Limón, José (José Arcadio Limón), 1908-72, American modern dancer, choreographer, and teacher known for powerfully masculine dancing and dramatic choreography. He was born in Culiacán, Mexico, and his family settled in the United States in 1915. He moved (1928) to New York City to study art, but was smitten by dance and began studying with Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman. Limón's talent was immediately evident and he was soon performing (1930-40) his mentors' works. After serving in World War II, he founded (1946) his own company with Humphrey as artistic director. The influential Limón began choreographing in 1931, continuing until the year of his death. One of his most celebrated works is The Moor's Pavane (1949), a haunting dance based on Shakespeare's Othello. His many other dances include La Malinche (1949), There Is a Time (1956), and The Unsung (1970). In 1950 his company became the first major U.S. modern dance group to perform in Europe; four years later it traveled to South America, and subsequently it toured worldwide. Today the José Limón Dance Foundation maintains an active dance company as well as facilities for teaching, licensing, and other activities.

See his An Unfinished Memoir (1999); D. Lewis, The Illustrated Dance Technique of José Limón (1984); B. Pollack, Dance Is a Moment: A Portrait of José Limón (1993).

Limón, city (1995 est. pop. 55,866), capital of Limón prov., Costa Rica, on the Caribbean Sea. Once the leading port of Costa Rica, it has been superseded by Moín. Limón gained importance with the construction of the railroad to San José in the late 1800s and has been the point of export for Costa Rica's large banana industry. Columbus may have visited the site on his 1502 voyage.

Limón, also known as Puerto Limón, is the capital of Limón Province in Costa Rica. It is the country's main Caribbean port, and has a population of around 105,000 (including many neighboring small cities). The city, and the province in general, is home to most of Costa Rica's citizens of African descent. Originally from Jamaica, these workers were brought to the area in the late 19th century to build the railroad line from San José to Limón. The rail line boosted the country's banana exports and economy in general. By the time the line was closed, the city was the country's primary harbor.

Limón is also home to speakers of Mekatelyu, a creole of English.


Limón is famous in Costa Rica for its yearly fall festival, which occurs the week of October 12, the date Columbus first weighed anchor off Limón's coast in 1502. This festival draws tourists from across the country as well as from abroad, as well as a wide variety of merchants who sell everything from necklaces to doormats.

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