Interview with Linda K. Johnson (2015)


Interview with Linda K. Johnson (2015)


Streaming Media


Linda K. Johnson is a professional, dance-based multidisciplinary artist in Portland. Her career in dance includes performance, choreography, and instruction with numerous collaborators, studios, and programs including Portland State University, Reed College, the Oregon Ballet Theater, Jefferson High School, and Conduit.

Recorded for the documentary Moving History: Portland Contemporary Dance Past and Present.

Interview Date





Linda K. Johnson is a dancer, choreographer, performer, and teacher whose works are often creative explorations of space, movement, and community, such as her multi-day performance on the Portland Urban Growth Boundary entitled The View From Here. Similarly, in 2008, with choreographers Cydney Wilkes, Linda Austin, and Tere Mathern, writer Randy Gragg, and the Third Angle Music Ensemble, Linda K. Johnson created The City Dance of Lawrence and Anna Halprin, which was presented as part of PICA’s TBA:08. The project involved more than 40 dancers and over 100 musicians performing at (and in) the Ira Keller Fountain.

Johnson grew up in Portland. Between 1986-1991 she danced for many different people, and in 1992 created Finding the Forest, a site-specific project of her own. She opened a studio for rehearsal called Coil in 1993. In 1995, she co-founded Conduit with Mary Oslund, and served as the Director of Education and Outreach at Oregon Ballet Theatre from 2000-05.

In addition to creating and performing, Linda K. Johnson has taught at Mills College, the University of Oregon, Reed College, Lewis and Clark College, Portland State University, Conduit, and at Jefferson High School with Keith V. Goodman, and developed the Modern Dance program there.

She is currently an adjunct faculty member at Portland State University. Johnson also is a teacher of Contemporary Alexander Technique, and one of five custodians of Yvonne Rainer’s seminal post-modern work, Trio A.

Interviewer Eric Nordstrom is a dance performer, filmmaker and professor. As a director and editor, his interests focus on the intersection of dance, improvisation, documentary, and film. His past and current film work features such prominent dancers and scholars as Ann Cooper Albright and Simone Forti. In Seattle, he has performed with Karen Nelson, and in Portland, Oregon, was a core company member with Oslund+Company. Eric has taught contemporary technique, contact improvisation, and dance film courses in colleges and festivals throughout the U.S., including Macalester College, Kenyon College, Reed College, Portland State University, Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation, Conduit Dance, and The Ohio State University, where he earned his Master of Fine Arts. He is on faculty at Lewis and Clark College.


This interview is made available through the Portland State University Library Special Collections and University Archives with the generous permission of Eric Nordstrom, Portland Performing Arts Video and is for educational and non-commercial use only. It cannot be reproduced in any form, distributed or played for commercial purposes. For more information, please contact Special Collections at Portland State University Library at: or (503) 725-9883

Persistent Identifier

Interview with Linda K. Johnson (2015)