Keith Johnson is originally from Tempe, Arizona. He was a competitive gymnast through college before he became interested in dance. He received his MFA in dance with an emphasis in choreography from the University of Utah in 1991 where he received the Dee R. Winterton Award for Excellence in Dance. While in Salt Lake City, Keith danced in the Ririe Woodbury Dance Company working with such choreographers as Alwin Nikolais, Murray Louis, Shapiro and Smith, Kei Takei, and Loa Clawson. In New York City he joined the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, touring the widely acclaimed work Still/Here both nationally and internationally. He also danced in the companies of Creach/Koester and Doug Varone and Dancers. He has also done pick-up work dancing in the companies of Spencer/Colton in Boston and Janis Brenner in California. As part of Doug Varone and Dancers, Keith performed with The Denver Opera and in a site-specific work Neither, which took place in The Lower East Side Tenement Museum in New York City. As a performer he has performed in major festivals and concert halls worldwide including the Joyce Theatre, the Redcat Theatre, Tokyo International Festival, The Melbourne Festival, and Queen Elizabeth Hall in England.
In 1998, Keith formed Keith Johnson/Dancers. The company received favorable reviews from the Los Angeles Times. Since 1998, the company has performed in California, North Carolina, Utah, Minnesota, New York City and Arizona. Keith continues to perform, most recently with Colleen Thomas Dance at St. Mark’s Church in New York and Jacob’s Pillow in Massachusetts. Keith also performed in The Pod Project by choreographer/director Nancy Bannon. Keith is currently working/touring as a dancer with Bill Young/Colleen Thomas and Dancers as well as with Victoria Marks. Keith is currently on the faculty at California State University in Long Beach. He is a Full Professor who teaches both composition and contemporary dance techniques. He is an advisor to the MFA candidates and the BFA students. In addition, Keith has been a guest teacher at the following institutions: NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts Summer Program, The Julliard School, Dartmouth College, LaSalle College of the Arts in Singapore, The Ririe/Woodbury Summer Dance Intensive, Doug Varone and Dancers Summer Workshop, University of California at Santa Barbara, Scottsdale Community College in Arizona, Brigham Young University, Virginia Commonwealth University, St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, University of South Florida, Ballet Pacifica Summer Intensive, Southern Methodist University in Texas, Velocity Dance Center, Strictly Seattle Festival, Malashock Summer Intensive, 5 x5 Summer Intensive, and the University of Utah. In 2005, the Outstanding Graduate Student Recipient, Rogelio Lopez Garcia at CSULB, named Keith Most Valuable Professor. Keith received the Choo San Goh Award in 2002 for emerging choreographers and has had support from the Dance/USA Foundation. His work has been shown in various venues including the University of Utah (with Stephen Koester), The LIT Series, Joyce Soho (with Colleen Thomas), The Rose Wagner Theater in Salt Lake City, The Center Stage Theatre (with Stephanie Nugent), Commuter Festival (CalArts) and The Diavolo Space. His work has been commissioned by the Ririe/Woodbury Dance Company, d9 Collective, CONDER/dance, Contemporary Danceworks, various solo artists, and universities. Keith also makes dance films with collaborator Gregory R. R. Crosby and together they have formed Fistbomb Films. Their film, Life In Security, has been screened at the Breaking Ground Festival and Film Bar (both in Arizona), Westfest (New York), Dance For The Camera Festival (California), and will be screened this June at the American Dance Festival’s International Screendance Festival. In addition, Keith has explored visual arts in areas of printmaking, art installations, sculpture, and costuming and hopes to further his studies in the visual arts.