“In dance that challenges the mind as well as the heart, Lydia Johnson often isolates and reworks components of classical ballet technique to create a sense of life flowing unhurriedly over mysterious human stories.” —Jennifer Dunning, The New York Times, 2005

Performance Videos

Watch videos of LJD performances.

Donate! Join Friends of Lydia Johnson Dance

Support our NYC and NJ Performances, and our Scholarship Program

Or make a donation by check to:
Lydia Johnson Dance
P.O. Box 1037
South Orange NJ 07079

Lydia Johnson: Dancing to Golijov

A visit to the studio while the company prepares a new work, this review features a beautiful gallery of photos by Kokyat.

In The Studio With Lydia Johnson

The Oberon's Grove blog highlights a company rehearsal, with lots of great photos!

March City Center Showing Rave Review

“Lydia Johnson became overnight one of my favorite contemporary choreographers...her dancers took the floor and within seconds I knew I had found something I loved.” —Philip Gardner, Oberon's Grove Blog

Upcoming Events

Dancers and the Dance: Exploring Interpretation

Dancers and the dance

December 2, 2018
The Ailey Studios
405 West 55th Street (at 9th Ave.)
New York, NY

A Sunday Afternoon Studio Showing With Discussion

In this afternoon salon event we will explore how individual dancers interpret a phrase while remianing true to the intention of the choreography. Timing, nuance, technical choices, artistic freedom and musicality will be demonstrated and discussed. Suggested $10 donation for admission. Free to dancers.

Past Highlights

Free Community Performance

Free Community Performance

July 13, 2018
Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts
Maplewood, NJ

In an event free to the community, The Lydia Johnson Dance professional company performed with student works. Excerpts included sections from “What Counts,” “Trio Sonatas” and the 2018 world premiere, “Undercurrent.”

New York Season 2018

2018 New York Season Postcard

June 6 through June 8, 2018
The Ailey Citigroup Theater
405 West 55th at 9th Avenue

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. read more...

BWW Dance World’s Barnett Serchuk writes, “ Its subtlety, its musicality, its ability to tell a story through dance without conjuring one up (that's left up to you), puts her choreography near the top of what I have seen recently. In fact, now I'd like to see her entire oeuvre.” Read more...

Annual Benefit Party

2017 Benefit Postcard

Friday, March 24, 2017 at 7:30pm
Maplewood, NJ

Join us for a wonderful evening to celebrate and support Lydia Johnson Dance. Dancers from the company and students from the school will perform. Light fare and dessert will be served, as well as wine and beer. Festive attire. Reserve your tickets today!

And bid on items in our online auction -- priceless dance experiences such as a VIP Night at the NYCB, a private dinner with our dancers, a pas de deux choreographed for your special occasion or a NYC rehearsal experience for your young dance student; plus yoga sessions, design and career consults, kick boxing, art, theater, and weekend getaways.

Fall Studio Showing

Fall 2016 Studio Showing

Sunday, November 13, 2016, 2:00pm

Manhattan Movement & Arts Center
Studio 2
248 West 60th Street, New York.

Winter Season Dance Master Class

Winter 2016 Master Class

Saturday, November 5th, 11:00 - 12:30

Join Lydia Johnson Dance for a winter themed dance class. Holly Evans performed for 10 years as a Rockette and is excited to share her knowledge of theater dance with Maplewood. Students in this class will participate in a kick line as well as fun dance combinations to spark the joy of movement. Students can wear ballet or jazz shoes. Taught by Holly Evans, former Radio City Rockette.

Dance Repertory Workshop

Peridance 2016 Card

Monday through Thursday, June 13 to 16, 2016 from 9:30 to 11:30.

Peridance Capezio Center
126 East 13th Street New York, NY

SouthNext Festival

South Next

Saturday, June 18, 2016 from 3:00 to 3:45pm.

SouthNext Festival, South Orange, NJ, on the Creative Midway

Dancers Laura Di Orio and Brynt Beitman will rehearse and perform the central pas de deux from Ms. Johnson’s acclaimed piece Night of the Flying Horses, set to music by Osvaldo Golijov. Open rehearsal of this stunning duet from 3-3:30, followed by performance and a Q & A at 3:30.

Lydia Johnson Dance’s New York Season

Winter Benefit Postcard

March 10, 11 and 12, 2016 at 7:30.

The Ailey Citigroup Theater 405 W. 55th St.
New York, New York 10019
at 9th Ave.

Salon Series: Genesis Of A Dance

Salon Series Postcard

Sunday, November 1, 2015 at 2pm.

Dany Studios
305 West 38th Street at 8th Avenue, Studio #9
New York, NY

Join us as acclaimed choreographer Lydia Johnson and LJD dancers share excerpts from recent works and thoughts on the process of generating a new work.

LJD’s 2015 New York Season

Salon Series Postcard

Thursday, Friday and Saturday, June 11–13 at 7:30pm.

The Ailey Citigroup Theater 405 W. 55th St.
New York, New York 10019
at 9th Ave.

New York Season 2014

New York Season Postcard

June 4-7 at 7:30pm
The Ailey Citigroup Theater
405 West 55th Street, New York City
Tickets now on available at SmartTix.

Patrons’ Circle Parties

New York Season Postcard

June 4-7, 2014. Click for more information and reservations...

Open Studio Rehearsals

See LJD works in progress as Lydia Johnson and the dancers prepare for their June, 2014 New York Season. Check back for dates.

Salon Series — May 7

New York Season Postcard

LJD held the second in its popular Salon Series on Wednesday, May 7. “Stillness and Motion” explored the artistic processes of choreography and photography. Lydia Johnson joined photographers Brooke Williams and Torrance York to share the inspiration for their respective art forms.

York, an award-winning photographer and educator, and Williams, a photographer, musician and writer, displayed their works, and our very own Blake Hennessy and Sarah Pon performed a pas de deux from Johnson�s 2012 work Change of Heart. LJD was honored to have renowned writer Susannah Hunnewell, Paris Editor of The Paris Review as the evening�s moderator.

Thank you to Meredith Caplan Wright for putting together this Salon.

An Afternoon Salon with Deborah Wingert

Salon Series March 23, 2014

Sunday, March 23, 2014, 2-3:30PM
Manhattan Movement & Arts Center

A packed studio enjoyed an intimate dialogue with Lydia Johnson and LJD’s Ballet Mistress Deborah Wingert, watching their collaborative coaching in action as dancers performed excerpts of the company’s repertory. LJD is thrilled to be working with Ms. Wingert — a 15-year principal and soloist with New York City Ballet, chosen by George Balanchine to join NYCB at the age of 16.

Treasure For Treasure

A Night When Beauty and Bounty Meet To Benefit Lydia Johnson Dance

Studio Showing Nov. 3, 2013

Saturday, January 25, 2014, 7:00 — 11:00

LJD’s annual fundraising event was hosted by John and Kathy Nye at their treasure-filled auction house in Bloomfield, NJ. The generosity of patrons from NY and NJ — both in support and in spirit — made for an amazing night where bounty and beauty met.

Past Highlights

Studio Showing

Studio Showing Nov. 3, 2013

MMAC (Manhattan Movement Arts Center)
248 West 60th St. (between 10th and 11th), New York, NY
November 3, 2013 at 2pm

LJD will share new phrases and sections from recent works. The afternoon will include a Q&A with the company.

Join us for a glass of wine and experience dance in the intimate setting in which it is created.

Lydia Johnson Dance Performing at The Great Friends Dance Festival

Newport, Rhode Island
July 18, 19, 25, 26 and 27

Hosted by The Island Moving Company. Read Philip Gardner's article on our rehearsals for the Festival.

LJD will perform two beautiful works. At 7:30 pm on Thursday, July 18 and Friday, July 19, In Conversation (like flying...), originally choreographed in 2003-04. The work for two couples will be danced by Kerry Shea and Eric Williams, and Laura Di Orio and Anthony Bocconi. After viewing this work in 2009, Philip Gardner of Oberon's Grove wrote:

"Lydia Johnson became overnight one of my favorite contemporary choreographers...her dancers took the floor and within seconds I knew I had found something I loved...for me one of the most moving dance experiences in the last decade."

At 7:30 pm on Thursday July 25, Friday July 26 and Saturday July 27, The Night of the Flying Horses, choreographed in 2012-13. The work will be danced by Kerry Shea, Eric Williams, Laura DiOrio, Anthony Bocconi, Blake Hennessy-York, Sarah Pon and Katie Martin. After a 2013 performance of this work, NYC Dance Stuff's Darrell Wood 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.

Tickets available at The Island Moving Company's web site.

New York Season 2013

June 6, 7 and 8 at 7:30 pm at The Ailey Citigroup Theater, 405 West 55th Street, New York.

Two world premieres set to Osvaldo Golijov and Franz Schubert. Tickets are available at SmartTix (212 868.4444), $35 for patrons, $20 for general public and seniors. Dancers and students: $10 or 2 for $14.

Open Studio Rehearsal

March 17, 2013

“An exhilarating afternoon for the many dance lovers who attended. Watching the intimate creative process between Lydia and her dancers left everyone wanting more.” —Oberon’s Grove

NPR's Julie Burstein interviews Lydia

February 23, 2013

The Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts, NJ
LJD performance and panel discussion moderated by Julie Burstein, creator of NPR's Studio 360, following viewing of Wim Wenders� 2012 film PINA. In his Academy Award-nominated film, Wenders captures the sensual and visually stunning world of renowned late German choreographer Pina Baush.

LJD Repertory Workshop and Audition at Peridance

February 11-15, 17, 2013

Peridance Capezio Center, NYC

Studio Showing

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Manhattan Movement Arts Center
New York

LJD showed: Crossings, excerpts from Change of Heart, and a preview of a work in progress set to Osvaldo Golijov.

Morales Dance presents Contrasts

September 22 and 23, 2012

The Theater of The Riverside Church, New York

Guest choreographers Lydia Johnson, Yesid Lopez, Henning Rubsam. Special guests pianist Sandro Ruso and soprano Mary Ann Stewart.

New York Season 2012

Saturday, June 23 8:30 pm
Sunday, June 24 2pm and 7pm

LJD performed four works, including two premieres, at The Peridance Theater in New York! Music by: Philip Glass, J.S. Bach, Osvaldo Golijov. Guest Artists include dancers from the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company and others formerly with New York City Ballet.

Free Performance at SOPAC

Friday, June 8 at 7:30

Three repertory pieces with previews of two new works, followed by a Q and A with Artistic Director Lydia Johnson and company dancers!

LJD at Peridance

January 7 and 8, 2012

LJD and each Company on the APAP program presented an 8-minute excerpt from their repertory.

Lydia's new piece was shown in its entirety on Sunday, February 26 at 2:30 at Peridance, along with another complete work from the LJD Repertory!

The Downtown Dance Festival 2011

August 13 and 15, 2011

LJD presented excerpts from this year’s Zero Hours, set to piano blues by Pete Johnson and Albert Ammons. The piece featured LJD Company members Jessica Sand, Lisa Iannacito,Laura DiOrio, James Hernandez, Sarah Pon, Blake Hennessy-York, and guest artist Sean Patrick Mahoney, who appeared courtesy of the Paul Taylor Dance Company.

New York Season 2011

Friday June 17 - Sunday June 19

Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater
405 W. 55th Street, New York, NY
Four works including two premiers! Music by Henryk Gorecki, Philip Glass, J.S. Bach and jazz piano pieces played by Albert Ammons. The 2011 season is danced by 15 dancers including Guest Artist Sean Mahoney from the Paul Taylor Dance Company. (Click on the image to enlarge.)

There was a free public preview at SOPAC in South Orange, June 10 at 7:30. Excerpts from two works to be performed at the Ailey theater, plus a Q and A with the choreographer and dancers, and an opportunity for audience members to learn a phrase onstage!

Free Public Performance At SOPAC

June 10, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.

LJD showed excerpts from two works from the New York season. The evening included a Q and A with the choreographer and dancers, and an opportunity for audience members to learn a phrase on stage! Read more...

Dance Repertory Workshop

At Peridance Capezio Center
June 27 – July 1, 2011, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Each day during this week-long Repertory Workshop, material from a different piece of the LJD repertory was presented and explored. Ms. Johnson’s vocabulary is ballet-based with modern, gestural and drop-and-release components.

Ms. Johnson and Company dancers emphasize individual interpretations of each combination and phrase with special focus on linking the movement to the music. LJD’s focus in performance is on the ability of each dancer to express the choreography with an individual, musically intelligent voice. Read more...

LJD at Peridance Capezio Center in January, 2011

Each day during the Workshop, material from a different piece of the LJD repertory was presented and explored. Ms. Johnson and Company dancers emphasized individual interpretations of each combination. LJD�s focus in performance is on the ability of each dancer to express the choreography with an individual voice. Rather than working to attain a uniform quality, LJD dancers strive to bring their own personal vision into the phrases. Ms. Johnson choreographs.

10th Anniversary Season

The Ailey Citigroup Theater, NYC June 24, 25 and 26, 2010

Performances included a world premiere set to Bach's Solo Violin Partitas and Sonatas, 2009's acclaimed Dusk set to Gorecki, a deeply moving double pas-de-deux In Conversation (2005) set to Glass, a post modern look at love and glamor filled with sweeping dancing Dream Sequence (2008) set to songs sung by Dean Martin and, back by popular demand, a revival of the wry 2005 The End of the Movie for three women on benches, set to the songs of Cake.

2009 Summer Season

LJD performed four major works to music by Henryk Gorecki, Phillip Glass and to songs sung by Dean Martin! Read more...

Lydia Johnson Dance at Jacob's Pillow

Lydia Johnson Dance was selected to appear at the historic Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in Lee, Massachusetts on July 25, 2009. Performing as a part of the Inside/Out series at The Pillow, LJD showed both Collecting Rain and Lament on the stunning outdoor stage. The performance was free and was followed by a Q and A period with Lydia and Company!

More on the fascinating history of Jacob's Pillow, where major modern dance creators performed and worked.

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.