Lydia Johnson Dance


91 Arnold Terrace
South Orange, NJ 07079
County: Essex


Ms. Lydia Johnson

Grant Amount


Program Area



Grant Details

For general operating support of LJD's performance season and education programs.

Organization Background

Founded in 1999, Lydia Johnson Dance encourages the appreciation of dance as an art form through the creation and performance of choreographic works presented to a variety of audiences in a variety of settings. In addition to regular appearances at SOPAC, the company has performed at major venues including Jacob's Pillow, Ailey Citigroup Theater, Riverside Church, and Peridance in New York City as well as the Great Friends Dance Festival in Newport Rhode Island. LJD performs for and holds discussions with broad audiences at its Salon series in intimate spaces, and at lecture demonstrations in community venues.

LJD receives consistent praise from critics and audiences alike for its distinctive choreography, which uses ballet technique as the basis for the expression of contemporary dance vocabulary. Ms. Johnson's work is noted for its abstract qualities and choice of music ranging from classical composers including Bach and Mozart 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. Brian Seibert of the New York Times described LJD's June 2015 season as "...finely wrought works...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."

A Massachusetts native, Ms. Johnson studied at SUNY/Purchase, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, as well as with masters of the art form 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. She 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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