Natalie Deryn Johnson

The intention is to create encompassing experiences that consider ambiance of environment and the embodiment of consciousness in close proximity to an audience. Rippling with imagery from distant and intimate knowing, scientific and spiritual metaphor, the work is an empathic journey that weaves between personal and seemingly magical narratives. The musing body dances and speaks between grief and celebration with choreography germinating from movement languages based in contemporary dance, somatic and energetic studies, jazz traditions, everyday gestures and the view that the body is a body of water. There is a sense of contemplation and communal healing as the performance vessel moves through vulnerability, strength, subtlety and surprise. This exposing and metaphysical bent on theatrical traditions is a practice made to not only jest at transformation and personhood, but present a structure for experiential transcendence and witnessing. The aim is to exist earnestly and generously while bringing into focus the unsaid, forgotten or previously disconnected. As performance artist, poetic honesty and availability is a means to find tenderness, imagination and compassion. May we find the possibility to move through stories and find new relations as we take notice of the many phases of being, the kaleidoscope beauty of our reflections.

I will explore the relationship and discernment of movement qualities, metaphors, science and stories proliferated from the Water Cycle Solo Series (Evaporation, Condensation, Sublimation) and converge these findings with imagery sourced from the thread of water in my life pertaining to womanhood, awareness and vitality. Words that come to mind are inflammation, circulation, stillness and formless. I want to clarify the embodiment of water phase changes and the range between serenity and devastation. There is discovery to be made around structure and the influence of magical realism upon my practice. Playing with fluidity of presentation and the distillation of source material will help create the reservoir for this movement memoir. I will research within water, while drinking water and near water to notice its impact on the spontaneity and emergence of insight. I will challenge my connection to audience, environment, storytelling modality, chronology and form while pulling from female iconography that sparks of fragility and strength. Beyond physical and metaphysical research, there is intent to document movement and utterance while on site to investigate eventual multimedia imagery and bring deeper understanding to how my body breathes and remembers while submerged and emerged.


Natalie Deryn Johnson is an improvisational movement artist and poet based in New York City. Her most recent endeavor is a movement memoire, Patient History: a story exploring chronic illness and elevation. She has worked with famed dance photographer Lois Greenfield and regularly performs with Christina Noel and the Creature. Her work with Albert A. Garcia premiered at BAM, Dixon Place and Bowery Poetry Club. She holds a Scholastic National Gold Key in Photography and received her BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from UC Irvine. She dances in the rain and collaborates with artist of various mediums.

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