“In dance that challenges the mind as well as the heart, Lydia Johnson often isolates and reworks components of classical ballet technique to create a sense of life flowing unhurriedly over mysterious human stories.” —Jennifer Dunning, The New York Times, 2005
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A visit to the studio while the company prepares a new work, this review features a beautiful gallery of photos by Kokyat.
The Oberon's Grove blog highlights a company rehearsal, with lots of great photos!
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. —Philip Gardner, Oberon's Grove Blog
Sunday, March 23, 2014, 2-3:30PM
Manhattan Movement & Arts Center
248 West 60th Street (between 10th and 11th)
Admission is Free
Join Lydia Johnson and LJD’s Ballet Mistress Deborah Wingert to discuss and see their collaborative coaching in action, as the LJD dancers perform 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.
See LJD works in progress as Lydia Johnson and the dancers prepare for their June, 2014 New York Season. Check back for dates.
Saturday, January 25, 2014, 7:00 — 11:00
LJD’s annual fundraising event was hosted by John and Kathy Nye at their treasure-filled auction house in Bloomfield, NJ. The generosity of patrons from NY and NJ — both in support and in spirit — made for an amazing night where bounty and beauty met.
MMAC (Manhattan Movement Arts Center)
248 West 60th St. (between 10th and 11th), New York, NY
November 3, 2013 at 2pm
LJD will share new phrases and sections from recent works. The afternoon will include a Q&A with the company.
Join us for a glass of wine and experience dance in the intimate setting in which it is created.
Newport, Rhode Island
July 18, 19, 25, 26 and 27
LJD will perform two beautiful works. At 7:30 pm on Thursday, July 18 and Friday, July 19, In Conversation (like breathing...like flying...), originally choreographed in 2003-04. The work for two couples will be 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."
At 7:30 pm on Thursday July 25, Friday July 26 and Saturday July 27, The Night of the Flying Horses, choreographed in 2012-13. The work will be 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.
Two world premieres set to Osvaldo Golijov and Franz Schubert. Tickets are available at SmartTix (212 868.4444), $35 for patrons, $20 for general public and seniors. Dancers and students: $10 or 2 for $14.
“An exhilarating afternoon for the many dance lovers who attended. Watching the intimate creative process between Lydia and her dancers left everyone wanting more.” —Oberon’s Grove
The Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts, NJ
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.
Peridance Capezio Center, NYC
Manhattan Movement Arts Center
LJD showed: Crossings, excerpts from Change of Heart, and a preview of a work in progress set to Osvaldo Golijov.
The Theater of The Riverside Church, New York
Guest choreographers Lydia Johnson, Yesid Lopez, Henning Rubsam. Special guests pianist Sandro Ruso and soprano Mary Ann Stewart.
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 include dancers from the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company and others formerly with New York City Ballet.
Friday, June 8 at 7:30
Three repertory pieces with previews of two new works, followed by a Q and A with Artistic Director Lydia Johnson and company dancers!
LJD and each Company on the APAP program presented an 8-minute excerpt from their repertory.
Lydia's new piece was shown in its entirety on Sunday, February 26 at 2:30 at Peridance, along with another complete work from the LJD Repertory!
LJD presented excerpts from this year’s Zero Hours, set to piano blues by Pete Johnson and Albert Ammons. The piece featured LJD Company members Jessica Sand, Lisa Iannacito,Laura DiOrio, James Hernandez, Sarah Pon, Blake Hennessy-York, and guest artist Sean Patrick Mahoney, who appeared courtesy of the Paul Taylor Dance Company.
Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater
405 W. 55th Street, New York, NY
Four works including two premiers! Music by Henryk Gorecki, Philip Glass, J.S. Bach and jazz piano pieces played by Albert Ammons. The 2011 season is danced by 15 dancers including Guest Artist Sean Mahoney from the Paul Taylor Dance Company. (Click on the image to enlarge.)
There was a free public preview at SOPAC in South Orange, June 10 at 7:30. Excerpts from two works to be performed at the Ailey theater, plus a Q and A with the choreographer and dancers, and an opportunity for audience members to learn a phrase onstage!
June 10, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.
LJD showed excerpts from two works from the New York season. The evening included a Q and A with the choreographer and dancers, and an opportunity for audience members to learn a phrase on stage! Read more...
Each day during this week-long Repertory Workshop, material from a different piece of the LJD repertory was presented and explored. Ms. Johnson’s vocabulary is ballet-based with modern, gestural and drop-and-release components.
Ms. Johnson and Company dancers emphasize individual interpretations of each combination and phrase with special focus on linking the movement to the music. LJD’s focus in performance is on the ability of each dancer to express the choreography with an individual, musically intelligent voice. Read more...
Each day during the Workshop, material from a different piece of the LJD repertory was presented and explored. Ms. Johnson and Company dancers emphasized individual interpretations of each combination. LJD’s focus in performance is on the ability of each dancer to express the choreography with an individual voice. Rather than working to attain a uniform quality, LJD dancers strive to bring their own personal vision into the phrases. Ms. Johnson choreographs.
The Ailey Citigroup Theater, NYC June 24, 25 and 26, 2010
Performances included a world premiere set to Bach's Solo Violin Partitas and Sonatas, 2009's acclaimed Dusk set to Gorecki, a deeply moving double pas-de-deux In Conversation (2005) set to Glass, a post modern look at love and glamor filled with sweeping dancing Dream Sequence (2008) set to songs sung by Dean Martin and, back by popular demand, a revival of the wry 2005 The End of the Movie for three women on benches, set to the songs of Cake.
LJD performed four major works to music by Henryk Gorecki, Phillip Glass and to songs sung by Dean Martin! Read more...
Lydia Johnson Dance was selected to appear at the historic Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in Lee, Massachusetts on July 25, 2009. Performing as a part of the Inside/Out series at The Pillow, LJD showed both Collecting Rain and Lament on the stunning outdoor stage. The performance was free and was followed by a Q and A period with Lydia and Company!
More on the fascinating history of Jacob's Pillow, where major modern dance creators performed and worked.
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.