you know of any artistic expressions from your background that were practiced traditionally? Is it important to continue to teach these traditions to younger generations and, if so, why?

Migrant Mother, a Northrop Centennial Commission, is a new work choreographed by Raúl Tamez. This performance will be its Minnesota debut. Tamez is the first Mexican choreographer to add to the José Limón repertoire, and Migrant Mother includes visual and movement references to Indigenous communities in Mexico.

  • Why is it important to continue to support the work of diverse groups of artists, innovators, and creators?
  • In what ways can we continue to support and celebrate diverse voices on campus and in the classroom?
  • How might experiencing a dance about Indigenous communities in another country help us interrogate or understand our relationships to Indigenous people in our own geography?

During their visit to Northrop, Limón Dance Company will engage with the Twin Cities youth through Limón4Kids, a program which aims to teach powerful, effective techniques that help young people live fully in their bodies, and relate to the world around them.

  • Do you believe that performing art is an effective tool in providing transformative experiences to younger generations?
  • In what ways can we as a University community continue to create leadership opportunities that positively impact the next generation beyond the classroom?


Minnesota State Arts Board logo

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.