“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, June 2017
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An exciting program of four contemporary dance works in Ms. Johnson's unique vocabulary, which stems from a ballet base. The pieces are set to music including contemporary masters Henryk Górecki and Philip Glass, as well as to the trio sonatas of Handel.
About 2016's “What Counts,” set to the innovative ensemble The Bad Plus, Brian Seibert of The New York Times wrote: “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.”
In 2017 Philip Gardner wrote in Oberon's Grove: “Among current choreographers, Lydia's work bristles and blooms with a poignant sense of humanity. There's nary a trace of theatricality in her dances; rather, she uses the music as a canvas on which emotions — both the deep and the subtle — are painted. Expressions of tenderness (so lacking in our lives today), hope, remorse, uncertainty, and the frailty of the human heart well up on the music, sometimes unexpectedly.“
And Mary Cargil commented in Dance View Times: “Like all her dances, one view is not really enough to absorb the subtle musical nuances and underlying dramatic grace notes.”
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.