Passing the Torch: The Legacy of
José Limón and Anna Sokolow

Francesca Beale Theater, Lincoln Center
February 1, 2013

José Limón

Anna Sokolow

Carla Maxwell, a Limon dancer, choreographer and Artistic Director of the Limon Dance Company since 1978;
Jim May, Artistic Director of the Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble and a Sokolow disciple for over 35 years;
Deborah Zall, dance soloist and teacher who has performed works by both Anna Sokolow and Martha Graham.

A Review

“Passing the Torch” was the name of the dance event I saw on Friday, February 1, 2013. It was part of the Dance on Camera Festival and was presented by The Film Society of Lincoln Center and Dance Films Association in the Francesca Beale Theater at Lincoln Center. There was 45 minutes of film and an equal amount of discussion by Carla Maxwell, Jim May, and Deborah Zall with Joan Finkelstein moderating. This was an opportunity to see some early footage of José Limón that was truly spectacular. A small part of a dance to a Garcia Lorca poem gave me insight into Limón I had not had before this. There was an extended clip of Anna Sokolow teaching a dance that also provided an in-depth vision into her philosophy of dance and teaching. Finally, there was a long film of Ms. Zall teaching Anna Sokolow’s Kaddish to ten young students.

Carla Maxwell has been a driving force in the successful preservation of Limón’s work for many years. Her success speaks to her knowledge, skill and spirit of José and his amazing legacy. She also speaks with a quiet surety of what she is about and her mission as an artist. Jim May read prepared remarks about Anna Sokolow that showed his own admiration and devotion to her ideals and legacy. Ms. Zall spoke at length about herself and her love of drama. She also related a fun story of first working with Anna Sokolow.

There was no time for questions from the small audience. Looking around and seeing who was there, I think a real discussion of the importance of legacy could have been enlightening. I thank Audrey Ross for the opportunity to participate in this event.

—Gerald Otte