Interview with Catherine Evleshin (2015)


Interview with Catherine Evleshin (2015)


Streaming Media


Dancer, choreographer, writer, folklorist, ethnographer, and performer Catherine Evleshin taught at Portland State University and established its Dance Department. She participated in the founding of the Portland Dance Theater and has worked internationally in a range of dance styles and forms.

Recorded for the documentary Moving History: Portland Contemporary Dance Past and Present

Interview Date





Dancer, choreographer, writer, folklorist, ethnographer, and performer Catherine Evleshin brought an international dance repertoire to Portland. Following Vaunda Carter’s retirement, Evleshin taught at Portland State University and established the Dance Department. In April 1970, she was one of five dancers who started Portland Dance Theater, which became a springboard for later dance companies.

Evleshin graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and studied with Martha Graham, Percival Borde, and Alvin Ailey. Her work included “Voices Inside” and “Haiti 1985,” performed at Portland State University’s Shattuck Studio Theater in 1985. In addition to Portland Dance Theater, Evleshin also worked with Tiempo Caribe, Milagro Theatre, Universidad Federal da Bahia, Portland Ballet Company, Ballet Folklórico de Stanford, and projects across several countries.

More recently, Evleshin enjoys salsa clubs (to dance and to watch) and writing fiction--often about dancers.

Interviewer Eric Nordstrom is a dance performer, filmmaker and professor. As a director and editor, his interests focus on the intersection of dance, improvisation, documentary, and film. His past and current film work features such prominent dancers and scholars as Ann Cooper Albright and Simone Forti. In Seattle, he has performed with Karen Nelson, and in Portland, Oregon, was a core company member with Oslund+Company. Eric has taught contemporary technique, contact improvisation, and dance film courses in colleges and festivals throughout the U.S., including Macalester College, Kenyon College, Reed College, Portland State University, Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation, Conduit Dance, and The Ohio State University, where he earned his Master of Fine Arts. He is on faculty at Lewis and Clark College.


This interview is made available through the Portland State University Library Special Collections and University Archives with the generous permission of Eric Nordstrom, Portland Performing Arts Video and is for educational and non-commercial use only. It cannot be reproduced in any form, distributed or played for commercial purposes. For more information, please contact Special Collections at Portland State University Library at: or (503) 725-9883

Persistent Identifier

Interview with Catherine Evleshin (2015)