Early 1960s

Astor Johnson and Ronald C. Emrit - A Break from Classes at Howard University, Washington, DC (1966)


DATE OF BIRTH: Late 1930s
PLACE OF BIRTH: Arouca, Trinidad
EDUCATION: Howard University, Washington, DC, USA (BA in Education)
CAREER:                                 Johnson danced as a youth with the Burey Thomas and the Julia Edwards dance companies before leaving Trinidad in the mid-1960s to pursue a degree in Education at Howard University. He continued to perform while at Howard and made numerous appearances with The Trinidad Steelband of Washington, DC, dancing the "flaming limbo" and other popular Trinidad dances. While in the USA, he received training at various Black Dance institutions, such as the Erika Thimey Dance Theatre, the Harlem Dance Theatre, and the Maida Withers and Paul Sansardo School of New York. He returned to Trinidad in 1970, formed his own dance group, The Astor Johnson Repertory Dance Theatre of Trinidad and Tobago, and choreographed his own shows. In 1989, his legacy was established when his dance group was awarded a Trinidad & Tobago Humming Bird Medal Gold for its contribution to the culture. In a tribute to its founder, artistic director, and resident choreographer, The Astor Johnson Repertory Dance Theatre staged the show "Astor" at Queen's Hall on September 14, 2003.
  • 1991 - Trinidad & Tobago Humming Bird Medal Silver (for Culture - posthumously)
DIED: 1985 in New York, USA
Compiled by Ronald C. Emrit