Photo by Pierre Radisic
ERIN MATTHIESSEN is a native of the Pacific Northwest but his father’s job kept the family relocating frequently until they came to Maryland in 1961. He started his dance training with Julia Mayer in Damascus, Maryland, when he was twelve years old. His training was spotty until he studied and performed with Margaret Jenkins in San Francisco. In New York Erin continued his studies in Cunningham Technique at the Merce Cunningham Studio in Westbeth. He has performed in many places around the world with The Scottish Ballet (Glasgow, Scotland), Laura Dean Dancers and Musicians, Lucinda Childs Dance Company, John Bernd and the Mark Morris Dance Group, including the three years the company was in residence at La Monnaie in Brussels, Belgium. Erin was also known as a teacher, first in company workshops, then for five years as part of the dance faculties at the University of Washington (Seattle) and the University of Colorado (Boulder). In 1992 Erin resigned his position at UC Boulder to enter the Benedictine Monastery of Christ in the Desert in the high desert country of northern New Mexico. After three years of work and study, Erin left the monastery and joined his brother and sister in Portland, Oregon where he has remained ever since. In 1998, Erin went back to school to train to be a nurse, graduating in June 2000 at the age of fifty. He worked for 17 years at the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, as a nursing assistant and then as a registered nurse specializing in care of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Stroke patients until retiring in 2014. He lives with his husband Jim and cat Buddy in an old house near an extinct volcano on the east side of the city. This is his home, where he hopes to remain until his final departure from this world (he and Jim have even bought their burial plots).