Lydia Johnson Dance

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Lydia Johnson Dance
General information
Name Lydia Johnson Dance
Year founded 1999[1]
Founders Lydia Johnson
Founding choreographers Lydia Johnson
Formation 1999

Lydia Johnson Dance is a contemporary dance company that performs the choreography of Lydia Johnson, primarily in New York City and New Jersey. It is notable for combining ballet and modern dance,[2][3][4][5] sometimes isolating and reworking "components of classical ballet technique."[6] The company was founded in 1999[5] by Johnson, a choreographer.[7][8] She has choreographed dance works to various composers including Beethoven,[7] the alternative rock band Cake,[5] Philip Glass,[5][9] Argentine composer Osvaldo Golijov,[9] Polish composer Henryk Górecki,[10][11] and others. Since 2008 the company has received annual support from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.[12] Performances tend to have six or seven[2] to twelve dancers,[11] and the company has performed in numerous venues in New Jersey and New York City,[13] and it is based in northern New Jersey.[14] In addition, Lydia Johnson Dance runs a school to teach dance and choreography.


Critics have described the company's performances as infusing "ballet with a contemporary sensibility,"[9] romantic,[15] handsome,[16] with a calm deliberateness,[10] and invoking a "harmonious world."[17] A New Yorker critic described her performances as "simple, tasteful, and unhurried."[18] A dance critic described a performance as "the most organic choreographic fusion of ballet and modern-dance techniques ever invented,"[1] and wrote:

... Lydia Johnson has created a tasty cocktail of dance vocabulary that looks markedly original and feels very naturally blended. ... A quartet of women in partnership with four folding chairs created ravishing tableaux of crystalline linearity...

Backstage Magazine critic Lisa Jo Sagolla, 2009[1]

New York Times critic Jennifer Dunning wrote that Johnson created "a sense of life flowing unhurriedly over mysterious human stories."[19] Dunning described one performance as having a "strangely cool, crisp eloquence" in the way that Johnson's dancers used their arms.[20]

Dance instruction[edit]

Lydia Johnson Dance has a dance school for children of all ages.[2][21] Classes in ballet, dance, hip hop, and choreography are held at venues such as the Burgdorff Cultural Center in Maplewood.[2] In addition, a dance camp of several weeks duration is offered during the summer for children from first through tenth grades.[22] Company members sometimes serve as mentors to students.[22] At the end of a semester, students present dances they have choreographed.[23]


  1. ^ a b c Lisa Jo Sagolla (April 22, 2008). "Dance Reviews: Unassuming Opulence". Backstage Magazine. Retrieved 2012-12-24. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Lydia Johnson Dance". South Orange Patch. 2012-12-24. 
  3. ^ Peter Filichia (August 20, 2007). "Curtain's up on SOPAC's second season". Star Ledger. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  4. ^ Staff writer (March 23, 2007). "Dance Listings". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  5. ^ a b c d Robert Johnson (June 12, 2010). "Lydia Johnson Dance inspired by classical, but doesn't stop there". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  6. ^ JENNIFER DUNNING (March 23, 2004). "DANCE IN REVIEW; Primal Human Tales, Hinted at but Untold". The New York Times. Retrieved January 8, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Staff writer (June 2, 2006). "Dance". The New York Sun. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  8. ^ JENNIFER DUNNING (July 7, 2000). "CLASSICAL MUSIC AND DANCE GUIDE". The New York Times. Retrieved January 8, 2013. 2000 DANCES. Five choreographers -- Lydia Johnson, 
  9. ^ a b c Roslyn Sulcas. "Lydia Johnson Dance". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  10. ^ a b Robert Johnson (July 17, 2009). "Cool and calm emerge from the streets of South Orange". Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  11. ^ a b Claudia La Rocco (March 26, 2009). "Dance Listings". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  12. ^ Cotton Delo (July 24, 2009). "Dreamcatcher, Lydia Johnson Dance Receive Dodge Foundation Grants". South Orange Patch. Retrieved 2012-12-24. 
  13. ^ Staff writer (June 21, 2012). "Dance Listings for June 22-29". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  14. ^ Saed Hindash (June 20, 2010). "The South Orange Performing Arts Center's gala and benefit, called "Small Town, Big Talent."". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  15. ^ Robert Johnson (August 16, 2011). "Dancing with the breezes at the Downtown Dance Festival". Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  16. ^ Staff writer (July 20, 2009). "Dance: Goings On About Town". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  17. ^ GIA KOURLAS (August 14, 2011). "Hip-Hop, Folk and Karate Through a Strainer on a Hot Afternoon". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  18. ^ Staff writer (January 24, 2011). "Dance: Goings On About Town". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  19. ^ JENNIFER DUNNING (March 11, 2005). "Dance Listings". The New York Times. Retrieved January 8, 2013. LYDIA JOHNSON DANCE Ms. Johnson ... sense of life flowing unhurriedly over mysterious human stories. 
  20. ^ JENNIFER DUNNING (March 26, 2002). "DANCE REVIEW; A Strangely Cool and Eloquent Use of Arms". The New York Times. Retrieved January 8, 2013. One unusual aspect of Ms. Johnson's choreography is the way she uses arms... had a strangely cool, crisp eloquence. 
  21. ^ staff (May 25, 2012). "The South Orange Maplewood Chapter of Mothers & More's first annual Kidstock Event". Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  22. ^ a b Ellen Kahaner (June 15, 2009). "Unique Dance Camp High-Steps into Town: With the help of professional dancers, kids choreograph at Lydia Johnson summer camp.". South Orange Patch. Retrieved 2012-12-24. 
  23. ^ Marilyn Joyce Lehren (May 9, 2012). "LJD Lifts the 'Barre' for Choreography by Students: At end-of-semester showing of works, Lydia Johnson Dance showcases student-created dance.". South Orange Patch. Retrieved 2012-12-24. 

External links[edit]