Lydia Johnson Dance presented a premiere of a new work on Friday night before supporters of contemporary dance, which judging by the large crowd at a benefit event at the Maplewood Club is quite large in the Maplewood-South Orange communities.
The dancers performed a work in progress to the music of Osvaldo Golijov. The dance was choreographed by Lydia Johnson, the South Orange resident who 12 years ago founded a dance company that has been consistently praised for its distinctive choreography.
The benefit on Friday night raised funds for the company and school, which is also supported by The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. The evening included a dance party, swing and hustle dance lessons, and live auction.
The work in progress performed at the Maplewood Club featured five dancers with great individuality and expressive style. Afterwards, they taught a phase from the dance to students of Lydia Johnson Dance choreography and dance classes. This partnering of professional dancers and students is typical of the dance education program presented by Lydia Johnson.
Lydia Johnson Dance has performed in high-profile venues like Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival and the Downtown Dance Festival. LJD is the dance company is residence at the South Orange Performing Arts Center. The company will be presenting a showing of new and repertory work on Sunday, Feb. 26, at 2:30 p.m. at the Peridance Theater and is participating in APAP 2012 as a Peridance selected company.
Lydia Johnson Dance is also highlighted frequently in Philip Gardner's Oberon's Grove blog in a series titled "The Creative Process." See more @ Oberon's Grove.