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Symara Johnson ’19

A Portland, OR native residing in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, Symara Johnson ’19 has immersed herself in interdisciplinary and choreographic studies globally. Her work varies due to the different influences she’s embraced throughout her life.

Johnson is a recipient of the Dai Ailian Foundation Scholarship based in Trinidad and Tobago.

The scholarship led her to Beijing, China where she spent two years gaining an associate in modern choreography at the renowned Beijing Dance Academy.

Symara was a resident artist for Bearnstow, Gibney 6.2, Gallims’ Moving Artist residency, and a 2022 Center for Performance Research Artist-in-Residence and Brooklyn Arts Exchange space grantee.

She has had film works commissioned by Berlin-based choreographer Christoph Winkler. Johnson has presented work at the WIP Showing at Bates Dance Festival, Judson Church, Smush Gallery, The Craft, BAAD, CreateArtXGallim, WIM Salon, Mount Vernon Community Theatre, ACMA, The Forum Art Space, Moving Art Exchange, Chez Bushwhick, The Beijing Dance Academy Theatre and venues throughout NYC and Germany.

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Johnson performed “The Kitchen Sink Wrangler at the Midnight Rodeo” at Out-FRONT! Festival 2023 in January, a New York Times Critic’s Pick.

The Bessie Awards honored Johnson in 2023 with the Outstanding Breakout Choreographer Award for making an exceptional career leap.

Awards / Residencies

Bessie Award

Outstanding Breakout Choreographer