Blair School of Music to host world-renowned Limón Dance Company for two-week residency

Vanderbilt University Blair School of Music will host a two-week residency with the acclaimed Limón Dance Company, June 20–July 1. The company is preparing to premiere its upcoming production of Missa Brevis for Limón’s 78th season, at the top of their national tour in January 2024. The program is a celebration of the 65th anniversary of the original work by Jose Limón, which debuted in 1958. While in Nashville, the company is also readying Kayla Farrish’s new work based on Limón’s El Grito. 

Members of the Limón Dance Company invite the public to join them for an interactive Outdoor Movement Class on Friday, June 23. The class will be on the Magnolia Lawn of Peabody College. Limón’s outdoor dance and movement events are popular in New York’s Bryant Park and other NYC locales, and they look forward to bringing this fun experience to Nashville.

Limón Dance Company Artistic Director, Dante Puleio (Photo Credit: Kelly Puleio)

“The Limón Company coming to Nashville to create an artistic work is a truly monumental step forward for dance in Nashville,” said Seth Soloway, director of Blair’s Martha Ingram Center for the Performing Arts. “To have this critically acclaimed company not just pass through, but embedded in our community is a rare opportunity. There is no dance without music, and, for music, there is no better place than the Blair School of Music.” 

“Residencies such as these are vital. Artists have the opportunity to saturate themselves in new processes while engaging and collaborating with new communities—building bridges and relationships across the field, across artistic mediums and across generations,” said Dante Puleio, Limón’s artistic director. “It has been 16 years since Limón Dance Company has been in Nashville, and much has changed for both Limón Dance Company and Nashville. Seth Soloway and I have been working for a while now to bring this collaboration to light, and I am thrilled to be part of his exciting vision of bringing more dance to the Vanderbilt community. I am looking forward to getting to know the city of Nashville again and introducing my company to the capital of Tennessee.” 

Lorenzo F. Candelaria, Mark Wait Dean at the Blair School of Music, reflected on the broader significance of this partnership: “A significant part of our classical repertory is informed by dance or rooted in dance styles. Aside from the tremendous artistic impact this collaboration will have in Nashville, it should be the first bold step toward integrating dance more fully into the education and professional training of musicians.” 

About the Limón Dance Company

The Limón Dance Company has been at the vanguard of dance since its inception in 1946. The first dance group to tour internationally under the auspices of the State Department, the Limón company was the first to perform at Lincoln Center in New York and has performed twice at The White House. The José Limón Dance Foundation, with Company and Institute, is the recipient of a 2008 National Medal of the Arts. 

José Limón has a special place in American culture for a social awareness that transcended distinct groups to address how we all search for commonality. It is with this ethos that we continue to commission works by critically acclaimed and emerging international voices, 50 years after Limón’s passing. His works continue to influence the evolution of the art form with their arresting visual clarity, theatricality, and rhythmic and musical life. 

The Limón Dance Company hosts an Outdoor Movement Class in Bryant Park. During their Blair residency, Limón will host a similar class on Vanderbilt’s campus; the event is free and open to the public. (Photo credit: Limón Dance Company)