Light in Dark Spaces
won’t find Time & Space Limited’s newest project in an
art gallery. But, you might find it when you take out your
The Hudson Alley Project 2002 is Time & Space Limited’s
latest attempt to bring community involvement into the visual
arts. Mixing art and history, the Hudson Alley project aims
to teach Hudson’s residents about the cities’ most-overlooked
areas: alleys, back doors and the backs of buildings.
looking at the alleys,” Time & Space Limited President
Linda Mussmann says. “There’s no opinions or judgment, we
just want to document what was here in 2002.”
To kick off the Hudson Alley Project earlier this spring,
Mussmann and her staff placed four colored boxes on the alley
side of five buildings. Each box’s color corresponded with
a different thought: fears, hopes, complaints or suggestions.
Time & Space Limited then encouraged Hudson’s residents
to drop a note in each box, involving their “fears, hopes,
complaints or suggestions.”
created the boxes to get people thirsty . . . to invite them
to think about the alleys,” Mussmann says. “I want to turn
people loose and let them think about what these buildings
were originally used for.”
Though the Hudson Alley Project will officially open with
a reception on June 2, the project is an ongoing effort to
document the narrow, little roadways that run behind many
of the city’s major streets. Mussmann has collected a series
of recent photographs recording Hudson’s alleys, as well as
past photographs of Hudson that put each alley in its historical
framework. Time & Space Limited is also organizing a group
of children to paint a mural on the back of one building,
to turn an unused area of the city into a giant canvas.
really no-man’s-lands,” Muss mann says of some of the more
decrepit and forgotten alleyways. “This project is one where
we can open it up, and there will be more input from people.”
By talking with longtime Hudson residents and elderly community
members, Mussmann has learned a great deal about Hudson’s
history and how many buildings have been transformed since
they were originally erected.
from the Midwest, where no one used their front door,” Mussmann
says. “A lot of these faded buildings and run-down buildings
After the project’s official opening is held, Mussmann and
her team hope people will come to her with new ideas about
how to document Hudson’s alleys and uncover their long-overlooked
Times Union Shall be Released
you didnt even know the Times Union had a gospel choir
quartet. But last Thursday (May 23), singing staffers from
the Capital Regions daily newspaper [including Steve
Barnes, arts editor; Dave Malachowski, music critic; Greg
Haymes, writer/critic; and Mike Eck, critic] belted out a
version of Bob Dylans I Shall Be Released
at Union Colleges Old Chapel Hall. Unions Dale
Metzger and local musician Kevin Maul played percussion for
the ensemble. The occasion? Highway 61, Unions
third annual celebration of Dylans birthday.
in the Present, Honoring the Past
is it possible for a modern dance company to survive nearly
30 years beyond the founder’s death? Martha Graham’s legacy
is threatened by legal battles over the rights to perform
her dances. Alvin Ailey’s repertory survives, but the current
dancers elevate technique over meaning. All the forces of
economics and fashion line up against
the fragile life of a dance company.
Yet, the Limón Dance Company, now approaching its 56th year,
has triumphed. One reason is the persistence of artistic director
Carla Maxwell, a veteran Limón dancer who has led the company
since 1976. Maxwell has restored faded dances and commissioned
new works that, though they reflect the style of their contemporary
choreographers, are true to the spirit of José Limón.
That spirit is the most profound reason Limón lives and thrives.
His dances, grounded in a technique that makes weight and
gravity the dancers’ friends, and buoyed by a humanistic vision
that celebrates a community of dancers, are timeless.
Maxwell says the heart of Limón’s aesthetic is “virtuosic
ensemble dancing,” Which would seem to be a contradiction
in terms. However, it’s exactly what the audience can expect
to see when the company dances Psalm on Saturday, June
8, at the Egg. Psalm, is a 1967 Limón work reconstructed
by Maxwell as part of the troupe’s most recent project, Limón
and Jazz. Remade to new music—a polyrhythmic score for orchestra
and chamber chorus by Jon Magnussen—Psalm had its world
premiere in Febrary at the Cultural Olympics in Salt Lake
felt that solo work couldn’t emerge without the community
of ensemble dancers to support it. He did a lot of work with
what he called the ‘collective individual,’ ” Maxwell has
The Limón and Jazz project springs from the interplay between
soloist and group that defines both jazz and dances like Psalm.
Another work from the project, Cross Roads by Donald
McKayle, also will be danced at the Egg. McKayle’s African-influenced
ensemble dance, to music by jazz flutist James Newton, plays
out the mutual hostility between two tribal groups, and then
transcends it in a duet between star-crossed lovers.
In true Limón spirit, the program looks backward and forward
through two brief works, Doris Humphrey’s Invention (1949)
and Maxwell’s Etude (2002). Humphrey, whose technique
of fall and recovery influenced that of Limón, made Invention
for Limón’s company, for which she was codirector. In
Etude, a solo created to embody Limón’s way of dancing
so today’s dancers can study and perform it, Maxwell distills
the essence of Psalm and other works by her mentor.
Living history is the theme of the Limón Dance company’s three-week
residency at Skidmore, now through June 20. Past and present
company members have gathered for a series of events that
are open to the public. The first event at 7:30 PM, Tuesday,
June 4, in the Skidmore Dance Theater, is a talk on the Limón
legacy by Nina Watt, probably the most senior member of the
company. She’d the golden-haired one who dances Desdemona
in The Moor’s Pavane and who personifies Laughter in
There is a Time.
At 8 PM Wednesday, June 5, in the Dance Theater, a panel of
past and present company members, probably including Clay
Taliaferro and Gary Masters, will continue the discussion.
Masters will host a video lecture on Limón at 8 PM Wednesday,
June 12, in the Dance Theater. An open company rehearsal is
set for 5:30-6:30 PM Thursday, June 13, in the Dance Center
Studios; and a company showing of a work reconstructed during
the residency begins at 8 PM, Thursday, June 20, at the Dance
These generous dancers also will teach an unprecedented number
of classes open to people of all ages and all levels of dance
experience. The schedule follows:
7:30 PM Thursdays, June 6 and 13 and Wednesday June 19 in
the Dance Center Studios: Three master classes for advanced
and intermediate dances. Registration is at the door. Fee
is $10 per class.
7 PM Tuesdays, June 11 and 18 in the Dance Center Studios:
Two dance classes for adults aged 55 and older, led by Limón
master teacher Clay Taliaferro. Call 580-5595 for details.
10-11:30 AM Saturday, June 8 in the Dance Center Studios:
Family Dance for the Community. Three simultaneous classes
directed by Limón master teachers. Adults 55 and older (Taliaferro);
adults 55 and younger (Alice Condodina); and teens age 12-18
(Gary Masters). No dance experience necessary. Admission is
For more information, call 580-5590.