Jonathan Matthews, hailing from Memphis, Tennessee, is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a minor in music from Steinhardt’s school of Culture, Education, and Human Development, where he studied with Phyllis Lamhut, Gus Solomons, Jr., and Stephen Petronio, and contributed to the processes of original works by Pamela Pietro, Charlotte Boye-Christensen, Kendra Portier, and Deborah Jowitt. His studies have taken him abroad to Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance, Springboard Danse Montreal, and Toscana Dance HUB, where he studied accompaniment with Robert Boston and returned to with Tisch Dean Allyson Green to work on her traveling installation Sacred Sky, Sacred Earth. A collaborative musician, Jonathan currently plays for technique class at his alma mater, has created original music for Giada Ferrone, Patrick Corbin, and Rashaun Mitchell, and is currently co-music directing Medicine Show Theatre’s upcoming production of Bound To Rise. Performing, among others, with Darrah Carr Dance, ChristinaNoel & The Creature, and Valerie Green/Dance Entropy, he also contributes site-specific movement direction to This is Not a Theatre Company, with whom he will be traveling to Kerala, India in February 2017. In the winter and spring seasons you can catch Jonathan with Perri Institute breath lecturer Lynn Martin at Carnegie Hall with the Cecilia Chorus of New York. His criticism on performance can be found at Eye On Dance and the Arts, The Dance Enthusiast, and The Journal of Dance Education. A resident artist at Trinity Episcopal Church of Morrisania with the Episcopal Service Corps of New York and a certified and licensed yoga teacher and Mind Body Dancer® teacher through the Perri Institute for Mind and Body, Jonathan is passionate about seeking, maintaining, integrating, and sharing a wide range of interdisciplinary study through physical practice.
what does the student/teacher relationship mean to you?
A window into (as a teacher) where you were and (as a student) where you could be. I like to imagine my various student/teacher relationships as cross-temporal partnerships, where, within the teacher’s passing on of knowledge, skill, and wisdom, both parties are constantly enriching each other – inspiring, uncovering, and reminding.
how has your study of yoga or connection to our community related to a project or pathway in your life?
I currently teach movement classes in several Episcopalian churches throughout the city that draw heavily on my yoga training, but manifest in a variety of content, equally influenced by my postmodern dance training. It is endlessly fascinating to see how the building of community is enriched by the building of a sense of communion with one’s own body, and how practicing abstract movement can give people who are not used to expressing their bodies on a daily basis, a visceral connection to today’s, at times, overwhelming current events.