On July 28, 2012 - National Dance Day - the U.S. Postal Service® will pay tribute to four influential choreographers who changed the art of dance: Isadora Duncan, José Limón, Katherine Dunham, and Bob Fosse. Designed to look like posters advertising a performance, the stamp art captures the luminosity and mystery of a live dance performance.
The stamp design for Isadora Duncan reflects her interest in classical Greek dance forms and shows the seemingly effortless style that she developed. Radical for its time, her linking of movement and expressiveness garnered her worldwide critical acclaim.
José Limón is shown in a performance pose. He frequently drew inspiration from history, literature, and religion, and used natural movement and gesture in his choreography. His virile, powerful works elevated the importance of the male dancer in modern dance. Many of Limón's works are considered classics and continue to be performed today.
Founder of one of the first African-American dance companies in the United States, Katherine Dunham was the first choreographer to develop a formal dance technique that combined Caribbean and African dance elements with aspects of ballet. She is shown in a pose from her critically acclaimed ballet L'Ag'Ya.
Bob Fosse, celebrated for directing and choreographing musicals on both stage and screen, is shown on the set of Sweet Charity (1969). Fosse received one Oscar, three Emmys, and nine Tony awards during his career. Yet perhaps his greatest contribution was in making dance accessible to millions.
Isadora Duncan (1877–1927) www.isadoraduncan.org/
Isadora Duncan was born in San Francisco in 1877. Dancer, adventurer, revolutionary, and ardent defender of the poetic spirit, Duncan has been one of the most enduring influences on contemporary culture. Ironically, the very magnitude of her achievements as an artist, as well as the sheer excitement and tragedy of her life, tend to dim our awareness of the originality, depth, and boldness of her thought.
Virtually single-handedly, Duncan restored dance to a high place among the arts. Breaking with convention, she traced the art of dance back to its roots as a sacred art. Duncan is credited with inventing what later came to be known as Modern Dance.
José Limón (1908–1972) http://limon.org/
José Limón was born January 12, 1908, in Culiacán, Mexico. At age 7, he moved to the United States, where he later studied with Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman and danced with their company (1930–1940). He established his own company in 1947, with Humphrey as artistic director. The company toured worldwide during Limón's life and remained active after his death
Katherine Dunham (1909–2006) http://kdcah.org/