Betty Jones (1926-2020)
is a legendary teacher and a founding member of the José Limón Dance Company. Countless roles in the Humphrey/Limón repertory were created on her, including her acclaimed Desdemona in Limón's "The Moor's Pavane.” Her performances with the José Limón Company and her own Dances We Dance Co. were infused with a lyricism, dramatic intensity, and delicacy unmatched. Her extraordinary gifts as a teacher have touched legions of dancers across the globe. Sadly, Betty left us in 2020 for a better dancing world; we imagine her soul as a shining star out there in the Universe. Her example as a teacher and her deep commitment to the Art of Dance will forever be part of the fabric of the global dance community.
joined the José Limón Dance Company in 1963. He appeared in the NET documentary "An Hour with José Limón", and assisted Mr. Limón in restaging "Missa Brevis" at the University of Utah, where he performed Limón's own role. He and Betty Jones have been commissioned to restage Humphrey/Limón masterworks in Russia, France and USA. He has toured and choreographed internationally as the co- founder of Dances We Dance, including frequent teaching engagements in USA, Japan, China and Europe.
Betty & Fritz teachings are based on the dynamic heritage of the Humphrey/Limón tradition. Internationally renowned master teachers Betty Jones and Fritz Ludin transmit their own individual ways of dance. Having taught legions of dancers with ethnic and cultural diversities around the globe, their curiosity inspires participants to search for their own individual roots. They conceive dance as poetry and an art form with Dionysian and Apollonian counterparts, where the sensation of weight versus suspension is being highlighted. Their mentor's voices of the body, the experience of gravitational momentum, and breaching of barriers, is an integral part of their workshops.
(Dancer, Choreographer, Director Dances by Isadora & Catherine Gallant/DANCE) Catherine Gallant has been dancing, choreographing and teaching for more than 30 years, in both traditional and alternative venues. Catherine is now a full-time NYCDOE dance educator at PS 89 in Manhattan where she explores dance through the lense of Laban Movement Analysis with connections to history, culture and classroom curricula. She and her students were featured in the Emmy-nominated PBS documentary, PS DANCE! Ms. Gallant served on the writing committee for NYC Blueprint for the Arts in DANCE and is on the faculty of the Dance Education Laboratory (DEL).
She facilitates workshops for NDEO and NYCDOE and has recently taught in Copenhagen, San Francisco and Boston. Ms. Gallant is a graduate of the Boston Conservatory and holds an MFA in Dance from Temple University. She has taught college dance courses at the Boston Conservatory, Curry College and MIT. She has been creating new works as Catherine Gallant/DANCE since 1999. Catherine is also the director and co-founder (with Patricia Adams in 1989) of Dances by Isadora which performs, teaches and collaborates with Duncan dancers throughout the world. She began her study of the technique of Isadora Duncan with Julia Levien, (a student of Anna and Irma Duncan) in 1982. She is currently on the Duncan Archive Committee and is a regular contributor to the duncanarchive.org
photo Melanie Futorian
Loretta Thomas has been teaching and performing for over 25 years. She performed with Michael Sokoloff Dance Ensemble and Austin Civic ballet in Texas. In New York since 1977, she performed the Duncan work with Lori Belilove & Dancers and Dances by Isadora and with Catherine Gallant/Dances in addition to presenting her own work throughout the Northeast and Texas.
Ms. Thomas studied modern dance under scholarship with Merce Cunningham, with master Duncan teachers Julia Levien and Hortense Kulooris, ballet with Maggie Black, childhood education with Ellen Robbins among others in 92 St.Y Dance Education Lab and Chinese movement forms with Grandmaster Yu Cheng Hsiang.
Ms. Thomas has taught at Michael Sokoloff Dance Studio and parochial schools in New York and New Jersey and in a workshop at the Houston High School for the performing arts, Vassar College and at the Isadora Duncan International Symposium.
She is currently on faculty at Mark Morris Dance Center and her Moving Visions Studio. The Moving Visions Dancers have performed recently at Actors Fund Mark O’Donnell Theater and Baruch Performing Arts Center as well as St Mark’s Church with Dances by Isadora, the Paul Taylor Youth Ensemble Festival, the Tribeca Film Festival, the Taste of Dance, and the Kids Café Showcase.
Founder and Director of Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble, Mr. May was a devoted disciple of Anna Sokolow for 35 years and co-artistic director of her dance company, Players’ Project, since 1990. His aim as founder of the Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble was to expand the art of dance to include the other arts (music, theater, painting, literature), working toward a progressive new style of theater/dance.
Mr. May was a dancer on the New York scene for over 40 years, having also danced with the Limón Company under Jose Limón’s direction and as a soloist under Carla Maxwell’s direction, the Ruth Currier Company, and as a principal dancer with the Danny Lewis company. Mr. May embraced the distinct dance styles of both Ms. Sokolow and Mr. Limón. He won a 1996 Fulbright Scholarship to Mexico City to extend his studies of his two mentors and their roles in the “across the border” relationship between modern dance in the US and Mexico.
Mr. May has taught on the faculties of SUNY Purchase, Juilliard School of Music, and Princeton University, and was on the faculty of the Limón Institute for many years. In 1992 he received the Marcus Award for Teaching Excellence from Washington University. He taught extensively in Taiwan, where he founded the company Dance Forum Taipei, and in Mexico at Central de Investigacion Corografica. He has taught at many Universities and schools in Italy, France, Germany, Korea, Canada, South America, Switzerland and the United States, and was granted a Fulbright award to teach in Chile. His choreography has been in the repertories of Dance Conduit, Dance Forum Taipei, Thoughts in Motion, and the Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble. He has danced on Broadway and was a member of the Eliot Feld Ballet Company. As a guest artist, he has performed works by Donald McKayle, Don Redlich, Murray Louis, Pauline Koner, and Kurt Jooss.
Mr. May received the 1999 Bessie Award for lifetime achievement, “for a sustained achievement over decades as dance’s premiere leading man, an actor-dancer of extraordinary range and scope of character, in the living theater of Anna Sokolow.”