Erin Thompson's performance career began as a member of the Minnesota Dance Theatre in 1970. She was with that company for ten years, performing in such venues as Northrop Auditorium, O'Shaughnessy Auditorium and the The State Theater in the Twin Cities, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in Massachusetts and in Spoleto, Italy. She danced for a year in Montreal with jazz choreographer Peter Georges, formerly of Les Ballets Jazz, before moving in 1981 to New York City.
Ms. Thompson's ten years in NYC were spent in the post-modern companies of Nina Wiener, formerly with Twyla Tharp Dance, and world renowned African American choreographer Bebe Miller. She danced on many stages in NYC including Dance Theater Workshop and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, where she performed with Nina Wiener and Dancers in the prestigious Next Wave Festival. She toured extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe, performing in Seattle, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, London, Paris, Munich, Amsterdam, Groningen, Glasgow, Heraclion and many other cities and regions.
Since moving back to Minneapolis in 1990, Ms. Thompson performed for two years with the Zenon Dance Company, including works by Danny Buraczeski, Bebe Miller, Doug Varone, Joe Goode, and David Dorfman. In 1993 she and her husband Byron Richard launched their own dance company, 45 Chartreuse, performing at the Walker Arts Center, Studio 6A and Old Arizona Studios in Minneapolis and on tour in Minnesota. She has had several pieces choreographed specifically for her, including work by Jan Erkert, Shapiro and Smith, Mathew Janzceski, Cathy Young and Judith Howard with performances at the Southern Theater and Bedlam Theater in Minneapolis.
In her position as Rehearsal Director for Nina Wiener and Dancers, Ms. Thompson led residency projects and taught repertory at the London Contemporary Dance Theater, the National Ballet of the Netherlands, the Boston Ballet, and in Anchorage, Los Angeles, Cincinatti, and Groningen, Holland. She has also reset Bebe Miller's work on Zenon Dance Company in Minneapolis.
As a dance educator, Ms.Thompson taught ballet, pointe work and contemporary dance technique at the Minnesota Dance Theatre from 1975-1980. Her modern dance teaching over the last 3 decades includes teaching at P.S.122 in NYC, Studio Dance Tanz in Osaka, Japan, and classes at dance companies and Universities around the world while on tour. Here in Minneapolis she has taught for twenty years at the University of Minnesota Department of Theatre Arts and Dance and at Zenon Dance Company and School, as well as many guest teaching stints around Minnesota and the midwest. In 2008 Erin was invited to teach and perform at the Art of Movement Festival in Yaroslavl, Russia. Her advanced professional level modern dance classes at Zenon Dance School have been a mainstay of the Twin Cities dance community and have fostered a couple of generations of versatile and proficient dancers and teachers.
Ms. Thompson received a New York Dance and Performance award, “Bessie”, in 1986 for her performance in Nina Wiener's Enclosed Time at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival. She received choreography fellowships along with her husband, Byron Richard, from the McKnight Foundation in 1993, and the National Endowment for the Arts in 1994 and 1996. In 2008, she received Sage Award for Outstanding Dance Educator. Ms. Thompson has served on numerous dance panels and currently serves as Board President of Young Dance. In 2012 her choreography was performed by Young Dance and at the St. Paul Conservatory of Performing Artists.