Career Narrative:

Lonny Joseph Gordon developed an international career as a theatre design innovator after receiving a Master of Fine Arts degree in Painting and Choreography from the University of  Wisconsin-Madison, 1967.  Having an international career of 50 years as a creative force and performer, he also devotes his energies to ranching, painting, gardening, creative research, and teaching.  He has been invited to teach visual arts and choreography for India’s National School of Drama, the University of  Stockholm, the National College of Chinese Culture, Chautauqua Institution, Smith College, Hampshire College, Yale University, the Seoul Institute of the Arts, and numerous other centers for learning.  He has been Artist in Residence and Guest Artist throughout the world at over 160 institutions and cultural centers.

His creative work includes over 200 art/dance/theatre works commissioned by sponsors as diverse as the World Exposition in Osaka, Japan; the Cultural Dances of Malaysia; the Museum of Modern Arts in Stockholm; the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the Museum of Fine Art n Japan; Star Dancers Ballet of Tokyo; Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art; Northwestern University; the Chicago Moving Company; the Ruth Page Foundation; Kanopy Dance Theatre; and Winifred Haun and Dancers.  

Professor Gordon’s interest in cross-cultural studies led to the 

completion of a Master’s Degree in Classical Japanese Dance - Cultural Studies from the Nishikawa School as the first non-Japanese student graduated, 1980. Other honors include a Professional Fellowship from the Japan Foundation in 1979, performances with the Umewaka Noh Theatre, numerous grants to study Bugaku and Noh in Japan, a Fulbright Grant to research Korean Culture in 1983, and a fellowship awarded by the Korean Performing Arts Institute for study at the Korean Traditional Performing Arts Center, 1994 and 1995.  On two consecutive Fulbright grants, he was a 3-year apprentice in the Grand Kabuki Theater of Japan, 1967 - 1969 Grants supporting his creative research include: Mobile Foundation - 1971-72, National Endowment for the Arts - 1982-83, Nevada Arts Council, University of Nevada Professional Development, the Nevada Design Arts in Architecture and the Environment, University of Wisconsin (to investigate the rituals in Aztec and Mayan cultures and the surviving Indian folk arts of Mexico).  

Not only has Professor Gordon distinguished himself as a performer, 

choreographer, and visual artist, but also as a writer.  He has held the position of cultural reviewer for the Asahi Evening News of Japanand the Korean Times.

His articles have been published by Japan Quarterly, Japan Culture Institute, Okura Lantern, Dance Scope, Choom of Korea, Center for the Investigation of Dance in Mexico, Performing Arts Journal, and in March 2017 in the Japanese Art Society of America magazine Impressions - edited by Julia Meech.  He served as a cultural writer for the Capital Times in Wisconsin, edited translations of articles about  Japanese culture and fine arts for Encyclopedia Britannica, and as a reader for William C. Brown Company. 

He has distinguished himself as a masterful and visionary leader in the roles he has held ranging from Dance Chairman in Wisconsin and Nevada, Development Director for the Performing Arts Center in Las Vegas, and Emeritus Dean of Fine Arts at Illinois State University. 2017 is 49 years of fine arts administration.  2018 is the 50th Anniversary of  GORDONDANCE.  After returning in 1976 to the University of Wisconsin - Madison to join the faculty, Lonny Gordon was granted tenure in 1981 as an Associate Professor and Resident Artist.  In 1985, he 

was promoted to the rank of Professor and held the positions of Graduate Studies Coordinator, Dance Chair, and Resident Artist.  From 1993 - 1999, Lonny Gordon was the Southwest  Regional Representative for the American College Dance Association and subsequently served as the National Vice President for Membership from 1999 – 2004. 

As an arts advocate, Professor Gordon was the Director of Development for the Performing Arts Center at UNLV 1994 -1998, a member of the Nevada Arts Advocates, and a member of the National Society of Fund Raising Executives.  He is an artistic contributor with the Ruth Page Foundation, the Fulbright Commission, Kanopy Dance Theatre, Winifred Haun and Dancers, Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth, Michael Mao Dance, and is a member of International and National Boards of Directors for Arts Foundations and Granting Review Panels.  He is a 21st century Renaissance Artist with internationally evolved talents in Art, Dance, Film, Music, and Theatre. He contributes to the ecology of the human spirit as an author, an artist, a choreographer, an educator, a fundraiser, and an advocate for the fine arts. GORDONDANCE, founded in 1968, is a world acclaimed dance/art/theatre company creating original cutting edge work.  

In recent years, GORDONDANCE has been presented in: Madison, Wisconsin by Kanopy Dance Theatre, Chicago, Illinois by Winifred Haun, Fort Worth, Texas by the Museum of Modern Art, Los Angeles, California by the California International Theatre Festival, New York City by Alvin Ailey City Corp Theatre, Santa Fe, New Mexico by Lensic Performing Arts Theatre.  World touring includes Britain,Canada, Chile, China,Croatia, Cuba, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands, Russia, Scotland, Sweden, Taiwan, and many other 


Original Solos created for Mr. Gordon have been staged by Shirley Dodge, Winifred Haun, Kazuko Hirabayashi, Kerry Kreiman, Katherine Litz. Michael Mao, 

Anna Nassif, Koisaaburo Nishikawa,  Ruth Page, Rudy Perez, Don Redlich, Lisa Thurrell, Yasuyuki Umewaka, and Kiyohiko Yamada. 

World artistic collaborations include: Usman Awang, Ruth Kaufman Bauman, Roberto Carlos, Robert Chesley, Michael Dant, Tatsuhiko Heima, Shuichi Kanno. Larry Junkins, Libertad Lamarque, Toshiro Mayazumi, Joseph Novak, Gaffar Pourazar, Thomas Powell, Mara Purl, Stephan Sandy, William Stephenson, Jimmy Wright, Jack Yantis, Kazuo Yura, and many others. 

Lonny Joseph Gordon has returned to the roots of his birthplace in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas where he continues Gordon Ranch since 1902 and the worldwide creative work of GORDONDANCE founded in 1968.

Gordon Ranch / GORDONDANCE:  P. O. Box 1643, San Juan, Texas  78589-1643 

please note: copyright of GORDONDANCE is as one word in all CAPS.


Gordon new TRI FOLD updated(1) (pdf)