Lydia Johnson Dance


266 Audley Street
South Orange, NJ 07079
County: Essex


Ms. Lydia Johnson

Grant Amount


Program Area



Grant Details

For general operating support of Lydia Johnson Dance including creating, rehearsing, performing and teaching modern dance.

Organization Background

Founded in 1999, Lydia Johnson Dance (LJD) encourages the appreciation of dance as an art form through the creation and performance of choreographic works performed for a variety of audiences and through lecture-demonstrations and classes. LJD regularly performs at SOPAC and other area venues, and has appeared at major venues including Jacob's Pillow, Ailey Citigroup Theater, Riverside Church, and Peridance.

LJD receives consistent praise for its distinctive choreography, which uses ballet technique as the basis for the expression of contemporary dance vocabulary. Capturing a sense of the depth and spirit of the human struggle, Ms. Johnson's evocative work is noted for its abstract qualities. Music selections range from classical composers including Bach through 20th Century masters such as Glass and Henryk Gorecki.

The Company has received critical acclaim from The New York Times, The New Yorker and Backstage. Philip Gardner of Oberon's Grove recently wrote, '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.' Of her 2013 premiere, Darrell Wood of NYDANCESTUFF 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.'

A Massachusetts native, Ms. Johnson studied at SUNY/Purchase, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, as well as with Finis Jhung and Sara Rudner. Ms. Johnson received The National Association of Regional Ballet's Monticello Foundation award and a Harkness Dance Center Space Grant from the 92nd Street Y. Ms. Johnson has served as Guest Artist/Faculty at Peridance in New York. Ms. Johnson was recognized for her outstanding artistry with a 2014 Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

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