The School of Dance is committed to bringing distinguished guests to work with and inspire its students. To assist the School of Dance in fulfilling this commitment, patrons Betsy Brackett and Gregg Wadley established the Brackett Distinguished Visiting Artist Chair in 2005. Among those honored by this title are Frederic Franklin, Violette Verdy, Dudley Williams, Betty Jones and Fritz Ludin, Howard Sayette, Jack Anderson, Donald McKayle, Francia Russell, Carla Maxwell, Jock Soto and Raimondo Rebeck.
Other visiting artists include Bruce Wells, Earl Mosely, Brian Brooks, Kathleen Tracey, and artists from New York City Ballet, Ballet Austin, Ballet Arizona, Louisville Ballet, Texas Ballet Theatre, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, and Houston Ballet. These distinguished guests have greatly enhanced our programs and are proof of our commitment to our students’ development of a national and international perspective.
Carla Maxwell (Artistic Director) joined the Limón Dance Company in 1965. She soon became a principal dancer under Limón’s direction and, in 1975, Assistant Artistic Director under Ruth Currier. Ms. Maxwell was appointed Artistic Director in 1978, and during her tenure, the Company has emerged as one of the finest repertory dance ensembles in the world. She received the 1995 Dance Magazine Award and a 1998 New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) Award for finding a creative present in the context of a revered past, and thereby offering choreographic opportunity to multiple generations of artists; for inspired leadership and artistic accomplishment. Acclaimed as a brilliant dramatic dancer, she danced many major roles with the Company, including the title role in Carlota, Limón’s final ballet which he choreographed for her. Ms. Maxwell is responsible for many of the Company’s reconstructions of Limón dances, and as a choreographer, she has created works for the Company and regional companies throughout the U.S. She teaches internationally as both a representative of the Company and a guest artist-in-residence.