Following a national search, the José Limón Dance Foundation has appointed Michelle Preston as incoming Executive Director.
“I am thrilled to be chosen to lead the José Limón Dance Foundation alongside Artistic Director Dante Puleio and steward the legacy of one of the most influential dancers and choreographers in the history of American modern dance,” Preston remarked. “There is no denying that there are intense field-wide challenges in this moment, but there are also boundless opportunities to address inequity, better care for artists, and build more resilient organizations that serve a broader spectrum of audiences and communities. I am eager to work alongside the dedicated staff, board, and artists of the Limón Foundation to envision an expansive future for both the Company and the Institute, which builds upon the organization’s strengths and successes over the past 75 years.”
Since 2014, Preston has served as the Executive Director of SITI Company, an ensemble theater company based in New York City. While at SITI, Preston led a multi-year planning process to celebrate and preserve the legacy of the ensemble. Her prior experience in New York City also includes work with dance organizations Urban Bush Women, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and the School of American Ballet.
Preston begins her role this November 1. Interim executive leadership will be provided by the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland, a national consultancy.
“While SITI Company and its ensemble members will always have a special place in my heart, I am delighted that my career path has led me back to dance,” reflected Preston.
Dante Puleio, artistic director of the José Limón Dance Company, remarked “I am thrilled to welcome Michelle as my strategic partner and collaborator at the Limón Foundation and look forward to working with her to advance Limón’s legacy and achieve our artistic aspirations for the work. Her clarity, sense of purpose, drive, experience, and unique approach will be valuable assets to our vision and growth trajectory. She is uniquely positioned to take us to the next level as a Company and organization, and we are excited to welcome her on board.”
Founded by José Limón — regarded as one of the most influential figures in American modern dance — the José Limón Dance Foundation honors and advances his cultural legacy with its globally renowned professional company, extensive training programs, and stewardship of a growing catalogue of original Limón works and new commissions.
The Limón Company recently presented an extended 75th anniversary season at the Joyce Theater in New York City, which included two world premieres, the revival of a significant early Limón work, and a special celebration at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts where an exhibit honoring the life and work of José Limón was on display.
“As we enter our 76th year, I am full of optimism for the health of our organization, and the integrity and quality of our work, with Dante Puleio at the artistic leadership, and Michelle Preston at the executive leadership, of the Limón Foundation,” commented Ivan Sacks, Chairman of the Board of Directors. “I am personally delighted to welcome Michelle to this key leadership role at Limón starting this coming fall. All of us on the Search Committee and Board believe she has the extraordinary combination of personal qualities, skills, and experience to be a profound force for good in the Limón Foundation’s continuing success and development.”
This summer, the Limón Company appears at three leading U.S. festivals: Jacob’s Pillow, The Vail Dance Festival and the American Dance Festival, before continuing to Europe in early 2023. It has also increased the capacity of its pre-professional training programs and forged new artistic development partnerships in anticipation of expanded activity in the years ahead.
For more information about the José Limón Dance Foundation, visit limon.nyc.