Lorin Johnson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Dance at California State University, Long Beach. He trained at the Pacific Dance Theatre and the San Francisco Ballet School, dancing professionally with the San Francisco Ballet before joining the American Ballet Theatre in New York under the directorship of Mikhail Baryshnikov. Johnson performed at ABT until 1995, appearing in eight seasons at the Metropolitan Opera House, touring nationally and internationally and performing in “Live from Lincoln Center” television broadcasts. Johnson created original roles in ballets by such renowned choreographers as Ulysses Dove, Clark Tippet and Agnes DeMille, among others. He has worked with some of the 20th century’s most renowned choreographers, including Glen Tetley, Kenneth Macmillan, Twyla Tharp, and Jerome Robbins.
Johnson’s choreographic work has been described as “dynamic” and “electrifying” and has seen both in the US and abroad. He has been commissioned to create works for the South Bay Ballet, Ventura County Ballet, Festival Ballet Theatre, and LA Grand Ensemble, among others. His work has been presented in national and international dance festivals, including the Fabbrica Europa Dance Festival in Florence, Italy; Celebrate Dance in Los Angeles; the Orange County Performing Arts Center’s Invitational Dance Festival; the Laguna Dance Festival; the Dance Under the Stars Choreography Festival in Palm Springs, and the Los Angeles Dance Invitational at the Ford Amphitheater. He has been artist in residence at such universities as Skidmore College, New York, and at the Orange County High School of the Arts (OCHSA) in Southern California. In 2003, Danza & Danza wrote that Johnson’s piece, Moto-Bio: Bodies in Movement, was “a work of extraordinary interest.”
In 2009, Johnson founded Body Current Dance (www.bodycurrent.org), a contemporary dance company based in Southern California. BCD is a Los Angeles based project dance company, and has performed Johnson’s work at the Laguna Dance Festival, Celebrate Dance 2010, the Los Angeles Dance Invitational 2011, So Cal Dance Invitational 2012, and Dance Bistro 2013, receiving positive reviews in the press. In 2010, the Glendale News Press stated that Johnson’s work, My Breath Comes Differently, was “the best performance” in Celebrate Dance.
Since 2004, Johnson has served on the faculty of the American Ballet Theatre summer intensive program and in 2013 he was named the Artistic Coordinator of ABT’s program in Orange County. He is a certified teacher of ABT National Training Curriculum and teaches and adjudicates audition classes for the ABT summer intensives program. Johnson has taught master classes in ballet nationally and internationally, and in 2013 was invited to teach a master class at the St. Petersburg State Conservatory, Russia (former school of Tchaikovksy and Balanchine.)
Johnson’s writings on dance have been published in Dance International and Dance Teacher magazines, as well as in such peer-reviewed journals as Theatre, Dance and Performance Training. Johnson is the Guest Editor of the academic journal, Experiment (Volume 20: “Kinetic Los Angeles: Russian Émigrés in the City of Self-Transformation”), which will be published by Brill in fall 2014. He has been a guest pre-performance speaker at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts and the Los Angeles Music Center, as well as presenting papers at international conferences such as the Congress on Research in Dance. In 2013 Johnson served as Artistic Advisor for the Music Center’s festival LA’s Rite: Stravinsky, Innovation and Dance. Under sponsorship of the U.S. Consulate, Johnson co-curated an exhibition of Los Angeles dance photographs in St. Petersburg, Russia at the Russian State Museum of Theatre and Music as part of the international arts festival, Diaghilev P.S. While in Russia, he was an invited speaker at such presigious institutions as the St. Petersburg State University of Culture and Arts. He has B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Southern California.