LYDIA JOHNSON DANCE
NEW YORK SEASON 2019
From Marina Harss, dance writer.
Her articles and reviews appear in The New Yorker and The New York Times.
Posted on June 7, 2019
“What a pleasure to see Craig Hall dance again at last night’s performance by Lydia Johnson Dance (through June 7 at Ailey Citigroup Theater). Here he is with the company’s Laura Di Orio, in Johnson’s “Night and Dreams,” set to 6 of my favorite Schubert songs, including “Du Bist di Ruh” (you are rest and peace). Johnson is adept at capturing the beauty and pathos in music—her musical choices are well-considered, and it’s clear that she really “feels” the emotion contained in the notes. She translates harmony and texture into a narrative of human intimacy and empathy. Her dancers really look at each other and touch each other sincerely. You get the sense they are helping each other along in the effort of getting through life, with grace and gravity. Humanity is the starting point. Hall has always been a quietly intense dancer, with a tendency to lose himself in the music and in the dynamics of partnering. This was a particularly poignant moment.”
“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 basis of her technique is ballet, and her dancers are strong.'" The New Yorker Magazine
“What seems to count most for Ms. Johnson is music. The four pieces on the program all showed uncommon skill at matching ballet movement to music, both at the large scale of structure and in small, felicitous details.” Brian Seibert, The New York Times
“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