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Limón troupe set to perform Missa Brevis

By Dave Jones on April 26, 2007 in University

Eleven local dancers, including UC Davis visiting lecturer Linda Bair, are joining the 60-year-old Limón Dance Company for two performances of Jose Limón's classic Missa Brevis next month at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts.

Bair, artistic director of the Linda Bair Dance Company, auditioned in January for the Mondavi Center shows, and with the other local dancers is engaged in five weeks of rehearsal for Missa Brevis.

Limón composed Missa Brevis in 1958 after a visit to Poland. The work reflects his impressions of the destruction still left over from World War II, as well as the Poles' undaunted determination to carry on. "These people are vital and undefeated," Limón wrote. "They are without rancor, without hatred. They have a heroic serenity. ... In the ruins I found a dance."

The dance work's score is a 1945 composition of the same name, Zoltán Kodály's setting of the Catholic Mass.

The Limón company's Mondavi Center performances are set for 8 p.m. May 11 and 12 in Jackson Hall. The program also lists a suite of dances from A Choreographic Offering, Limón's tribute to company co-founder Doris Humphrey's influence; as well as Lar Lubovitch's Recordare. The latter is a newly commissioned work inspired by dances that Limón created in Mexico during the 1950s and by the Mexican Day of the Dead custom.

A preperformance lecture by Lorelei Bayne, assistant professor of dance at California State University, Sacramento, is set for 7 p.m. May 11 in the AGR Room at the Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center. Post-performance question-and-answer sessions with the company are planned each night.

A performance at 11 a.m. May 11 is part of the Wells Fargo School Matinee Series. Teachers, educators and others interested in purchasing tickets are advised to call the ticket office at (530) 754-4689.

Media contact(s)

Dave Jones, Dateline, 530-752-6556,