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Jean Erdman, a legend & pioneer, combined together dance & myth

Jean Erdman
Jean Erdman

Jean Erdman is a magical, pioneering legend whose name I would guess doesn’t ring a bell for many of you. Yet she touched, influenced and transformed 20th century consciousness of myth and culture in modern dance and theatre in lasting ways.

Dancer, choreographer and director Jean Erdman occupies a unique position with her genius for distilling human experience into abstract. A soloist with the Martha Graham Company from 1938 to 1943, she created many roles in the repertoire in that historic period. Later, she collaborated with many distinguished artistes including John Cage and Merce Cunningham. Her most intimate collaboration, that with her husband Joseph Campbell over a 50-year marriage, led to the profound embrace of the mythological dimension in her work.