John Erdman

John Erdman was born in 1948 in New York City where he still lives and works. In 1968 while studying at Tufts University in Boston he saw Yvonne Rainer’s "The Mind is a Muscle" and Andy Warhol’s Chelsea Girls. This inspired him to move back to New York and begin working with visual artists who were exploring performance. Throughout 1970 he worked with Joan Jonas, and in 1972 after having participated in many of Yvonne Rainer’s large group pieces, she cast him as the male personas in "This is the story of a woman who…". As part of this piece Erdman performed Rainer’s seminal dance "Trio A". The "non-dancer" doing technical dance was a trademark of her work. From 1975-1978 he worked with Richard Foreman in his Ontological-Hysteric Theater, which utilized many acting styles, most notably Farce, Kabuki and Bertolt Brecht’s "Dialectical" approach. In Robert Wilson’s "Edison" 1979, Erdman’s small precise gestures were contrasted against Wilson’s operatic visions. In 1983 he was one of two actors driving the narrative within a company of ballet dancers in Karole Armitage’s "Paradise". His last stage performance was in Hope Gillerman’s "Family in the Works" 1992. Throughout his performing career, from 1971 till the present, Erdman has worked with many filmmakers and videographers, most notably: Yvonne Rainer, Peter Campus, Sheila McLaughlin, Charles Atlas, Gary Schneider and Heinz  Emigholz.