Reviewed by Steve Sucato
News Contributing Reviewer
A mainstay of classical American modern dance, the 68-year-old Limón Dance Company brought a mix of old and new to the Mainstage Theatre at UB Center for the Arts (Buffalo, NY) Friday night.
The entertaining program led off with company namesake José Limón’s 1958 group work “Mazurkas” set to a suite of music by Frederic Chopin. The upbeat work layered Limón’s signature modern dance technique characterized by fall and rebound movement and the curved shaping of arms and layered that onto traditional Eastern European folk dance to create a work celebrating the courage and spirit of the Polish people following WWII.
The company’s eight multigenerational dancers moved through buoyant, lyrical choreography that had them kicking up their feet and shuffling into fast-paced jumps and turns. Highlighting the work were a carefree solo by dancer Elise Drew Leon, which had her with arms overhead bumping the insides of her wrists together like the kissing of doves, and a fitful solo by Raphael Boumaila that perhaps recalled the suffering of the Polish people under German occupation. His clenched fists reached heavenward punctuating an emotional performance that ended with him casting a distant stare as he walked slowly off stage.
Next came special previews of two new works for the company that will premiere in New York City at the end of April.
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