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José Limón: The Mestizo as Ambassador: Resources on Limón


The Jerome Robbins Dance Division is fortunate to have such a breadth of materials related to the life and work of José Limón. Below you will find collections encompassing his professional life as a dancer and choreographer complete with choreographic notes, tour itineraries, and photographs of the José Limón Dance Company, and administrative papers from the Company. There are also a number of personal materials including correspondence with his family, including his wife Pauline Lawrence Limón and candid shots of their time spent travelling with and without the company.

We also have a large collection of audio and video materials including interviews with Limón, his dancers, and collaborators. 



Personal and Professional Papers


José Limón Papers, 1927-1972.
Call Number: *MGZMD 24
Finding Aid:

The José Limón Papers mainly document the personal life of the Limóns during the 1930s and 1940s and the professional life of the Limóns from the 1940s until 1972.


José Limón Dance Foundation, Inc. records, 1966-2002 [bulk 1980-1993]
Call Number: *MGZMD 154
Finding Aid:

The collection contains financial records, administrative records and general office records.


José Limón collection of manuscript music scores, 1920-1962

Call Number: JPB 95-20

Finding Aid:

The José Limón collection of manuscript music scores are arranged in two series:



Staff Pick: In His Own Words

Interview with José Limón, 1968; with interviewer Marian Horosko for unidentified radio broadcast: 

Digitized Version

José Limón speaks with interviewer Marian Horosko for a 1968 radio broadcast about the self discipline inherent to his artistic process and the spiritual inspiration for creating his work The Winged

- Cassie Mey, Dance Oral History Producer



Two figures in squatting position in foreground facing away from camera. In the center is a single man facing to his left and also in squatting position.

José Limón teaching in studio, by Marcia Roltner, Unknown Date.

*MGZEB 95-5500, José Limón and Pauline Lawrence Limón Photograph Files, Courtesy of NYPL's Digital Collections, Image ID 1690743.



José Limón and Pauline Lawrence Limón photograph files, 1910-1972.
Call Number: *MGZEB 95-5500
Finding Aid:

Personal photograph files of José Limón and Pauline Lawrence Limón. Includes performance shots, official photos of international tours, and candid family photographs.


Limón choreography: photographs
Call Number: *MGZEB 80-3247 
Catalog Record:


Limón choreography: oversize photographs.
Call Number: *MGZEB 81-1284 
Catalog Record:







Audio and Moving Image


Below are groupings of audio and video materials related to José Limón's life and work. There is no distinct collection of Limón's work, but they can be found through various donations and authority files.


Gifts of Ann Vachon
Dancer and choreographer Ann Vachon donated a number of video recordings of Limón, restaging of his works, and interviews with former pupils and company members.
Full catalog list here.

Gifts of the Limón Foundation
Full catalog list here.

Gifts of the Limón Dance Company
Full catalog list here.


If you are looking specifically for recordings of José Limón dancing, you can find them in the below links.


Authority File: Limón, José, dancer.
Full catalog list here.

Authority File: Limón, José, dancer, choreographer.
Full catalog list here.

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