Can you really know how far you can go without pushing yourself as far as you can?

Most likely not. You can’t play it safe or constrained and have it both ways.

To push yourself to the outer limits can create tension. It’s an act of stretching something as far as it can go. Tension within and possibly with others in your circle.

That’s one of the many attractions to enjoying the work of Choreographer and Dancer, Loni Landon. article, pushingprogress. photo article, pushingprogress. photo

There’s clearly an amble supply of tension.

There is always tension between the possibilities we aspire to and our wounded memories and past mistakes.……..Sean Brady

Born in New York City, she’s a big city girl plying her trade in a big city environment. article, wikimedia photo article, wikimedia photo

Many of the show stopping dancers that we have previously written about were often born in smaller communities where they had big city dreams and had to uproot to pursue them.

Loni is not only a big city girl but also is a global big time player with an impressive resume.

The informative site shares, “Loni Landon is a Dancer, Choreographer, and Movement Consultant based in New York City. In addition to creating dances for her own collective Loni Landon Dance Projects, her work is commissioned by dance companies and Film Makers across the country.”

Ms. Landon received her BFA in Dance from The Juilliard School in 2005. While a student at the NYC High School of Performing Arts, Ms. Landon was a NFAA Young Arts Modern Dance Winner. After Juilliard, Loni performed with Aszure Barton and Artists, Ballet Theater Munich, Tanz Munich Theater, and The Metropolitan Opera.

The Princeton site adds, “Landon is the 2013 Princess Grace Choreography Fellowship winner awarded with BODYTRAFFIC.  As a sought after choreographer, her work has been commissioned by Keigwin and Company, Whim, LEVY DANCE, The Juilliard School, BODYTRAFFIC, American Dance Institute (for Loni Landon Dance Projects), Northwest Dance Project, Hubbard Street II, Ballet X, Ballet Austin, SUNY Purchase, and Marymount Manhattan College.  Her company has performed at The Joyce Theater and Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out Series, as well as at Bryant Park and the first annual Beach Sessions in Rockaway Beach. article, photo article, photo

Landon has won numerous awards including 1st Prize Winner of Ballet Austin’s New American Talent Competition, Winner of Northwest Dance Project’s “Pretty Creatives’” Choreography Competition, Winner of the Next Commission from CityDance Ensemble, Finalist in the International Solo Tanz Theater Competition in Stuttgart, Germany, and Finalist in the Hannover International Choreography Competition.”

The tension between ‘yes’ and ‘no’, between ‘I can’ and ‘I cannot’, makes us feel that, in so many instances, human life is an interminable debate with one’s self.…….Anatole Broyard

In 2010, Ms. Landon co-founded the Playground (New York City) alongside Mr. Gregory Dolbashian.

The Playground is an open forum where professional dancers directly engage with emerging and established choreographers. The program offers the most affordable place to explore artistry, bond as a dance community, and network with some of New York City’s freshest talent.

Even for those of us new to dance, that is an extremely impressive resume.

In watching Loni’s choreography videos online, tense at times though they may be, her work has a way of mesmerizing.

One view of why her work has enthralled many is found at her Facebook page. She shares regarding her company, “Projects is inspired by pure movement. It is highly physical, dynamic, and challenging while delivering a seamless, effortless execution.”

They also encourage dancers to contribute their emotional currency to the integrity of the work.

Loni aims to deliver dynamic shifts of energy and raw emotion, to her audience.

The Constitution is never tested during times of tranquility; it is during times of tension, turmoil, tragedy, trauma, and terrorism that it is sorely tested.……….Mike Honda

The respected industry site sheds some insight as well. “Loni Landon’s choreography is all about building tension. She plays with the kind of opposites—grounded partnering and light, subtle weight shifts, supple spines and slicing limbs—that are only successful in the hands of a confident artist.”

At Loni’s company site, her vision speaks to the importance of an open forum not only for students and teachers but also presenters who may observe classes.

In an interview with Loni explains why it’s important to see this development occur. She explains, “Many times the audiences’ experience of a work is a lot different than the choreographers and the dancer’s experience of the work.

Both are extremely important. We want to expose the process of making choreography and the dancer’s effort in learning it. In the process and rehearsal of creating dance, there is a beautiful roughness—there is laughter, frustration, community, camaraderie, exploration, and play.” article, photo article, photo

So much of the global attraction to the world of dance that is greatly enhanced by artists like Loni is that their work inspires and allows us to keep thinking about the philosophy of using tension, sometimes in all of its forms, to stretch our boundaries.

Joshua Loth Liebman (1907-1948) was an American rabbi and best-selling author, best known for the book Peace of Mind, which spent more than a year at #1 on the New York Times Best Seller list.

Born in Hamilton, Ohio, Mr. Liebman graduated from the University of Cincinnati when he was only 19 years old. He went on to be ordained and also earned a doctorate in Hebrew letters from Hebrew Union College.

Clearly a high achiever with a short life span, his is a powerful life lesson of why every moment in life counts. He was once quoted as saying, “Maturity is achieved when a person accepts life is full of tension.”

In reviewing Ms. Landon’s body of work, where she’s been and how far she’s gone, clearly her work can be described as mature.

That’s great…….for now.

As Mr. Liebman helped us to understand though, no matter how mature your work is, it has not reached full maturity.

We look forward to more great and exciting works from Loni Landon as it glides towards expanded maturity.

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Sources:, Wikipedia,, FCI Elite Competitor, photos thank you Wikimedia Commons.