Born February 20, 1916, Honolulu, HI
Jean Erdman’s early dance training included ancient hula, tap and Isadora Duncan technique. As a student at Sarah Lawrence College she encountered the two major influences on her life: Martha Graham and the scholar, Joseph Campbell. In 1938 she married Campbell and began rehearsals with the Graham Company the following day. As a principal dancer in the Graham Company, Erdman established herself as a leading artist of the post-pioneering period of American modern dance. In 1962 her production, The Coach with the Six Insides, an adaptation of James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake won OBIE and Vernon Rice Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Off-Broadway Theater, before taking off on a world tour. Her 1971 Tony-nominated choreography for Joseph Papp’s production of Two Gentlemen of Verona, Lincoln Center production of Jean Giradoux’s The Flies, along with the more than fifty dances and total-theater works she choreographed for her company reflect the intricate blending of world dance and theater styles that is the hallmark of her aesthetic vision. Throughout her career Erdman championed world dance as a source of individual creativity and an important expression of the human spirit.
Jean Erdman's Works
Premiere Date: 1943