Philip Johnston has performed with leading modern dance companies in Europe including Janet Smith and Dancers, Moving Being, Inge Lonnroth and Company, and Collage Dance Company and has appeared with Maurice Béjart at the London Coliseum. He has performed in works by Jackie Lansley, Geoff Moore, Robert North, Christopher Bruce, Gill Clarke, Janet Smith, Helen Lewis, and Inge Lonnroth. In the United States he has performed in works by José Limón, Bill Young, Laurie Carlos, and Shozo Sato and was invited to perform with the Martha Graham Dance Company. In London Philip's principal dance studies were with Viola Farber, Noami Lapzeson, Albert Reid, Dan Waggoner, Belinda Quirey, Nina Fonaroff, Pytt Geddes, Jane Dudley, Lynn Seymour, and Brenda Laast.
Philip has performed extensively at modern dance festivals around the globe: in New York in Britain Salutes New York; in France at the Centre George Pompidou, Paris, and the Aix en Provence Festival; and British Council Festivals in Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Hong Kong. Further international touring includes performances in Germany, Norway, Greece, Belgium, Holland, Cyprus, Denmark, Sweden, Italy, and the United Kingdom. He has danced for the English Bach Festival in London at Covent Garden, the Royal Festival Hall, the Banqueting Hall, the Old Vic, and the Queen Elizabeth Hall; in France in Versailles and the Dijon Opera House; in Spain in the Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona and opera houses in Tarragona and Valencia; in Greece in the Herod Atticus Dance Festival in Athens; and in the Principality of Monaco.
Philip was the artistic director of the Norwegian Modern Dance Company, a Norwegian state funded company, for five years. He was the co-founder of the Ulster Youth Dance Company and has choreographed over thirty dance works for the stage.
Acting roles in theatre productions include Woyzeck, Oh What a Lovely War, The American Dream, The Crucible, Iago's Plot, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Importance of Being Oscar, Cabaret, Calvary, and Hamlet Machine. Theatre direction includes Tom, The King of the Great Clock Tower, The Hawk's Well, Old Times, The Waste Land, and The Importance of Being Oscar. Movement direction for theatre includes The Herne's Egg, The Shadowy Waters, The Other Shore, The Duchess of Malfi, Oh What a Lovely War, 44 Presidents, Spring Awakening, Dancing at Lughnasa, Sword against the Sea, The Tempest, Peer Gynt, Romeo and Juliet, The Lark, The Grapes of Wrath, and Zorba. Opera direction includes Dido and Aeneas, La Serva Padrona, The Beggar's Opera, and The Little Sweep. Movement direction for Baroque suites and opera includes The Barber of Seville, The Water Music, Zephyre, Armide, The Fairy Queen, King Arthur, and Telemann Suites.
Dance film credits include London Dance Umbrella, BBC Television, NRK-Norway, Channel Four Productions, Norwegian Film, and the feature film Outland. Philip was the movement director for A Removals Job, which was screened at several major film festivals.
Philip has received honors, fellowships, and funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland; the British Council; the Bass Charrington Company; the Norwegian Fund for Performing Artists; the Norwegian Culture Council; the London School of Contemporary Dance; the Skinners Guild of London; the Ulster Scots Agency; the Somme Museum; and the Charles and Harriet Luckman Undergraduate Distinguished Teaching Award, Creative Research Awards, and Special Grants Awards from the College of Fine and Applied Arts at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Faculty and guest teaching includes the University of Surrey (United Kingdom); the University of Tubingen (Germany); Ludwigsberg Teachers College (Germany); Inner-London Education Authority (United Kingdom); the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (United Kingdom); the American College Dance Festival (United States); the Norwegian State Ballet School (Norway); Dansens Hus (Denmark); Illinois State University (United States); the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (United States); Joseph Holmes Dance Company (United States); Columbia College Chicago (United States); Arc Dance Company (United Kingdom); Dance Theatre Rollo (Finland); the Dance Society of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, and Ipoh (Malaysia); Scottish Dance Theatre (United Kingdom); the University of Inner Mongolia (China); and the Crescent Arts Center and Fringe Benefits Theatre Company (United Kingdom).
Philip's publications include The Lost Tribe in the Mirror: Four Playwrights of Northern Ireland (Lagan Press, 2009) and Nina Fonaroff: Life and Art in Dance (Celtic Press, 2015). He is a contributing writer for the Encyclopedia of Europe.
Philip earned a BA with honors in English and History from the University of Ulster; a Certificate of Merit in Dance and Choreography from the London School of Contemporary Dance; an MFA in Dance and a PhD in Theatre History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and an Alexander Certification from the Urbana Center for the Alexander Technique.