Lorin Johnson trained at the Pacific Dance Theatre before becoming a full-scholarship student at the San Francisco Ballet School. He trained with such influential teachers as: Richard Gibson, Yehuda Maor, Tina Santos, Daniel Simmons, Larisa Sklyanskaya, Helen Coope, Henry Berg, Richard Cammack, Zola Dishong, Christine Bering, and Anatole Vilzak. Johnson danced with the San Francisco Ballet from 1986-1987 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 dance companies and 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,” and the Glendale News Press stated that Johnson's work, My Breath Comes Differently, was "the best performance" in Celebrate Dance 2010.
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, the former school of George Balanchine
In 2009, Johnson founded Body Current Dance (www.bodycurrent.org), a contemporary dance company based in Southern California. Johnson is currently an Associate Professor in the Dance Department at California State University, Long Beach, where he teaches courses in ballet technique, composition and history. His writings on dance have been published in Dance International and Dance Teacher magazines, as well as in the peer-reviewed journal Theatre, Dance and Performance Training (Routledge) and in Experiment and Musyka. Johnson 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, curating an exhibition of rare Los Angeles dance photographs that were presented at the Russian State Museum of Theatre and Music as part of the Diaghilev P.S. Festival. He has B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Southern California.
Photo in graphic by Marc Rouyer