1968 New York Times

Limon Premiere in Dance Fete Finale

Published: August 19, 1968



Special to the New York Times

     NEW LONDON, Conn., Aug. 18-The American Dance Festival closed its 21st season at Connecticut college this weekend, with noticeable chorographic soft spots showing through the technically high level or its performance. José Lim6n and Company gave the premiere of “Legend” and presented the repertory works “There Is A Time'” and “Traitor” last evening. Four

     Mr. Llm6n, who is the festival’s grand old man by virtue: or talent and tenure, has found, himself increasingly at odds, creatively with young choreographers’ commitment to the abstract. It is a tidal shift, which Mr. Lim6n resists with Canute-like resolution.

Approach Has Worked

Narrative continuity with aeolistic leisureliness has been Mr. Lim6n’s favorite approach, and It has produced the masterly “Moor’s Pavane” and “There is a Time,” to mention only two outstanding examples. But most recently it has resulted in “Legend,” a disappointing work of too literal realness.

    “Legend” is a poor piece that thematically is on the side of virtue, making it extremely painful to criticize. The plot revolves around the relation of a black Slave and his Master,” and a revolutionary presence, the Dark Angel.

     Louis Falcon as the Angel danced as if there were no technical problems he couldn’t solve and demonstrated the fact again and again. One almost had the feeling that the part was created to display his extraordinary technique, rather than to harness it creatively.

     Daniel Lewis skillfully portrayed the apprehensive Master, and Clyde Morgan as the Slave alternated between stoic endurance and rage. Finally, he lifted the yoke from his back, but was hanged for doing so. The work opened no insight into the basic problem, but merely related a pat story and drew heavily on audience sympathy to fill out its own emotional and deficiency.

     The Traitor,” a story dance that harked back to the betrayal by Judas, similarly traded on audience indulgence for its slight impact.

Mr. Lim6n’s “There Is a Time” needed no such outside help. The entire company caught the cadences of this lovely, work. but Mr. Lewis, Avner Vered and Sally Stackhouse were outstanding.

     Based loosely on the Book of. Ecclesiastes. the work takes up the circle of life. It passes from the springtime hope of the young to the adult preoccupations of sadness and weeping I and binds them all together in a satisfying whole in which there is a season for everything. It really does seem that the less day to day currency a dance hast the greater are its scope and impac