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LJD Lifts the 'Barre' for Choreography by Students

At end-of-semester showing of works, Lydia Johnson Dance showcases student-created dance.

Young dancers under the tutelage of choreographer Lydia Johnson, the founder and artistic director of , presented their own creative works on Monday night at the Burgdorff Center in Maplewood.

Lydia Johnson Dance has been consistently praised for its distinctive choreography, with reviews in The New York Times, Backstage and Oberon's Grove. But Monday night, the spotlight shined on Ballet and Choreography students taught by Tammi Shamblin with Lydia Johnson. (Similar showing of the works showcased the youngest ballet students and dancers in Contemporary and Choreography classes).

LJD believes that technique is best learned as children use their creative energy to compose their own dance works. Indeed, several of the pieces shown this week surpassed college-level dance.

The creative process will continue for these young dances with a special in  Ballet, Contemporary and Jazz beginning May 14. (For information, see LJD Dance Classes). 

A on July 9-July 27 with professional dancers from Lydia Johnson Dance will feature an in-depth exploration of dance. (Learn more @ Dance Camp).

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 in residence at the South Orange Performing Arts Center.

On June 8 at SOPAC, the company will present a free performance of three pieces from the LJD Repertory, including previews of two new works. A Q&A with Lydia Johnson and company dancers will follow the performance.

LJD’s New York season on June 23 and June 24 will take place at The Peridance Theater. LJD will perform four works, including two premieres, to music by Philip Glass, J.S. Bach, and Osvaldo Golijov. Guest Artists will include dancers from the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company and others formerly with New York City Ballet.

Lydia Johnson Dance is highlighted frequently in Philip Gardner's Oberon's Grove blog in a series titled "The Creative Process." See more @ Oberon's Grove.

Carolyn Maynard-Parisi May 09, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Great photos, Marilyn! It is amazing what these young dancers can create.
SD Cohen May 10, 2012 at 01:02 PM
My daughter takes classes and loves it! Always creative and fun for the kids. The dancers always take pride in their work because the movements are their own.
Ella Pauly May 11, 2012 at 01:23 AM
I love Lydia's classes.... they're so much fun, and I always learn so much with each new semester. LJD deserves every compliment they get, the company and school are fabulous!!!! :D

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