Jon Johnson, 52, a dancer and choreographer who brought a distinctive fusion of movement styles to the local dance community, died Jan. 24 in Los Angeles of complications from AIDS.
Born in Mississippi in 1950, Johnson began dancing professionally in Memphis with rhythm and blues groups. In 1970, he came to Los Angeles to hone his dance skills, and soon began training low-income teenagers under various federal programs.
In 1981, he formed Repertory Dance Theater of Los Angeles, choreographing works combining ballet and jazz-dance vocabularies with African American street idioms. The company toured Europe and the Far East in the 1980s.
Throughout his career, Johnson received more acclaim as a dancer than as a choreographer, but his sense of mission mattered more to him.