Johnson Louis


Classical Ballet / Choreographer

Louis Johnson is a true craftsman in the theatre and has worked in every phase of the business. He is co-creator of \"Let My People Go,\" Avodah\'s Multicultural dance/theater piece, which retells the Exodus story from both a Jewish and African-American perspective. He and JoAnne created this piece in 1989 and it continues to be widely acclaimed in performances throughout the United States.

He began his career as a ballet dancer with the New York City Ballet under George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. He appeared on Broadway in \"Damn Yankees\" and \"Hallelujah Baby\" and went on to choreograph the Broadway production \"Treemonisha\" and \"Purlie\" for which he received a Tony Award nomination. He choreographed for the Lauren Bacall and John Forsythe television special \"The Light Fantastic,\" The Ed Sullivan Show, Radio City Music Hall, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, and Peter Allen. He has mounted ballets for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, The Cincinnati Ballet and The Dance Theatre of Harlem. He choreographed The Metropolitan Opera\'s television production of \"Aida\" with Leontyne Price. His \"Fontessa and Friends\" garnered such acclaim that he was asked to choreograph it for Dance in America\'s television series. He choreographed the movies \"Cotton Comes to Harlem\" and \"The Wiz\" starring Diana Ross and Michael Jackson. Mr. Johnson won an Audelco Award for his choreography in Melvin Van Peebles\' \"The Champeen.\" In Europe he staged the jazz show \"Reminiscing in Tempo\" by Jon Hendricks. Mr. Johnson is director of the dance department at Henry Street Settlement in New York City.

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  • Avodah Dance Ensemble
    New York