Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The importance of hands -- José Limón

One of the most eloquent of the voices of the body is the hand. It is its function to give completion to movement and gesture. The hand is the seal upon the deed. A powerful gesture with the body cannot fully convince unless the hand is in accord with it, nor can a subtle, restrained one be completely so without having the hand in full consonance. The hand can be said to breathe like the lungs. It expands and contracts. It can project movements seemingly to infinity, or gather them back to their source within the body. It is a mouthpiece, a moderator. It has a brilliant range, capable of complexities and subtleties unequalled by other regions of the dancer's "orchestra." It is the abettor of all that the dancer intends. It is unthinkable, a dance without hands.

"On Dance" by José Limón in The Vision of Modern Dance edited by Jean Morrison Brown. 1979. Page 103.

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