Dances of José Limón and Erick Hawkins  book cover
1st Edition

Dances of José Limón and Erick Hawkins

ISBN 9781032474588
Published January 21, 2023 by Routledge
124 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Dances of José Limón and Erick Hawkins examines stagings of masculinity, whiteness, and Latinidad in the work of US modern dance choreographers, José Limón (1908-1972) and Erick Hawkins (1908-1994).

Focusing on the period between 1945 to 1980, this book analyzes Limón and Hawkins’ work during a time when modern dance was forming new relationships to academic and governmental institutions, mainstream markets, and notions of embodiment. The pre-war expressionist tradition championed by Limón and Hawkins’ mentors faced multiple challenges as ballet and Broadway complicated the tenets of modernism and emerging modern dance choreographers faced an increasingly conservative post-war culture framed by the Cold War and Red Scare. By bringing the work of Limón and Hawkins together in one volume, Dances of José Limón and Erick Hawkins accesses two distinct approaches to training and performance that proved highly influential in creating post-war dialogues on race, gender, and embodiment.

This book approaches Limón and Hawkins’ training regimes and performing strategies as social practices symbiotically entwined with their geo-political backgrounds. Limón’s queer and Latino heritage is put into dialogue with Hawkins’ straight and European heritage to examine how their embodied social histories worked co-constitutively with their training regimes and performance strategies to produce influential stagings of masculinity, whiteness, and Latinidad.

Table of Contents


List of Figures

Introduction: Dances of José Limón and Erick Hawkins

Chapter One Recovering Hawkins

Chapter Two Limón’s biblical dances


Chapter Three Plains Daybreak

Chapter Four Brown in black and white: José Limón dances The Emperor Jones


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James Moreno is a choreographer and dance studies scholar who uses performance to investigate how people use their bodies to create meaning, develop communities, and respond to social systems. His choreography and research have been presented nationally and internationally. Moreno holds a PhD in Performance Studies from Northwestern University, USA, and is Associate Professor of Theatre and Dance and Dance Studies Coordinator at the University of Kansas, USA.