history

“Lydia Johnson became overnight one of my favorite contemporary choreographers...her dancers took the floor and within seconds I knew I had found something I loved...for me one of the most moving dance experiences in the last decade.” —Philip Gardner, Oberon’s Grove, 2009

About The Company

Founded in 1999, Lydia Johnson Dance has been consistently praised for its distinctive choreography, which uses components of ballet woven seamlessly into a contemporary dance vocabulary. The Company has received positive critical acclaim from The New York Times, The New Yorker and Backstage Magazine for its annual New York Season. LJD is honored to be highlighted frequently in Philip Gardner’s Oberon’s Grove blog in a series titled “The Creative Process.” LJD has performed recently at both Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and the Downtown Dance Festival. Ms. Johnson is a Guest Artist faculty member at the Peridance Capezio Center in New York where LJD presents Repertory Workshops for advanced and professional dancers.

Capturing a sense of the depth and spirit of the human struggle, Ms. Johnson’s evocative work is noted for an underlying sense of drama, which resonates through the predominantly abstract qualities of her choreography. Music is a powerful component of the Lydia Johnson Dance experience and selections range from contemporary masters such as Osvaldo Golijov, Philip Glass, Henryk Gorecki, to jazz by Oscar Peterson, Thelonious Monk and Albert Ammons.

Lydia Johnson Dance is honored to have been awarded Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation grants for the past four years and has been a recipient of Garden State Arts Foundation Grants as well as a Harkness Dance Center Space Grant from the 92nd Street Y in New York.

Lydia Johnson Dance features dancers with great individuality and expressive ability. Through the years Lydia Johnson Dance company dancers have performed extensively with other highly acclaimed companies, among them: New York City Ballet, the Paul Taylor Dance Company, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, Suzanne Farrell, Colorado Ballet, ODC/San Francisco, American Repertory Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, Ballet New York, Chicago Ballet and Twyla Tharp.

Lydia Johnson Dance is strongly committed to increasing awareness of and involvement in contemporary dance. This belief in outreach is reflected in the company’s efforts to provide opportunities for underserved children. The Company presents ongoing Choreography and Dance Workshops at Burgdorff Performing Arts Center in NJ and is the Dance Company in residence at SOPAC. Lydia Johnson Dance has an established Scholarship Fund, which provides opportunities for children who would be otherwise unable to participate.

Still photographs throughout the site by Julie Lemberger (© Julie Lemberger, 2004–2009) and Kokyat (© Kokyat, 2009), as noted.

All photos on this page by Julie Lemberger.

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