“Johnson is a craftsman and a poet; her works, which stress the ensemble and attend
closely to the music, have an ebb and flow in addition to a strong emotional current. ” The New Yorker, June 2017

The LJD School

We offer a creative approach to dance technique and choreography for ages two through high school. Learn more about the LJD School and register for classes or Dance Camp.

New Article on the LJD School

From Center Educational Consulting.

Join the LJD Family

The LJD Newsletter

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New York Season Reviews

Read them here.

Good News!

Artistic Director Lydia Johnson has received the prestigious Individual Artist Fellowship Award from The New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

Performance Videos

More videos of LJD performances.

Deborah Wingert @ Lydia Johnson Dance


Repertory Workshop and Audition at Peridance

Read more at Peridance.

Upcoming Events

Dancers and the Dance: Exploring Interpretation

Dancers and the dance

December 2, 2018
The Ailey Studios
405 West 55th Street (at 9th Ave.)
New York, NY

A Sunday Afternoon Studio Showing With Discussion

In this afternoon salon event we will explore how individual dancers interpret a phrase while remianing true to the intention of the choreography. Timing, nuance, technical choices, artistic freedom and musicality will be demonstrated and discussed. Suggested $10 donation for admission. Free to dancers.

Recent Events

Free Community Performance

Free Community Performance

July 13, 2018
Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts
Maplewood, NJ

In an event free to the community, The Lydia Johnson Dance professional company performed with student works. Excerpts included sections from “What Counts,” “Trio Sonatas” and the 2018 world premiere, “Undercurrent.”

New York Season 2018

2018 New York Season Postcard

June 6 through June 8, 2018
The Ailey Citigroup Theater
405 West 55th at 9th Avenue

An exciting program of four contemporary dance works in Ms. Johnson’s unique vocabulary, which stems from a ballet base. The pieces are set to music including contemporary masters Henryk Górecki and Philip Glass, as well as to the trio sonatas of Handel. read more...

BWW Dance World’s Barnett Serchuk writes, “ Its subtlety, its musicality, its ability to tell a story through dance without conjuring one up (that's left up to you), puts her choreography near the top of what I have seen recently. In fact, now I'd like to see her entire oeuvre.” Read more...

Benefit Party

2017 In The Studio Postcard

February 24, 2018
Maplewood, NJ

An annual event held at the home of one of our generous supporters in Maplewood.

LJD In The Studio

2017 In The Studio Postcard

Sunday, November 12, 2017 at 3:00pm
The Ailey Studios, 405 West 55th Street, New York City

Experience an intimate working session in the studio with LJD as Lydia coaches dancers learning the signature roles in her iconic ballet, "What Counts."

New York Season 2017

2017 Season Postcard

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday June 21, 22 and 23 at 7:30pm
New York Live Arts, 219 West 19th Street, New York City

Presenting four works including two world premieres. Music by Handel, Glass, Mellits and Golijov. Tickets $15 and $25 online at www.newyorklivearts.org, or by phone at 212.924.0077 and in person at the box office.

Moving Forward: Women Ballet Choreographers East and West

Friday, April 28, 2017 at 8pm
Buttenwieser Hall, Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street

Gemma Bond, artistic director of Gemma Bond Dance, Lydia Johnson, artistic director of Lydia Johnson Dance and Cherylyn Lavagnino, artistic director of Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance from New York City; Dalia Rawson, director of The New Ballet in San Jose; and Kathryn Roszak, artistic director of the San Francisco Bay area-based Danse Lumiere, are featured.

FAN: Moving Forward: Women Ballet Choreographers East and West

Friday, April 28, 2017 at noon
92nd Street Y, New York City

Choreographers Gemma Bond, Lydia Johnson, Cherylyn Lavagnino and Kate Thomas of New York, and Dalia Rawson and Kathryn Roszak of California present an hour of excerpted dances followed by a discussion with author Wendy Oliver on the unique place women ballet choreographers hold in the ballet, their future in the ballet, as well as on the recently formed Women Ballet Choreographers Institute at Djerassi. Oliver, author of Dance and Gender: An Evidence-Based Approach reads from her ground-breaking and newly-published (2017) book. Book sale and signing.

Annual Benefit Party

2017 Benefit Postcard

Friday, March 24, 2017 at 7:30pm
Maplewood, NJ

Join us for a wonderful evening to celebrate and support Lydia Johnson Dance. Dancers from the company and students from the school will perform. Light fare and dessert will be served, as well as wine and beer. Festive attire.

And bid on items in our online auction -- priceless dance experiences such as a VIP Night at the NYCB, a private dinner with our dancers, a pas de deux choreographed for your special occasion or a NYC rehearsal experience for your young dance student; plus yoga sessions, design and career consults, kick boxing, art, theater, and weekend getaways.


APAP Showing January 7, 2017

Saturday, January 7, 2017 4:30pm - 5:30pm
New York City Center, Studio 5, 130 West 56th Street, New York, NY

LJD will present a new work for nine dancers, set to the Trio Sonatas of Handel.

Fall Studio Showing

Fall 2016 Studio Showing

Sunday, November 13, 2016, 2:00pm

Manhattan Movement & Arts Center
Studio 2
248 West 60th Street
New York.

Dance Repertory Workshop

Peridance 2016 Card

Monday through Thursday, June 13 to 16, 2016 from 9:30 to 11:30.

Peridance Capezio Center
126 East 13th Street New York, NY

SouthNext Festival

South Next

Saturday, June 18, 2016 from 3:00 to 3:45pm.

SouthNext Festival, South Orange, NJ, on the Creative Midway

Dancers Laura Di Orio and Brynt Beitman will rehearse and perform the central pas de deux from Ms. Johnson’s acclaimed piece Night of the Flying Horses, set to music by Osvaldo Golijov. Open rehearsal of this stunning duet from 3-3:30, followed by performance and a Q & A at 3:30.

Lydia Johnson Dance’s New York Season

Winter Benefit Postcard

Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 10, 11 and 12, 2016 at 7:30.

The Ailey Citigroup Theater 405 W. 55th St.
New York, New York 10019
at 9th Ave.

2016 Season Patrons’ Circle Party

2016 Patrons' Circle

At the fun and fabulous Medi Wine Bar, with free-flowing wine and fabulous food. Kick off a night of marvelous dance in their beautiful wine cellar. $150 or $250 per patron, a portion is tax-deductible.

Thursday, March 10, 2016 from 5:00 to 7:00pm.

Winter Benefit Party

Winter Benefit Postcard

Saturday, February 20, 2016 in Maplewood, NJ.

Salon Series: Genesis Of A Dance

Salon Series Postcard

Sunday, November 1, 2015 at 2pm.

Dany Studios
305 West 38th Street at 8th Avenue, Studio #9
New York, NY

Join us as acclaimed choreographer Lydia Johnson and LJD dancers share excerpts from recent works and thoughts on the process of generating a new work.

LJD’s 2015 New York Season

Salon Series Postcard

Thursday, Friday and Saturday, June 11–13 at 7:30pm.

The Ailey Citigroup Theater 405 W. 55th St.
New York, New York 10019
at 9th Ave.

Read the reviews here.

LJD presents musically nuanced, highly structured and emotionally evocative choreography. The 2015 New York Season includes two World Premieres set to music by The Bad Plus and Osvaldo Golijov and Mark Mellits as well as last year’s “Barretts Mill Road: A Remembrance” set to Mozart. The evening includes a revival of “Untitled Bach” for 10 dancers (from 2010) set to Bach’s Violin Sonatas and Partitas.

“For musicality and fine structuring, few people currently choreographing in the New York dance scene can compare with Lydia Johnson. There is thought, passion and tenderness in her work, and a depth of musical resonance that is very satisfying to behold.” —Philip Gardner, Oberon—s Grove

Salon Series

Salon Series Postcard

Sunday, January 25, 2015, 2pm.

Gelsey Kirkland Academy
355 Broadway, New York, NY

Classic contemporary dance, with Reed Luplau of Lar Lubovitch Dance Company.

A free presentation of several excerpts from Lydia's current works, followed by a discussion of the use of classical ballet line in the LJD repertory and the importance of studying ballet technique for contemporary dancers.

“A tantalizingly distinctive choreographer” —The New York Times

Lydia Johnson Dance 15th Anniversary at SOPAC

15 Anniversary Celebration

Saturday, February 28, 2015 at 8pm.

Lydia Johnson Dance presented recent works for the company’s 10 dancers set to stunning music by Franz Schubert, Osvaldo Golijov, Mozart and the innovative jazz trio Bad Plus.

This performance is supported in part by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.

NJ State Council on the Arts Choreography Fellowship Showcase at SOPAC


South Orange Performing Arts Center
South Orange, NJ
Friday, October 10, 2014

Performances at The Great Friends Dance Festival

Newport, Rhode Island
July 18, 19 and 20, 2014
For the second year in a row LJD performed in Newport — this year presenting a work in progress for five dancers: Kerry Shea, Laura Di Orio, Blake Hennessy-York, Sarah Pon and Katie Martin.

The work is set to music by the innovative and rhythmically challenging jazz ensemble The Bad Plus. The piece explores the nuances of jazz rhythms and textures while maintaining Ms. Johnson’s signature style of clear ballet lines and movements set within her contemporary phrases.

New York Season 2014

New York Season Postcard

June 4-7 at 7:30pm
The Ailey Citigroup Theater
405 West 55th Street, New York City

“Lydia has created a string of masterpieces that resonate deeply €¦” Read full reviews [1] and [2]

Patrons’ Circle Parties

New York Season Postcard

LJD’s popular pre-performance parties were once again a big hit with theatergoers, this year at Medi Winebar where patrons enjoyed wine and food in a beautiful wine cellar. See you at next year’s parties!

Salon Series — May 7

New York Season Postcard

LJD held the second in its popular Salon Series on Wednesday, May 7. “Stillness and Motion” explored the artistic processes of choreography and photography. Lydia Johnson joined photographers Brooke Williams and Torrance York to share the inspiration for their respective art forms.

York, an award-winning photographer and educator, and Williams, a photographer, musician and writer, displayed their works, and our very own Blake Hennessy and Sarah Pon performed a pas de deux from Johnson’s 2012 work Change of Heart. LJD was honored to have renowned writer Susannah Hunnewell, Paris Editor of The Paris Review as the evening’s moderator.

Thank you to Meredith Caplan Wright for putting together this Salon.

An Afternoon Salon with Deborah Wingert

Salon Series March 23, 2014

Sunday, March 23, 2014, 2-3:30PM
Manhattan Movement & Arts Center

A packed studio enjoyed an intimate dialogue with Lydia Johnson and LJD’s Ballet Mistress Deborah Wingert, watching their collaborative coaching in action as dancers performed excerpts of the company’s repertory. LJD is thrilled to be working with Ms. Wingert — a 15-year principal and soloist with New York City Ballet, chosen by George Balanchine to join NYCB at the age of 16.

Treasure for Treasure Party

Nye & Company Auction House
20 Beach Street, Bloomfield, NJ
January 25, 2015 6pm-11pm

A fantastic evening when NJ and NY patrons were treated to a live performance of Night in Dreams with Guest Artist Carlos Lopez. Thanks to all the LJD supporters for making our 2014 fundraising gala fun, successful and memorable.

Studio Showing

Studio Showing Nov. 3, 2013

MMAC (Manhattan Movement Arts Center)
248 West 60th St. (between 10th and 11th), New York, NY
November 3, 2013 at 2pm

LJD shared new phrases and sections from recent works. The afternoon included a Q&A with the company.

Guests experienced dance in the intimate setting in which it was created.

Performances at The Great Friends Dance Festival

Newport, Rhode Island
July 18, 19, 25, 26 and 27, 2013

LJD performed two beautiful works. On Thursday, July 18 and Friday, July 19, In Conversation (like breathing...like flying...), originally choreographed in 2003-04. The work for two couples was danced by Kerry Shea and Eric Williams, and Laura Di Orio and Anthony Bocconi. After viewing this work in 2009, Philip Gardner of Oberon's Grove wrote:

"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."

Thursday July 25, Friday July 26 and Saturday July 27, The Night of the Flying Horses, choreographed in 2012-13. The work was danced by Kerry Shea, Eric Williams, Laura DiOrio, Anthony Bocconi, Blake Hennessy-York, Sarah Pon and Katie Martin. After a 2013 performance of this work, NYC Dance Stuff's Darrell Wood wrote:

Night of the Flying Horses is filled with sublime imagery, moments of the dance I can still see in my mind�s eye. It�s a beautiful and emotional work, a dance that stays with you long after you have seen it... Ms. Johnson reached in and pulled Night of the Flying Horses from her heart.

Read Philip Gardner's article on our rehearsals for the Festival.

New York Season 2013

June 6, 7 and 8 at 7:30 pm at The Ailey Citigroup Theater, 405 West 55th Street, New York.

Two world premieres set to Osvaldo Golijov and Franz Schubert.

Open Studio Rehearsal

March 17, 2013

“Simply from watching a few minutes of ensemble work from the new Schubert, it’s evident this is going to be one of Lydia's most memorable works.” —Read more of Philip Gardener’s article at Oberon’s Grove

Studio Showing

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Manhattan Movement Arts Center
New York

LJD showed: Crossings, excerpts from Change of Heart, and a preview of a work in progress set to Osvaldo Golijov.

NPR's Julie Burstein interviews Lydia

February 23, 2013

The Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts
New Jersey

LJD performance and panel discussion moderated by Julie Burstein, creator of NPR's Studio 360, following viewing of Wim Wenders� 2012 film PINA. In his Academy Award-nominated film, Wenders captures the sensual and visually stunning world of renowned late German choreographer Pina Baush.

Free Performance and Presentation

December 31, 2012

LJD's dancers performed excerpts from Lydia Johnson's works, broken down into their design elements and discussed, followed by a Q&A with the choreographer and dancers.

LJD New York Season 2012

Saturday, June 23, 2012 and Sunday, June 24, 2012

LJD performed four works, including two premieres, at The Peridance Theater in New York. Music by: Philip Glass, J.S. Bach, Osvaldo Golijov. Guest Artists included dancers from the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company and others formerly with New York City Ballet.


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, except montage one, far right, by Kokyat.

Dancers pictured throughout our site are: Jessica Sand, Kerry Shea, Laura DiOrio, Lisa Iannacito, Eric Vlach, Jeremy Smith, Robert Robinson, R Colby Damon, Tammi Shamblin, John- Mark Owen, Marcos Vedoveto, Jesse Marks, Emma Stein, Tucker Ty Davis, Jennifer Lott, Jennifer Kelbe.

Updated site design and maintenance by Tom McGee; Design for publicity and web by Deanne Landress.

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