1972 New York Times

Published: July 11, 1972

Copyright © The New York Times



His Dances of 25 Years Given in New London


Special to The New York Times


     NEW LONDON, Conn., July 9-For, 25 years the American Dance Festival has been presenting modern-dance in the bosky setting of Connecticut College, and no single name has been associated longer with the festival than that’ of José Lim6n. This weekend he offered a retrospective collection of works from his repertory that focused attention on the special arid varied performing skills of his finely schooled dancers.

     The present Lim6n company, despite extensive changes in personnel, is one of the strongest in terms of energy and sheer exuberance. It was a pleasure to see a beautiful work such as “There is a Time” handled with a freshness that one normally as- sociates with new work. Thematically the piece reflects the musings of the writer of Ecclesiastes on the cycle of human life, and the dancers handled each vignette with totally appropriate sympathy. 

     Daniel Lewis, a mainstay of the company in its styling and attack, danced with fury and tenderness in his first solo, “A Time to Be Born and A Time to Die” and Edward DeSoto later followed with the brilliantly driving intensity that he brings to bear on his roles. Jennifer Scanlon in “A Time to Laugh … A Time to Dance” created a mood of movement that touched all with the abandon and joyousness that the headlong velocity of an accomplished dancer can create.

     In a special way. this is a dancers’ .company, and the choreography at times almost seems an excuse to give all the performers an opportunity to show what special heights each can reach. “Dancers. for Isadora,” a work that l find seriously flawed in its. evocation of Isadora Duncan’s. difficult life, still enables one to appreciate Ann Vachon’s flowing lightness, Carla Maxwell’s dynamic and precise articulation of movement, Laura Glenn’s fullness and amplitude of gesture and Jennifer Scanlon’s noble resignation.

     In “The Winged, Louis Solino created a delightfully eccentric solo full of quirky arresting movement that flowed out relentlessly, and Clay Taliaferro showed the marvelously strong gentleness that makes all of his appearances happy events. One should nan1e each and every performer but that is impossible so to all a collective congratulations