Modern Dance

Makenna Downs

History of Modern Dance

The beginnings of modern dance in the United States (Germany also had a related and influential dance movement) are traced to the early 20th century to a group of dancers often labeled the forerunners of modern dance. Isadora Duncan, Loie Fuller, Ruth St. Dennis, and her husband and partner Ted Shawn, each made significant contributions to a new type of concert dance in America. Their dance reflected and challenged the art, philosophy, and issues of their time, explored the cultures of other places and times, made new advances in theatrical lighting and spectacle, and discarded the costumes and artificiality of ballet. They were exploring and expressing themselves in a way that had never been seen before, and they were guiding others to do the same.

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Lydia Johnson Bio

Lydia Johnson Dance

Originally from Massachusetts, Ms. Johnson studied at Suny/Purchase and on scholarship at The Alvin Ailey American Dance Center. She continued her studies on New York with Finis Jhung and Sara Rudner among others. She presented her early work in New York at numerous dance spaces and founded One Night Stand, a series of co-operative showcases, which allowed choreographers to present new work inexpensively. She has received a Monticello Foundation award sponsored by The National Association of Regional Ballet as well as a recent Harkness Dance Center Space Grant from the 92nd Street Y. LJD was founded in 1999 when Ms. Johnson returned to her choreography after taking several years to be home with her three children while working part time. She is a Guest Artist Faculty member at Peridance Capezio Center in New York City where she and her Company hold Repertory Workshops for advanced and professional dancers.

Lydia Johnson Dance (New York City and New Jersey) has been consistently praised for its distinctive choreography, which uses components of ballet woven seamlessly into a contemporary dance vocabulary. The Company has received positive critical acclaim from The New York Times, The New Yorker and Backstage Magazine for its annual New York Season.

LJD is honored to be highlighted frequently in Philip Gardner's Oberon's Grove blog in a series titled “The Creative Process”. LJD has performed recently at both Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and the Downtown Dance Festival. Ms. Johnson is a Guest Artist faculty member at the Peridance Capezio Center in New York where LJD presents Repertory Workshops for advanced and professional dancers.

Pieces Choreographed by Lydia Johnson


-Dusk Part 1

- Dusk Part 2

-Summer House

-Falling Out (excerpt)

-Movement 1. "Presto"

-Movement 2. "Sarabande"

-Movement 3. "Chaconne"

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BEAUTIFUL Contemporary Dance
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"Illusionary Puzzle" LineOut Contemporary Dance Prove
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